Quest opens up franchisee recruitment
Australasia’s largest and fastest growing serviced apartment operator – Quest Serviced Apartments – is seeking a new generation of franchisees to keep up with the company’s rapid expansion across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Paul Constantinou founder and chairman of Quest, said, “In recent years, the strength of individuals within our business has meant we haven’t had to actively recruit outside of the Quest network. As our business expands, we continue to seek franchisees to operate and invest in both new and existing businesses. Given our growth figures, this is a great opportunity.”
Quest has continued to grow into regional hubs and metropolitan growth corridors and now has150 properties across the network with an additional nine properties scheduled to open this year, and several more in the late stages of planning for 2014.
The network is seeking franchisees from diverse backgrounds with a proven track record as a successful business owner or who have worked within a medium-large corporate enterprise leading high performance teams.
Franchisees must have a passion for customer service, leading people and building relationships. A background in the hospitality industry is not essential. Ideal franchisees are individuals in their 40s looking to invest in a disciplined business format.
“People in their 40s are coming out of the corporate world and they’re wanting to get a better investment on themselves. It’s about surety of income, and success planning in themselves,” Constantinou told Franchising. “When you pass 50 it’s harder to accept more debt so we like them in their 40s.
“People are more astute and are considering how they can develop wealth. We’re seeing people sell on for more than they bought and starting to talk about the money they have made on their capital investment.
He admits the brand may not be well known beyond being “a nice place to stay”. “So we’re aligning ourselves with accountancy firms and business chambers, places where people go to get advice, and get our name out to organisations and build up education as what Quest can offer.
“We want people who are prepared to get involved in the community, and dedicate themselves to fostering relationships with their guests and the diverse network of stakeholders important to their business.”
The primary franchisee trait is their character rather than skill set, said Constantinou. “When I started Quest I took out the parts that were the biggest variables (food and beverages) if you don’t have the skills. We’re about bums in beds.
“Our training comes in training manuals, but it’s more about the support base. We have franchise relationship managers [FRMs] and area managers: the FRMs deal mostly with business structure, the area managers are focused on local area marketing and sales activity.
Driving franchisees to meet their goals is the franchisor’s role, Constantinou said. “The franchisees’ success is ours. We rely on each other.”
Brendan Mulqueen became a franchisee with his wife Jennifer at Quest Jolimont after 25 years in the corporate sector.
“Under the Quest franchise model, we have been given the support where we have needed it. We had the capital and the commitment and Quest were able to help us with the industry knowledge and the experience that has helped us grow the business.
“Franchisees get to shape the direction of their business while operating under a framework and structure. This means there are opportunities to expand.” Mulqueen added.
Quest’s new locations for this coming year include Frankston, Adelaide, Townsville and outer Melbourne. In addition, there are a number of opportunities available to acquire established businesses in regional and metropolitan locations around Australia.