Realtors working with their clients will bring up the issue of pre-qualification when they have determined the level of interest in a home purchase. They will refer them to a “preferred lending partner”, who will pre-qualify and offers valuable resources for the homebuyer. By going through this process, the realtor understands where the buyer is financially, which helps in narrowing the search for a new dwelling. And, if a client is not able to obtain funding, this information allows the realtor to avoid time-consuming searches with no end goal.
It’s the same for franchisors. The growth of a franchise brand relies on a steady supply of qualified candidates. Franchisors have plenty of resources to help guide their leads through the pipeline. Of all those resources, the most important one may the most overlooked – pre-qualification.
A pre-qualified candidate provides the client and franchisor information on how much funding is available, and how they make the most of their funding, especially if looking at a multi-unit deal. If you’re wondering, “When should a candidate take this step?”, and “Where do they get pre-qualified?” you’re not alone.
The answer to the first question is, simply, when they are ready. A candidate may shop for years before becoming serious, and for others, a triggering event will get a candidate’s journey to begin immediately. For many, the search for the perfect concept goes hand in hand with their financial profile. Interestingly, a larger majority of potential franchisees are first taking a look at their funding options, before deciding on a franchise.
So, where do candidates go to find out their “fundability”? With the internet at our disposal and the wide variety of information available, candidates are doing quite a bit of research on their own. From funding and business calculators to loan rates and application sites, potential candidates have the opportunity to make some decisions on what type of funding to use before determining which type of business. But, the process is tedious and a candidate could burn out before even getting to the commitment phase.
Franchise brands are taking this into consideration and are helping their candidates minimize their search by devoting a section of their website to the funding opportunities that may be available to them. With the simple addition of a pre-qualification link and a few additional educational materials, franchisors are keeping these candidates on their pages, researching their brand. As an added bonus, franchisors are seeing a surge in leads, more often capturing them higher in the funnel, unlike other referral sources. Once the information has been submitted, both the candidate and franchisor know the amount and sources of funding available. Knowing a lead is qualified saves you time, since you know at the start that they meet the financial requirements, giving you the opportunity to have deeper conversations.
In order to see a surge in your leads, you need to have a great pre-qualification tool. This is where your funding partner comes into play. They have the resources and expertise to turn these top of the funnel leads into franchisees. If you don’t have a funding partner, consider Benetrends.
Benetrends has been funding America’s franchises for 35 years. With an outstanding pre-qualification process, along with a full suite of funding options, we’re with our clients as they transition from “Wantrepreneur” to Entrepreneur. To learn more, visit benetrends.com.