The new master franchisees for Switzerland are Björn Wolf & David Monney, who already acquired the license for the canton of Thurgau at the beginning of the year. KENSINGTON met the entrepreneurs exclusively for an interview.
Mr Wolf, you and Mr Monney have been master franchisees for Switzerland since February 2020. How did you join KENSINGTON?
As the real estate industry is very small, I was always aware of the brand and then consciously followed its development. I was impressed by the dynamic and growth. At some point personal contact with Mr. Bonakdar, the owner, was made and a dinner was arranged to get to know him personally. It was a very good conversation and I was totally inspired by Mr. Bonakdar’s vision for the brand.
What was the decisive factor in your decision to give up a very well paid position in another real estate company for KENSINGTON?
I was very impressed by its dynamic, as well as its growth. But that was not the only reason. What immediately convinced me personally was the familial atmosphere that prevails at KENSINGTON. Of course, in sales, at the end of the day, the turnover must always be right, but the appreciation of each employee and the way we deal with each other should also be right. I was also attracted by the opportunity to help develop something big.
What were your responsibilities during your 2 years at KENSINGTON before you became a Master Franchisee for Switzerland?
My area of responsibility was very diverse, as we are advocates of a lean structure. Among other things, this included looking after license partners, acquiring new license partners and running our own locations in Kreuzlingen. Furthermore, I was also allowed to help initiate and build up our digital real estate investment platform from the very beginning.
And why, of all things, did the master license appeal to you?
As I was already responsible for the acquisition and support of license partners before that, I naturally saw the potential that a master license offers. To establish a brand in a whole country is a challenge – and I love challenges. The brand is now extremely attractive and becomes more attractive with each new location. In this respect, this was the next logical step.
The current pandemic situation came just a few weeks after your signature. In your opinion, to what extent has this influenced your goals for expansion in Switzerland?
I don’t think anyone could have foreseen this situation. But my goals remain the same. I am a positive person from the ground up and I remain positive in this situation. I think crises always create opportunities. And of course Switzerland is also an extremely stable country. We can also see this from the enquiries. After a brief phase of restraint, the number of enquiries is rising again. Residential property in particular is still in demand, and this will remain so in the future.
And what are your goals? Where will KENSINGTON be in Switzerland in 5 years?
II assume that in 5 years we will be among the top 3 brokers in Switzerland.
Why should an estate agent become a KENSINGTON franchisee?
With us, you get an all-round carefree package to be able to operate successfully on the local market in a very short time. It is now especially important to belong to a strong brand. In my opinion, the market will clear up and the strong market players will emerge from this crisis even stronger. This is because the opportunities that we offer collectively, for example in the area of marketing, are not achievable for an individual estate agent, or only to a very limited extent. For example, we are currently holding webinars every week with experts on all sorts of different topics, e.g. how the real estate market will develop after the crisis or what acquisition opportunities are available despite limitations. Furthermore, we also focus on the areas of social competence and psychology, to name just a few topics. This is where we come together with colleagues in other countries. At the moment only virtually of course.
The experience that my business partner David Monney and I have is of course also an added asset. David Monney was a successful manager of a bank in Switzerland for over 20 years and I now have over 20 years of experience in sales, including over 15 years in the real estate industry.
It is even possible for career changers to be prepared for their professional tasks within a very short time with the help of the KENSINGTON Academy, and to operate successfully on the market through our business model and personal support from us.
What exactly does the KENSINGTON Academy offer?
There is a specific training plan, which is redesigned every year as it is adapted to the market environment, knowledge and circumstances.
We always try to book the best coaches for the respective content, these can be external trainers as well as internal ones.
Who would be a typical candidate for a franchise?
I don’t think the typical candidate exists. What’s important is motivation and personal attitude. It is of course an advantage for a future franchisee to already have sales experience or experience in the real estate business. But it’s not a must.
Finally: What are your 5 most important recommendations for success?
- To have goals and pursue them even when things get tough
- To love what you do
- The most important insight for me was: Diligence beats talent!
Apply now for a licence in Switzerland!