Ken LeBlanc finds seeds in ideas, plants them, shares a picture of what will grow, and inspires others with the that crop of ideas they tend. The President and CEO of PropertyGuys.com has 15 years in the field of dreams, transforming notions into enterprise!
Of all the successful ideas Ken LeBlanc has nurtured, PropertyGuys.com has the widest sweep, a vast prairie that continues to expand toward the horizon. It started in 1998 with two guys who thought “Why not help home owners sell their house privately on the Web. All PropertyGuys.com had was a big idea, less than a hundred bucks and an entrepreneur.
Their first House For Sale Signs were election campaign leftovers. Today they are stacked in the brand with operations in 10 provinces and territories. There are 100+ franchises supporting over 350 jobs in 400 cities across Canada. And let’s not forget a website that generates more than 400 thousand visitors a month as they grow Canada’s largest private sale real estate network.
BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the PropertyGuys.com franchise concept.
Ken LeBlanc: The PropertyGuys.com franchise opportunity is unlike any ordinary real estate company. In fact, we're not agents or brokers. That's because from day one, we knew we could be something different - something much better. Simply put, we use the power of the internet combined with our experts on the ground in your community to provide a safe and practical way for buyers and sellers to connect while avoiding the high cost of commission. Instead of commission, we charge an affordable marketing fee (as low as $349) and collect absolutely no commission when the property sells.
BTB: How and when did you become involved with PropertyGuys.com?
KL: I founded the company with two other classmates while still in University. We had nothing more than a vision and a “can do” attitude. Our goal was lofty, we set out to reinvent way real estate was transacted; and the rest as they say is history.
BTB: What was your background prior to joining PropertyGuys.com?
KL: I was always an entrepreneur of sorts and a self taught techy. But I had no real estate background at all; I guess just creating a business came naturally for me.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a PropertyGuys.com franchisee?
KL: The market opportunity for our people is huge. Our franchise owners have access to our unique system where they truly have unlimited earning potential. Best of all, we’re never far behind with guidance, support and innovation. Our concept allows them to navigate the market much differently than traditional agents. The big difference with our approach is that people love us for helping them save so much money. I don’t know of any other real estate concept where helping people can be so rewarding.
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
KL: We don’t recruit franchise owners, we “attract”. Many of our franchise owners had been introduced to us as a result of them selling their house using our system. This business has been built form the ground up by passionate people. Our ideal franchisee is someone who not only has passion for what they’re doing but also has the drive to succeed. No experience or current expertise is necessary!
BTB: Tell us a little about the private sale real estate Market?
KL: We are working towards loosening the grip which real estate agents have always had on the market. Our market opportunity is continually expanding as more people figure out what we’re all about. We predicting that the private sale segment of the market will continue to grow, accounting for 50% of residential sales within the next few years. That’s a double from where it stands today. We believe that these economically challenged times will be great for our company since most people just can’t afford to continue paying agents.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
KL: The greatest lesson I have learned about growing this franchise is making sure you have the right people on the bus. Having the right group, plugging away, can truly turn dreams in reality. Together our PropertyGuys.com family is so committed to growing this company that we won’t let anything stand in our way, it’s amazing what a small focused group of people can achieve.
BTB: Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?
KL: I find inspiration all around me and in many different areas of business. I do a lot of reading and use many of the all time great business icons as a source of inspiration. My mentors are those who “have been there done that” sort of speak – those that have started with nothing and turned their dreams in icons!
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
KL: In business there is no golden bullet or easy way to make it. I’d make sure before entering into any franchise system that you are willing to pay the toll - ready to do the heavy lifting. I’ve learned that success does not come gift wrapped. Instead, success in anything is about hard work and belief. If you don’t believe in the business, you’ll never make it.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that PropertyGuys.com would be a great opportunity for someone?
KL: I feel that the opportunity to be a part of reshaping real estate as we know it is quite exciting. Our program has all the right ingredients to help someone that wants to reach for the stars to achieve that that vision. We are the perfect choice for those who want to combine their passion for helping others, while positing themselves for long term success.