Early Signs of Recovery for Australian Economy Shown in Latest Franchise Industry Survey

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topfranchise.com.au has today released the results of its third quarterly review into the satisfaction of Australia's franchisees, revealing interesting changes in the Australian franchise business industry, with a strong rise in satisfaction in the mortgage franchise sector.

Ian Krawitz finalising the survey findings.

It is yet to be seen whether the government initiatives will pay off in the long run but the first home owners grant has definitely benefited mortgage providers that specialise in home loans to first home owners so far, and has improved sentiment that the middle market for home buyers will pick up as well.

Franchisee satisfaction ratings for financial services businesses have recovered and even improved their performance, with three major players in the Australian mortgage franchise sector climbing the ladder within and into the top 10. ANZ Mobile Lending, a core subsidiary of ANZ Bank, which in 2008 was assessed as the leading bank globally on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for the second year in a row, moved from rank 10 to rank 7, ASX listed Mortgage Choice progressed from its position as the number 9 company to rank 4, and first time surveyed franchise company Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers claimed the title as Australia's new number 1 company in franchisee satisfaction as rated by topfranchise.com.au's survey of participating Australian franchise business opportunities.

The housing and mortgage sectors are leading indicators for the greater economy. Ian Krawitz, Head of Intelligence at 10 THOUSAND FEET and founder of topfranchise.com.au, said the increase in franchisee satisfaction in the mortgage sector is an interesting indication that the Australian Federal Government's first home owners scheme has at least stabilised the sector in the short run. "It is yet to be seen whether the government initiatives will pay off in the long run but the first home owners grant has definitely benefited mortgage providers that specialise in home loans to first home owners so far, and has improved sentiment that the middle market for home buyers will pick up as well."

While ratings in the area of rewards did not see a significant increase in the mortgage franchise sector or the franchising industry as a whole, lifestyle and passion continued to increase.

"Indications are that the ship is starting to turn towards economic recovery, yet momentum against that turn remains, with very few businesses currently in the position to generate greater financial rewards than a year ago. It is not surprising that we didn't see improvements in the rewards category for this update, and I don't expect to see major movements in the next update of topfranchise.com.au either. At the same time, the number of franchisees saying that they will renew their agreement beyond the current term remains high, which is a reflection of the continuing instability in the labour market. Franchisees know that salaried employees are fighting for their existence just as much, if not more, than they are, but as a franchise business owner, they have greater control over their professional future," said Krawitz.

"The other side of the coin is that in times where growth in monetary rewards is low, people look for satisfaction in other areas of their life. This is reflected in the increase in satisfaction with lifestyle among franchisees who have taken on franchise opportunities."

In the area of lifestyle Xpresso Delight, a set and forget coffee vending business, remains the number 1 choice for those looking for a good lifestyle business, closely followed by mobile car cleaning and detailing business Car Care and appliance rental service Mr Rental. Among this quarter's most passionate franchisees are those of mortgage franchise Smartline's, cookie retailer Mrs Fields' and sleep specialist Snooze's.

Notes to editors:
topfranchise.com.au is a free consumer service in Australia, supported by subscription fees paid by franchisors. It allows users to benchmark franchisors against average industry performance across seven categories and provides links to franchisor websites, news articles, video profiles & testimonials. Ratings in each category are updated quarterly, based on the results of 10 THOUSAND FEET's ongoing Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys. topfranchise.com.au was launched in October of 2008.

This quarter's overall top 10 franchise systems in franchisee satisfaction in Australia as voted by their franchisees are as follows:

1. Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers
2. Mrs Fields
3. Car Care
4. Mortgage Choice
5. Xpresso Delight
6. Snap-on Tools
7. ANZ Mobile Lending
8. Mr Rental
9. Just Better Care
10. Fernwood Women's Health Clubs

The seven categories taken into account by topfranchise.com.au include;

  •     Renewal: intention of franchisees to renew their agreement beyond the current term
  •     Recommendation: willingness to recommend a franchise to friends and colleagues
  •     Rewards: level of financial & social rewards franchisees feel they receive
  •     Lifestyle: whether franchisees are satisfied with the lifestyle their franchise affords them
  •     Passion: how passionate franchisees are about the brand, product or service they offer
  •     Support: examining levels of support offered by the franchisor
  •     Opportunities: whether franchisees feel there are opportunities to expand their business within the system

For further information or to arrange interviews with Head of Intelligence Ian Krawitz, or spokespeople from the new top 10 please contact:
Andrea Martin
10 THOUSAND FEET
Tel: +61 2 8080 7544

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