Franchise Owners Council

President's Report 2023

Penny Higgs

President's Report 2023

By Penny Higgs
13 November 2023

As this is my final report as President, I would like to take a look back at some successes and challenges over the past year.

In the success column I would include:

  1. A successful restructuring of our insurance offer to members. We will be exploring other insurance offers with our insurance consultant to help you save money while still maintaining the best possible cover.
  2. The celebration for Graeme Hyde in Brisbane in August. This was a stunning event with a significant number of people coming from right across Australia to say “Thank You” to past Network Chief Graeme Hyde. I know he was very touched and honoured.
  3. The completion of the “marked up” version of the Franchise agreement. We will continue to keep you up to date with any and all changes to the agreements as and when they arise.
  4. The completion of a Satisfaction Survey of our members on key areas of the Corporate offering and the Atlas Group. The survey (the results of which will be available in the members only section of our web site) shows a number of areas where there is general dissatisfaction, or at best apathy, but other areas that are well regarded.
  5. The new LJ Hooker Franchise Owners Council web site launching this December – it has been a while in the making. The site will have a “members only” section where you can access special offers in areas such as insurances, technology, legal services etc. We will be looking to grow these offerings over time. Access will be provided at renewal of your membership.
  6. A Growth workshop was held between selected FOC Councilors and Corporate in May. It was encouraging to be invited to sit with key stakeholders at Corporate to discuss and input on their growth objectives and plans.

In terms of Challenges, I would highlight:

  1. Corporate’s withdrawal of their assistance in collecting FOC membership fees, although we have overcome this, and you would have recently received an invoice coming directly from our treasurer.
  2. A number of offices expressing dissatisfaction with how Atlas Offices compete with them. This dissatisfaction was a key area of concern that came to the fore in our recent survey, and it will continue to be an area of lobbying for the FOC.
  3. It is disappointing that Corporate (on legal advice) cannot provide marked-up copies of new release franchise agreements, however as a member you have access to our lawyers marked-up versions of the agreements, which can be useful in your decision making.

It has been an honour to hold this prestigious position over the past two years, and like all FOC presidents I would say it has had its challenges. However, the support from fellow councillors has made the going a little easier. I would like to thank the Councillors for their support, knowledge, input and friendship over the past year. A special thank you to my Vice President Lindsey Burne and immediate Past President Mario Bonomi – two key sounding boards.

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