Smartline awarded Franchise of the Year

Strong team culture earns Smartline award for seventh year

Mortgage broking franchise Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers (Smartline) has today been named Franchise of the Year for the seventh consecutive year, at the Topfranchise Awards by SEEK Commercial and 10 Thousand Feet.

For the past eight years, 10 Thousand Feet has conducted the Topfranchise Awards, offering franchisors the opportunity to gain recognition for excellence, as rated by current franchisees. Performance is ranked across the six key categories of Marketing, Branding, Passion and Company Culture, Support and Operational Systems, Lifestyle, and Opportunities for Expansion.

Aside from Franchise of the Year, Awards are also presented to the overall top 10 winners, as well as the winners of the six key categories.

Smartline topped multiple categories to take home the title of Franchise of the Year. Bedding retailer Snooze achieved the Brand Award, and health food retailer Soul Origin won the Opportunities for Expansion Award.

Smartline was established in 1999 with the goal of building Australia’s best mortgage broking business. Having grown to 280 franchised locations, the business has helped more than 250,000 Australians arrange their home loans, with 85 per cent of the company’s business coming through customer referrals.

Smartline Managing Director, Chris Acret said team culture plays a crucial part in the business’ success.

“From the outset we knew the business would only be successful if the individual franchisees were successful, so emphasis is placed on the franchisor and franchisees working in partnership.

“It is our role as the franchisor to help our franchisees succeed. The franchisees have strong close relationships and are keen to support each other. There is an emphasis on the sharing of ideas and information and on keeping each other motivated,” Mr Acret said.

Bedding retailer Snooze achieved the Brand Award for its recognisable brand presence, through clear marketing messages, strong website traffic, SEO ranking, and social media presence.

“Brand consistency both online and in store is crucial for successful omni-channel retailing. Our customers enjoy being able to look at the brand online and then walk into any one of our Snooze stores nationwide to be greeted with the same expertise, friendliness and product range,” said Snooze Managing Director, Simon Beaty.

“Franchise partners are backed by the buying power of a mature, national brand, supported by ongoing national marketing campaigns through television commercials, digital catalogues, media relations, website updates and social media,” he said.

Soul Origin, with 36 stores across New South Wales, Canberra and Queensland, was awarded winner of the Opportunities for Expansion Award. Soul Origin General Manager, Chris Marvis said the speed of growth into new sites has been rapid, with seven new sites under construction before Christmas.

Founder and Head of Intelligence at 10 Thousand Feet, Ian Krawitz said the common thread that sets the award winners apart is that they truly care about their franchisees.

“It goes beyond just listening to survey feedback. It is all about looking for the next opportunity to proactively engage with franchisees and evolve their systems, support and brand to meet the current needs of franchisees and consumers.  We provide advice on how to improve, but it’s their dedication to their franchisees that drives the changes. It is great to see them reap the rewards of their hard work.”