What Can Real Estate Investors Learn From The McDonald’s Brand?
Like it or not, there is no denying the powerhouse that is McDonald’s. The company has pioneered the fast food industry, and even revolutionized it. In fact, few companies have realized success on a level that McDonald’s has seen since the 1950s. Their business model is exceptional, and there are more than a few things real estate investors can learn from the fast food chain. Here are seven things that real estate investors should take away from their next trip to the fast-food maven:
1. The Power of Branding: There is no denying that, after decades, McDonald’s is still one of the best known brands in the world. Even those that hate fast food can’t deny the power McDonald’s has over the market: everyone from knows the golden arches, from children to grandparents. McDonald’s didn’t develop a brand after it got big, however. Its brand got supersized after it became more reliable and trustworthy. So what does this mean for your business? It is never too early to start developing a brand. Work hard to build trust between you and your audience, and your business will be rewarded accordingly.
2. It’s Tough to Run a Business From a Distance: McDonald’s has franchises and branches around the globe. More and more real estate investors are finding the advantages of diversification to be well worth it. However, if you’ve ever been into a McDonald’s with less than exceptional conditions, it’s a real turnoff. It’s hard to maintain consistency across such a wide expanse. Diversifying and branching out can be great, smart, and profitable, but you’ve got to monitor what’s going on, on the ground, and have boots you really trust in the area.
3. Cheap is Not a Substitute: As great as the McDonald’s brand is, the rise of Chipotle and Five Guys suggests that most grownups would rather spring for a pricier meal that appears to offer better quality. Even McDonald’s is offering higher quality meals to cater to this new trend. The same can be said about real estate sales. You’d think low priced real estate deals would always fly off the shelf, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It’s often more about the perceived value. Just be sure that you are offering the best product possible. Skimping will only hurt you in the long run.
4. Mobile Ordering: While McDonald’s might be behind on the mobile app game, Burger King has been rolling with its national app that allows consumers to order from their phones and skip all the hassle. Real estate has trended int his direction as well, but few have gone beyond marketing to facilitate the whole process to be conducted in a streamlined way. That’s something worth thinking about. It may not work for every transaction, but there are certainly scenarios in which it could be much more profitable for all sides. Will you be the one to pioneer mobile transactions int he real estate industry?
5. Table Service: McDonald’s Canada recently announced that it is hiring 15,000 new employees to start offering host and table service to consumers. This appears to be the complete opposite direction of the mobile app, but a necessary one. Some people do want simplicity and automation, and to operate online. Others want the service, the real world experience, and to be greeted in person. In some select markets, McDonald’s even offers a home delivery service. Some real estate pros may lean one way or the other, but being able to operate in both arenas can have significant advantages.
6. More Options: McDonald’s is always adding more options to the menu, bringing back limited time menu items, exploring new market specific products, and is said to be bringing in higher quality ‘chefs’ to make even better burgers. New plans allow for even more customization of menu items, with up to six different types of cheeses. This may be a chef’s nightmare, but it is all about pleasing the customer, giving each individual what their personal tastes crave at the moment. The more real estate pros can deliver on this concept, the better they’ll stay on top of trends.
7. Location, Location, Location: McDonald’s has built a vast real estate empire in prime locations, in just about every market. That may not be feasible for most real estate professionals and brands, but it is possible to grab some prime real estate on a good corner. Don’t forget, location is almost everything in today’s real estate industry.