Fresh Coat Painters, the residential and commercial painting franchise under the Strategic Franchising Systems umbrella, is not your average painting company. Since starting in 2004, Fresh Coat has expanded to become one of the largest and fastest-growing painting companies in the world, with 170 franchise locations nationwide. Now, the Fresh Coat team is looking for passionate and qualified franchisees to establish Fresh Coat as a truly iconic painting brand.
Even during market downturns, demand for painting remains strong. Painting makes up a hefty majority of home renovation and decoration projects, as the industry is expected to hit a whopping $212 billion by 2026. Whether it's just a repaint or a full remodel, painters will be part of the process. Plus, as the real estate market continues its meteoric rise, the demand for painting has never been higher across both residential and commercial clients.
But what makes Fresh Coat stand out in the booming painting franchise industry?
The Consumer Experience
To start on the consumer side, Fresh Coat VP of Sales Leo Haley says it comes down to professionalism. “All of our painters are background-checked,” said Haley. “You're gonna see the logo on the shirt when they come in and a lot of them have wrapped vehicles. As opposed to smaller competitors, we have professionalism behind everything we do.”
The second main differentiator on the consumer side is Fresh Coat’s proprietary software. “Our vision is to have industry-leading technology in place because we never want any of our franchisees or their estimators or project managers to be sitting in somebody's living room and not have the tools to make the proposal,” said Haley. “So, we continually invest in that technology and talk to our franchise owners to make sure that it is cutting edge and easy to use. We can sit in your living room and do a quote very quickly, efficiently and have the right information to use so that we can walk out with a signed agreement.”
For example, last year, Fresh Coat held a soft launch for a brand new, custom-developed estimating software called Smart Quote. The new tech continues to be integrated into more of the Fresh Coat business model, including a CRM that seamlessly interact with existing customers.
“When someone filled out a quote request form on the website in the past, the franchisee would have to enter that info into another database,” said Fresh Coat Senior VP of Commercial and National Accounts Greg Platz. “Now, that process is all handled in one place — customers can book a quote online through a website without having to call someone. They can pick and choose a time to fit their schedule, and the software will directly alert the franchisee. The follow-up process is also better now. Customers receive reminders that the quote is scheduled and that the painters are on their way to do the project. We also now have geo-tracking, so the customer knows where the crews are at all times. The overall goal is to offer a better user experience for the customer, and this new Smart Quote program allows us to do that. This also results in stronger marketing automation, helping owners work their sales pipeline.”
In line with the new estimating software, the Fresh Coat team also recently launched a new customer website in April 2022. “We made some large investments within SEO, within our website and within marketing last year that are now going to pay dividends,” said Haley. “Overall, we've invested in the tools to help us be successful this year.”
With such a large footprint and established infrastructure, Haley says support is another key differentiator that sets the Fresh Coat brand apart from other franchises.
“From the moment franchisees secure their territory, we're bringing them into the Fresh Coat family through on-site training, coaching, grand opening support, staffing assistance, etc,” said Haley. “But it's not just during the launch process. Our business coaches maintain weekly calls with our owners, answering questions, looking at P&L and coming up with ideas. We've been in business for a long time and we’ve seen every idea, both good and bad. So, we can help guide franchisees and make them successful.”
Marketing support, for example, is a massive part of the Fresh Coat equation. “The team is proud to be a marketing company first, painting company second,” Haley said. “The brand’s goal is to drive more leads than franchisees can handle, compelling them to grow their staff and profits over time.”
Fresh Coat’s dedicated HQ Marketing and Commercial teams not only help drive residential leads, but also provide access to National Accounts that are already signed, sealed and delivered. Franchisees simply provide the painters. The team will also vet commercial projects in a franchisee’s local area to help them bid and win lucrative painting jobs for stores, restaurants, businesses and medical offices.
“We have an entire commercial division that works on partnering with our franchisees on commercial business,” said Haley. “You get two franchises for the price of one. There's no extra fee and you don't have to secure it on your own. We have a team that will go through all of those leads, find ones that are within your target, help with the mark-up, build relationships with accounts, etc. When you look at the top competition, they charge thousands of dollars for franchisees to participate in these types of programs.”
Last year alone, the Fresh Coat franchise grew its commercial business system-wide by 34% year-over-year and saw a whopping 170% increase in national accounts.
The Winner’s Circle
Another primary factor that allows Fresh Coat to stand out from the crowd is the brand’s low-cost investment model. Franchisees’ operating costs are significantly lower and their potential profits much higher, with a competitively low franchise fee, small branding and technology fees, royalty minimums and no training fees.
With start-up costs coming in at just under $100,000, including an initial franchise fee of $44,900, the concept bills itself as the most affordable franchise in the painting industry. But it's Fresh Coat’s innovative Winner’s Circle Program that truly makes it unlike anything else in the painting industry, Haley says. The program allows franchise owners to earn back their franchise fee in full as they achieve certain milestones.
“All of our franchisees in the first five years have the ability to earn back their entire franchise fee as they scale their business, which allows them to invest in themselves, invest in the company or pocket the money if they want to,” said Haley. “No other painting franchise offers an incentive model along those lines.”
According to a recent study, Haley says most remodels occur right around the 17-20 year mark of home ownership. And in 2023, more homes than ever are set to fall into that window, which is why the time has never been better to enter the painting industry in 2023. With Fresh Coat looking for prospective franchisees in markets all over the country, entrepreneurs have a prime opportunity to join the booming segment with the backing of an industry-leading brand.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to bring in the right people that fit within our system,” said Haley. “They want to be an owner-executive. They want to be successful. They want to get out of the corporate world. They want to steer their own ship and achieve their goals. If we find 30 franchisees like that this year, fantastic. If we find 60, even better. Overall, we just want to work with our franchise owners to ensure they are as successful as possible and to showcase that we are not just another painting franchise concept.”
The total investment required to start a Fresh Coat franchise ranges from $53,850 to $76,750, including the $44,900 franchise fee. For more information, visit https://freshcoatfranchise.com/get-started-here.