280: Leaders vs. Investors

Real Estate Survival Guide
Real Estate Survival Guide
280: Leaders vs. Investors


Today we’re talking about leaders versus investors and the differences between the business practices of Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s. There are several different companies I have always felt have great lessons that can be applied to real estate, and today we’re going to talk about Chick-Fil-A and McDonald’s—specifically the process to own one. I’m a big fan of Chick-Fil-A. I spent several years there and dreamed of being an operator, but it wasn’t a good fit for me and didn’t work out. It did get me into banking and then real estate though, so I am forever grateful. I love the company and love a lot of people that work there, but today I want to talk to you about the process you go through to own a Chick-Fil-A versus the process for McDonald’s. How much do you think it takes to own a McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A? To qualify to own a McDonald’s, you need a net worth of around $500,000 in liquid assets and pay a $45,000 franchise fee. If you want to open a completely new McDonald’s franchise, you will need upwards of 1.3 to 2.3 million, and even if you are buying an existing franchise, you will still need a million dollars. There is no mention of any leadership skills required, no program you must attend, just the money—you basically must be a millionaire to own McDonald’s. Now what does it take to become a Chick-Fil-A operator? Here is where the difference lies—Chick-Fil-A is looking for leaders and McDonald’s is looking for dollars. This difference isn’t necessarily good or bad, just the difference in how they run their business. McDonald’s doesn’t care how often you are in the restaurant. You can own the business and be there every day or not at all, it makes no difference to their business model. Chick-Fil-A requires you to be there full-time, or a little less if you have a great team—Chick-Fil-A is your primary income. I’m not saying one of these models is any better than the other, but it’s interesting to look at the differences. If you want to be a Chick-Fil-A operator, you apply for their leadership development program. They send you all over the country to help different locations with getting up and running, or you might work at the support center in Atlanta until they send you to your new restaurant. That’s how I met my friend Jonathan. A friend in Pittsburgh had left to open his new Chick-Fil-A restaurant and Jonathan came to work as an interim manager and ran it as if it were his store. It’s extremely hard to become a Chick-Fil-A operator. In fact, it’s much easier to get into Harvard. Harvard has an admittance rate of 3.2%. You are guaranteed to get McDonald’s if you meet the financial requirements, so there isn’t an admission rate at play there. Chick-Fil-A only plants 75 or 80 new franchises each year because they’re doing it all in cash. So, they’re admittance rate is basically 0.5% to become operators. You can see there are some differences between becoming a Chick-Fil-A operator and becoming a McDonald’s owner—it all comes back to leadership or dollars. I hope this makes you think about what you value in your real estate business. Are you trying to grow as a leader and become better? Or are you an investor who doesn’t really care about the leadership skills? I hope you lean more toward it not just being about the dollars. You want to focus on the leadership. You want to give your clients the same kind of service they give at Chick-Fil-A—where everything is their pleasure. You know you get terrible service when you walk into a McDonald’s—that’s because owners don’t have to be in the restaurant making sure their employees have a good set of core values. Even 15- and 16-year-old team members go through a pretty rigorous hiring process with Chick-Fil-A. They want the best of the best and as a result, they end up with employees that stick around. Make sure that you are invested in the success of your business. Be passionate about your business and make sure you’re working it full time. This is why I believe Chick-Fil-A operators have so much success. We’ll be talking more this week about Chick-Fil-A’s business model and how it can help you create success with your real estate business. I’m looking forward to it.


Free social media coaching calls are back! To schedule your free social media coaching call go to:https://calendly.com/realestatesurvivalguide/social-media-strategy-for-realtors

Podcast edited by Kenny Carfagno.

Show notes and blog posts are created by Jennifer Harshman and RealtorEmails. John Schuchman is a licensed REALTOR® in Lancaster, PA, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty and a part of the Andrew Welk Group. The opinions shared on this show represent the opinions & values of John Schuchman and do not necessarily represent the opinions & values of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty. The opinions & ideas shared in this podcast do not guarantee or promise any results of success to the listener.

Latest Episodes

  • All
  • Real Estate Survival Guide

297: What You Need To Serve Your Niche Part III – The Confluence

296: What You Need To Serve Your Niche Part II – Connections

295: What You Need To Serve Your Niche Part I – Content

294: Be Happy When The Wrong Ones Leave

Free Guide Title

The Real Estate Survival Guide is a resource that every real estate agent needs. It contains all the standard information in one place, plus all the secrets, such as how many calls you need to make before you sign a client and how to get a higher split if you’re at an agency.