Becoming an Epcon Franchise Builder is a serious commitment, and you will probably have questions prior to joining. A meeting with an Epcon representative and review of our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) will answer most of your questions, but as a starting point, here are the answers to some questions we are frequently asked.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Franchise Disclosure Document?
As part of the inquiry process, you will be provided a copy of our annual Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The FDD is a set of disclosures, referred to as Items 1-23. These disclosures, the contents of which are mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for all franchisors, describe many details about the Epcon Communities Franchise opportunity, such as the expected investment, the obligations of both parties, and the benefits of joining the system. The FDD is not a contract but, rather, is similar to a prospectus. Certain states also require additional disclosure language to be included along with the required FTC disclosures.
One section of the FDD includes samples of legal documents that may become a part of our agreement with you should you be awarded a franchise. The Franchise Agreement is one of those documents. It is important to note that the Franchise Agreement is a stand-alone document, and is the primary contract that will govern our relationship with you.
What is the initial cost of becoming an Epcon franchise builder?
The initial franchise fee is $50,000, which is due at the time you sign your franchise agreement. Once this has been paid, you will have immediate access to our classroom and online training, our intranet library of reference tools and materials, and the support of the experienced Epcon Communities leadership team as you launch your business. Detailed information about the upfront fees associated with an Epcon Communities Franchise are located in Item 5 of the FDD, so we encourage you to review more detailed information there.
What is the ongoing royalty rate?
Whereas other builder franchise concepts charge royalty rates between four and five percent of gross revenue and often collect these amounts during construction, we charge point-of-closing royalty payments starting at just 2% of gross revenue and do not collect any of it until the house has been completed and transferred to the end buyer. Furthermore, the rate reduces quickly as your volume grows – all the way down to just 1% of gross revenue for all closings above an annual level of fifty. Full information on the point-of-closing royalty structure is discussed in Item 6 of the FDD, so please review the full details there.
How much does it cost to start an Epcon Communities Franchise?
Our FDD lays out an estimated initial investment of between $815,000 and $1,236,000. This scenario assumes you are purchasing raw land to develop a project of 30 units and have the ability to qualify for bank financing for the construction of the project. Please review the full details of this expected investment scenario in Item 7 of the FDD.
What does Epcon provide as support to me once I sign a Franchise Agreement?
Epcon Communities Franchising exists first and foremost to support our franchisees. Our team of franchising, real estate, and design professionals are here to help our franchisees through the real estate acquisition, site development, construction, and sales processes. Our affiliate homebuilding company has decades of experience in building the best of what is popular with today’s 55+ buyers, and we bring that level of expertise to your company from the moment you join us for your orientation. In addition to the support and collaboration you will receive from us, you will also have the opportunity to learn from your fellow franchise builders, who are always happy to share best practices and help you along the way.
Item 11 in the FDD details Epcon’s Assistance, Advertising, Computers Systems and Training provided to franchisees.
Does Epcon have a vendor program for pricing and rebate advantages?
Yes, we have a lengthy list of preferred national account partners. Most of them participate in our annual national conference and vendor fair, offer preferred pricing to Epcon franchise builders, provide rebates on each house you build, and even provide additional discounts or free goods on model homes. You may find more details on these programs in Item 8 of the FDD.
Does Epcon give protected territories to its franchise builders?
When you sign your agreement with us, you will be given what we call an “Initial Market Area.” The geographic size of this area will vary based on a number of factors, but it will give you a certain period of exclusivity that will allow you to research, identify and procure an initial project location without competition from another Epcon builder. Once you have procured this site, you will sign a “Market Area Agreement,” which will define a final area of exclusivity that will continue for a certain period of time (provided you are not in default of your agreement with us). Detailed information on territory considerations such as this can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Does Epcon require me to work full time in the franchise business?
Epcon does not require the franchisee to participate personally in a full time capacity in the development and construction of an Epcon Communities business. Epcon does, however, recommend that an individual with an ownership interest in the company directly participate in the day-to-day operations. Please refer to Item 15 of the FDD for more detailed information on your participation obligations.
I currently build another residential housing product. Do I have to give up my current business?
So long as what you are building today is not substantially similar to our copyrighted works, you are generally not restricted in the types of goods and services that you choose to offer outside of your Epcon Communities project. In fact, many of our current franchise builders were high-end custom builders prior to joining our system and some of them have chosen to continue those legacy businesses in addition to building their Epcon franchise. Please refer to Item 16 of the FDD for full details on the restrictions we place on what our franchisees may sell.
Does Epcon make any financial performance representations?
Yes, because we feel it is important for our prospective franchise builders to have a full picture of the opportunity, we provide historical information on sales prices and sales pace for both corporate-owned and franchise-owned projects completed during the last year. Please refer to Item 19 of the FDD for a comprehensive report of our financial performance representations.
May I speak with other Epcon Franchise Builders about their experiences?
Yes, in fact, we encourage you to do so. The FDD contains a list of all current Franchise Builders, complete with their market locations and contact phone numbers.
Still have unanswered questions? We’re here to help! Give us a call at 888.909.2430.
Please note that nothing substitutes for your careful review of the Epcon Communities Franchise Disclosure Document and we encourage you to carefully review the Franchise Disclosure Document with an advisor of your choice.
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