Mike Franklin: A Serial Entrepreneur Revolutionizing the Real Estate Industry

Today, searching for a dream home, relocating a business, or a property investor, is a challenging task. Property consultants provide you the necessary backup as high-class property search consultants possess the thorough local knowledge, responsive market connections, and specialist experience to attain the property that matches perfectly to clients’ requirements. They are specialized in assisting investors and sellers in making informed property buying decisions. Mike Franklin is the co-founder of one such leading property consultant, Franklin Shanks. Franklin Shanks is a boutique tenant advisory and tenant representation with offices in Sydney, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The company is helping global clients across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, and Asia procures the right commercial real estate for their current and future needs.

Mike Franklin
Mike Franklin, CEO, Franklin Shanks

Mike has founded several consulting firms in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s. During his entrepreneurial journey, he has learned some hard lessons in the late 80’s recession, before migrating to Australia in 1994. He quickly realized that existing real estate advisory practice formats were not well-suited to provide quality advice to clients.

“Taking a 13-month sabbatical to sail from Europe to Australia in what would now be described as a small yacht, with my young family gave me time to refocus and consider what was important in life both personally and professionally,” says, Mike. He adds, “Following this journey re-entering core corporate business made little sense and exacerbated frustrations with an entrenched system that was beset by major conflicts of interest and lacked innovation – life was neither fun nor rewarding, it was time to set this straight.”

Franklin Shanks: Offering Best Deals to Clients

Franklin Shanks is an independent tenant advisor working exclusively for tenants and buyers across Australia and the Asia Pacific. As the team is independent, there are no payments from landlords, no conflicts of interest, and the best possible outcome for the company’s valued clients.

The company has pulled together a team of diverse thinkers from diverse backgrounds, predominantly from outside of the established real estate consulting ecosystem. This has been a key to developing and delivering strategies that work across multiple user groups and geographics.

The Franklin Shanks team works, in a flat corporate structure, collaboratively to develop and implement ideas leading to better solutions constantly striving to perform better, and learning from experience in a changing economic landscape.

“Most importantly our people are passionate in providing our clients with auditable advice to make the best decisions for their businesses matched to whatever phase of growth they may be in,” asserts Mike.

Franklin Shanks has always strived to be an employer of choice, where people have a sense of belonging and can grow. Mike realized how important this was during Covid with everyone pulling together whilst working remotely focusing not only on the clients but also colleagues’ needs in these difficult times.

Mike says, “Office culture is supremely important to the Founders, we want our people to not only work together but also to enjoy their surroundings – the idea of working unsupported in a sterile office environment is alien to us, as a founder I want to work in a fun environment free from corporate ‘bull’ and we reflect this in the environment we provide.” He believes that a team that pulls together and provides better solutions for clients and an environment that allows them to freely attract new team members.

Solving Challenges in the Industry

Real estate consulting, as with legal and accounting has been around for hundreds of years and is entrenched in a broker mentality centered on ‘the deal’. Franklin Shanks was founded to change this mentality to a different mindset that it isn’t only about ‘the deal’ but about the delivery of strategic thought and long-term solutions individually tailored to the clients.

According to Mike, with any traditional market, there has been a clear tendency to be slaves to precedence – why change what has served the business well for decades? Wrong – businesses across multiple markets and ecosystems have changed and need solutions matched to their needs going forwards. As occupier focussed advisors building owners and their brokers saw Franklin Shanks as a threat, adversaries rather than allies developing the means for the building owners to work collaboratively with their tenants.

As the team grew and demonstrated new platforms to both occupiers and owners it slowly made gains. And whilst there is still work to be done the landscape is more transparent and decidedly more equitable.

An Ideal Leader

As a leader, Mike balances the responsibility of ‘steering the ship’ with making decisions that not only impact the clients but also people within Franklin Shanks. “To do this I have to balance the need for passion and risk-taking with the financial skills to ensure Franklin Shanks’s continued growth, this requires significant degrees of flexibility and grit supported by having the confidence that the plans our team develop will succeed or can swiftly be adapted to meet our and our clients’ needs.”

Personally, Mike believes that the key to being a successful entrepreneur is to build a brand and product that is recognized as being cutting edge, the leader in the current market, and, importantly, developing markets.

Future Footprints

Mike says, “Success to me is taking our initial ideas and continuing to develop them into a sustainable business that both provides innovative, exemplary services to our clients and allows our team to grow and flourish in an inclusive environment where they have a strong future both personally and financially.” He adds, “Hmm – I’m extremely lucky, I love what I do and want to ensure that this continues and our team, as it grows, shares this core principle – work should be fun and rewarding on multiple levels if not, it won’t succeed.”

Speaking about the future, Mike is looking forward to seeing Franklin Shanks grow internationally, develop new ideas and solutions for their diverse clients, and help their clients grow. “Finally developing a company that allows for all our people to contribute, grow and share in our success,” concludes Mike.