After adopting a baby after 14 years of wanting a child of their own, in August 1996 Cindy and Wayne Minks were thrilled to add the job title, “Parents.” to their resumes. Cindy decided at that time to take some time off to be a full-time mom. When her daughter started kindergarten, Cindy was ready to get back into the job market again and decided to try her hand in real estate. She took classes and became a licensed real estate broker in 1999. Shortly thereafter she began working for a large real estate brokerage helping relocated individuals and families find permanent housing in Colorado Springs. But her success was short-lived in an increasingly temperamental housing market, which found less people moving to the area and less buyers willing to buy. Her once booming job came to a near stand-still.
“In hindsight I realized I had not built my business correctly – all my eggs where in one basket and the market fell in and so did my job,” says Cindy. Not one to sit and cry over spilled milk, Cindy combed her local classifieds to find a new job and came across a position at AvenueWest Corporate Housing’s Colorado Springs’s satellite office. The job was for an on-site sales person to manage corporate rentals in the area. Little did Cindy know that this new job would change her life and revitalize her career. Over the next several years at AvenueWest, Cindy learned the ins and outs of the corporate rental industry, and she began forging relationships with business professionals in Colorado Springs. “My job was to get companies in the area to utilize furnished rentals managed by AvenueWest for their traveling business executives or relocated families,” says Cindy. “I was positioning corporate housing as the preferred alternative to area hotels and extended stays.”
Slowly but surely, what was once a day job became just the spark she needed to revitalize her real estate business. While helping individuals and families find temporary housing in the area, many of those individuals turned into clients that Cindy would later help buy permanent housing.
“I was able to double my income by both working full-time for AvenueWest and helping clients buy and sell their homes on the side using the leads provided by AvenueWest,” says Cindy. “It was truly wonderful to be able to help a client through the various stages of their housing process, from finding temporary housing and then later helping them buy a permanent home.”
In mid-2009, Cindy grew restless and was looking for a new challenge. She consulted her husband, Wayne, who had spent more than two decades in sales and marketing and also had a real estate license, about the idea of franchising the AvenueWest Corporate Housing brand and turning the company’s Colorado Springs satellite office into a full-fledged, independently owned and operated franchise.
It didn’t take much convincing for Wayne, or the owners of AvenueWest, Kimberly and Eric Smith, to see the value of doing this. Shortly thereafter, the Smiths began the process of creating AvenueWest Global Franchising, which would give the Minks’ and other real estate professionals the opportunity to grow local businesses using the trusted AvenueWest brand and proven-to-be-profitable business model perfected by AvenueWest.
On January 1, 2010, Cindy and Wayne became AvenueWest Global Franchise’s first franchisees. Cindy and Wayne agree that real estate professionals can only benefit by adding AvenueWest as an additional “leg” of their current offerings. But they warn that it can take some time to build. “It can take some time to educate individuals and real estate professionals about corporate housing, as it is a new concept for most. Our advice is to be patient, diligent, and consistent and good things will come,” say the Minks.
“That said, there is nothing like having the power of the AvenueWest name behind you, helping you get off your feet, and constantly bringing you client leads. The company has changed our lives and has put us in comfortable financial position, which is a good place to be in these moody real estate times,” they add.
To learn more about the Minks and the available rental properties offered through the AvenueWest Global Franchise in Colorado Springs, Colorado, visit ColoradoSprings.AvenueWest.com.
AvenueWest's Founder Kimberly Smith served as past President of the Board of Directors for the Corporate Housing Providers Association.
AvenueWest founders are nationally recognized as the industry experts by the NY Times, CNBC, USA Today, NBC Today Show, SmartMoney.com, Forbes.com, CoBiz Magazine, US News & World Report, LA Times, and the Chicago Herald.
The experienced team at AvenueWest Global Franchise guides you through the steps needed to replicate this award winning system. Working as a team we provide you with the tools needed to integrate property management, marketing, leasing, sales and accounting aspects of the business to equip you to quickly find success in the corporate housing industry.