Bob Purvin recently participated in the June 30th podcast of Commercial Real Estate Radio, hosted by Howard Kline. The topic of the podcast was “Opening a Franchise: American Dream or a Landlord Nightmare?”, and Bob was joined at the roundtable by Perry Roshan-Zamir, Vice President and General Counsel of Baja Fresh and Robin Day Glenn, a franchise attorney who has been representing franchisors in California for many years.

Together, the roundtable guests brought decades of franchise legal experience and very different perspectives to the lively and congenial discussion.

Throughout the one-and-a-half-hour episode, the guests discussed the current trends in franchise real estate and some of the trickiest issues that franchisees, franchisors and landlords face when negotiating a real estate deal. Some of the specific topics that the guests tackled included the importance of the real estate lease to the franchise operation, changing trends in franchise leases, how different franchisors exert control over a franchisor’s location and real estate lease, the growing rise in lease riders, and the relationship between franchisors and landlords.

The guests provided important insights from the perspective of the different parties involved: the franchisee, the franchisor, and the landlord. As Perry mentioned early in the episode, a large amount of conflicts between franchisors and franchisees are related to lease and landlord disputes.

An important point that Bob brought up during the discussion was the need for franchisees to use an experienced franchise attorney when making real estate decisions. Many new franchise buyers make the mistake of believing that their franchisor is their mentor and will negotiate a lease with the best interests of the franchisee in mind. This is not always the case, and there are many instances of lower-tier franchisors that have little if any knowledge and experience in negotiating a real estate deals on behalf of their franchisees.

This podcast produced some really great discussions and highlighted a lot of real estate issues that are important to new and current franchisees. We strongly recommend taking some time to listen to the recorded podcast, available on the Commercial Real Estate Radio website. This will be a valuable listen for current franchisees, those considering buying a franchise, real estate agents looking to break into the franchise market, and landlords who want to attract franchise tenants.

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Robert Purvin is the Chairman and CEO of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, a national non-profit trade association that is dedicated to supporting and protecting the rights of franchise owners.
The AAFD's mission is to define, identify and promote Total Quality Franchising practices, and the AAFD supports is mission by:
Promoting strong and effective independent franchisee associations as affiliated chapters of the AAFD.
The development of the AAFD's Fair Franchising Standards, the most comprehenisve body of negotiated principles of recommended franchise practices in existence.
The advocacy of fair and balanced franchise agreements and relationships that respect the legitimate business interests of both franchisors and franchisees for the good of the franchise relationship.
The education of franchisees and prospective franchisees by the development and publication of the AAFD Fair Franchising Standards and the promotion of the AAFD Franchisee Bill of Rights.