I get a lot of questions about licensing in the hospitality design world because of my past experience with some of the top manufactures so I never hesitate to chime in on the subject. Licensing is the white whale in design and helps people make a lot of money on some amazing design work. You need a really thick neck, gift for gab and a personal connection never hurts. Once you make a connection nurture that connection like any blooming friendship. I have seen agent that are very aggressive and others that sit by and wait for that phone to ring. In licensing you really need to maximize your time and spend almost all your waking time working a deal. If you are not working a deal in some format or do not have the proper avenue to get a deal done for your client you are really not that good.
The Correct Splits with a Licensing Agent
- Create a list of about 10 manufacturing partners that you would love to partner with and are not sure how to get into the door. 20%
- Create a list of all the manufactures that you already have gone to first base with and want to hand off to a professional agent. 15%
- Create a list of all the deals that you want to keep working yourself. 0%
More Items to Discuss with Your New Best Friend
- Agree on all the shared contacts you both have and those you are bringing to the table.
- Send your agent samples, bios, and tons of pictures to sent out on a moments notice to manufactures that want to see what you are all about.
- Have your agent send a representation agreement, all the contracts that you will ever be signing with manufactures or his agency. Get those to your lawyer to review.
- Make sure there is a 90-day get out of jail free card in the contract.
- Your agent within the week should have a battle plan for your licensing dynasty.
- Make sure that you have a 3-month plan at least and there are deliverables that your agent needs to have done or he is in breach of contract.
In this industry agents promise and hardly ever deliver so hold them accountable. If you don’t you will just become another horse in the stable and nothing will ever get done. There are saints and sinners in almost any industry just be careful and good luck.