How To

How to Choose the Right Brokerage For YOU

Whether you are new to real estate or you are just looking to make a change, selecting a brokerage can be stressful. Should you join and independent brokerage? What about a franchised brokerage? What’s the difference? Is there even a right or wrong answer? The answers to these questions can vary slightly depending on your location, but before you make any decisions, consider these questions.

Is a Franchise Brokerage or Independent Brokerage right for you?

First, let’s clear up some key differences between franchise and independent brokerages.
Franchise Brokerages (like Century 21, ReMax, etc):

  • Stronger national branding
  • More training classes
  • More resources available
  • Less choice on what tools they can provide for agents
  • Higher churn rate (heavy hiring to see which agents stick)
  • Part of Broker fees are paid back to franchise

Independent/Boutique Brokerages:

  • Lack national branding, but may have strong local branding
  • Less training classes, more hands-on and on-the-job training
  • Ability to choose tools and resources that are appropriate in local market
  • Flexibility to change tools offered as market needs change
  • Hire less agents making it more difficult to join
  • Broker fees are re-allocated to provide new tools and training for agents

Deciding between a franchise or independent brokerage comes down to what most aligns with your current goals as an agent. As a newer agent you may be drawn to the national recognition that a franchise brokerage gets. As a more experienced agent, you may be drawn to the individuality of an independent brokerage. There is no right or wrong answer, but starting with this question helps decrease the number of brokerages you have to look in to.

What’s your personality?

Before changing brokerages or starting a new real estate career with one, it’s important to understand your personality, specifically your strengths and weaknesses. The #1 Best Seller, Strengths Finder book is a great way to do just that. It takes you through a series of questions and delivers you with specific strengths areas and weak areas. Are you analytical? Futuristic? A learner? A maximizer? Once you have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, seek out Brokers and companies that complement your strengths and play to your weaknesses.

How important is culture to you?

In today’s age, company culture has become a hot topic in how people decide whether or not they want to work somewhere. This is not to say that culture was not important before, but it has quickly become a “must-have” versus a “might-have” discussion.

Company culture can be divided into 3 areas:

  • Flexibility
  • Professional development
  • Social activities

If you are the type of person who prefers to work alone or mostly with clients rather than engage with people in your company, culture might not be important to you. Companies who focus on culture have a belief in the “bottom up” approach – meaning they are only as good as their employees are. Before choosing a brokerage, it’s important to decide how important company culture is to you.

What were some deciding factors when you chose your current brokerage? How did you make the decision? Let us know in the comments below!


8 responses to ‘How to Choose the Right Brokerage For YOU

  1. I like this article too! – I think that you are writing about something that is very important for real estate agents and their broker. Its match making – and like dating, it does not always work out. Real estate is a relationship business. The relationship between the agent and their office manager or broker is as vital as the relationship between the agent and their client. Tools and training help, but if the relationship is toxic – it all fails.

    Keep up the great work – love the newsletter.

  2. Hey Ray – thanks for the comment! That’s awesome that your Brokerage is independent and provides you with great training! What training is provided is different situation by situation.

  3. Hey Victor! Thanks for commenting.

    I 100% agree with you that the agents always have a choice whether or not to use the tools that their Broker or MLS provides them.

    You also make a good point about training classes – it does depend on the Broker who owns the Franchise or the Independent Broker to decide what training they do or do not want to provide their agents.

    Overall, every city and Broker is different. I see what you’re saying about large vs. small Broker instead of the franchise vs. independent Broker comparison.

    Glad you like the Newsletter and *most* of our articles 🙂 Hope to see you around soon!

  4. Sorry, I missed to type ‘the’ before the word ‘best’. I type the sentence again! If you would like to consider the brokerage as part of your family in terms of support system, small-independent brokerages are the best.

  5. Good points. I also would like to add the sense of belonging to the brokersge. For example, if you’d like to treat the brokerage as part of your family in terms of receiving direct support all the time, small-independent brokerages are best.

  6. Slow down sister – the assumptions you assert as the differences between franchises and independent firms are a bit over reaching.

    I will give you National Branding – but strong local brands overcome that easily. Local market brand research indicates that even large brands struggle in new markets against incumbents. Brands only become valuable when consumers have good experiences repeatedly. Ask Sotheby’s about the tragic mistakes that they have made in some small resort markets.

    Training classes – You cannot make that assertion – many independent firms have far better training than franchise firms – This is more of a “large” vs. “small” broker observation. Smaller firms will typically have less training because they are not large enough to support a full time trainer.

    More Resources Available – again – you cannot make this claim that franchises have more resources available. – sometimes they do, but just as often, they do not. Again, this is more of a Large vs. Small broker observation.

    Choice – franchise or not, agents always have a choice – they can use the provided solutions of the franchise (which are poorly adoped), the tools provided from their broker, the MLS, or buy their own – For example – many agents choose Cloud CMA because they prefer it to anything else.

    Churn Rate – this has nothing to do with Franchise vs. independent – this has to do with the brokerage culture and office culture and financial considerations.

    If you take out the bit about National Branding, you have a pretty good article about the differences between large and small firms.

    I love your newsletter – keep up the great work – sorry that I was so stirred by this post. Sometimes its good to get people riled up! Have an awesome weekend.

  7. Not necessarily true about training. I’m with an independent brokerage. We are in 42 states and Canada and have more training weekly (25-30 hours) than any franchise company. ReMax is a franchise and their training is virtually non existent.

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