There are two kinds of real estate brokerages: boutique/independent and franchise/corporate. The biggest difference starts at the top. A franchise firm is managed by a corporation, while an independent firm is managed locally by the owners and operators. That said, the team here at Relaxed Agent love all brokers and work with both franchise and boutique brokers but our ❤️ rests with the underdogs 🙂. Here are a few reasons we've found that go over the benefits of joining a local boutique brokerage. Enjoy!
A boutique brokerage has complete flexibility and control when it comes to working in real estate. They get to operate their business their way and can extend the best services for their local area. A franchise like KW or BH does have some grasp of control on a local level, but not to the extent as that of an boutique brokerage. A boutique broker will have to handle and manage more, but being able to change quickly with the local market conditions is well worth it.
For example, most independent brokers have the freedom to build and deploy their own website. This is great especially considering that more homebuyers are searching online for properties. The days of buyers actually going to a home and viewing it for the first time are drastically decreasing. The power to build a custom website that meets customers’ needs can help independent real estate brokers attract more buyers to their business. Expensive!? Not really. With resources like Webflow, Squarespace, Placester, and WordPress, creating a website has never been easier!
Okay, some franchise brokers beat independent brokers on this one. Real estate brokers working with a franchise company (Keller Williams, Century 21, RE/MAX, etc.) tend to have more resources available to them than independent brokers. Which they should considering the amount of marketshare they take up! But are they valuable resources for their local market? Every real estate firm offers training and technology on some level to their agents. It’s not the amount of resources available that matter, it’s the firm’s ability to understand which resources should be deployed.
Although franchise brokers have more resources at their fingertips, they are typically packaged in a “box” and offer limited flexibility. For example, brokers might have to use these franchise tools or market their listings in a way that promotes the franchise’s corporate culture and complies with regulations. Independent brokers may offer fewer resources to their agents, but they are free to experiment with all options.
Almost every Franchise Broker is required to pay a franchise fee on each transaction to the corporate office. So, if you're are an agent with a franchise, before you or the local office can split the commission, a fee must be paid to the corporate office... These big fees can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Independent brokers don’t have that financial burden, which means they can use the money they save to invest in things that will better serve the business and clients locally. Think community :)
Branding and brand recognition are important when it comes to deciding whether to join a franchise or an independent broker. Inman.com published an article that outlines the sheer passion when it comes to local brokerages and their identity to set them apart:
"Boutique real estate brokerages march to the beat of their own drum — and they’re on fire. Their popularity is fueled, in part, by the passion of their owners, who cultivate unique brands, cultures and business models."
Stacked upon several dozen agents at a franchise brokerage sits your name. The competition that floods a local market can be difficult for a new agent -even with corporate training-. If you're lucky enough to be mentored by a rockstar agent, you may surface stronger than when you started and competition may turn out to be a good thing! With boutique brokerages, the commission splits and comradery of your fellow agent makes it seem more like a team effort then a lone wolf scenario.
In addition to asking these questions, having a team of superstars that ensure your transaction is BRE compliant is a must if you're expecting to crush it! Relaxed Agent provides seamless and professional support to help you every step of the way. For more information on how we can help, call us today 760-213-0110 or send our team an email 👉 email@example.com.
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