Franchise Vs. Independent Real Estate Brokerage – Finding the Right Fit

Running your own real estate agency and brokerage is a big step for most real estate agents, and one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make along the way is whether to  partner with a real estate franchise or go at it alone. Here’s some insight on your options.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining an independent brokerage? 

Choosing to go the independent route has both pros and cons for brokers. The main attraction is having complete autonomy – you aren’t answerable to anyone other than yourself. You can control the development of your own brand, find your own clients and you don’t have to pay any franchise fees.

Sounds great, but being autonomous means that the burden of your success is entirely on your shoulders. All training, marketing strategies, recruitment, retention and growth is up to you. You are the deal doctor, the office counselor, the janitor, the first to arrive and the last to leave at night. It’s also up to you to research the latest and greatest lead gen technology or CRM and build and maintain your brand – a big task in a tough economy and a competitive property market. Trying to keep up can leave you feeling burned out and the investment required to stay ahead can end up costing you much more than a franchise fee in the end.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a real estate franchise? 

As you might expect, this can depend a lot on who you choose to partner with. While there will always be tradeoffs, affiliating does not have to mean “selling out” or giving up your business to big brother. With the right brand, you can tap into the power of a national system, but hold on to the great things you are already doing in your local market.

Yes, affiliating with an established real estate brand usually means sharing your individual brand with the brand of the franchisor. In most cases this is a benefit, as the brand of a good franchisor will be more powerful and far-reaching than that of an independent agency. Our experience is that most brokers welcome this as part of the other benefits they receive by affiliating. You will still do business with the people who know you, but you will be able to open the doors to people who don’t. Control of your business typically remains in your hands, depending on the policies of your franchise agreement. A system like Weichert’s for example, was conceived by an independent broker, for brokers. It offers a full buffet of training, systems, sales and marketing tools that have been used successfully by hundreds of offices across the country. They are available for you to plug into your business to help you grow. We know they work, but at the end of the day it is up to you how to integrate our programs and systems into your business.

Of course there are inevitably franchise fees, ranging from 6 to 10 percent depending on who you sign with. In the end, you must weigh the opportunity to improve and grow your brokerage vs. the time and dollar investment it will take to do it on your own. Ask yourself these questions: Can I get where I want to be on my own? How do the costs compare? How long will it take me to do it myself? Am I happy with my work/life balance? Am I effectively competing in my market? Can affiliation help me stay ahead? Can it help me reach my goal faster?

Is The Weichert Franchising System The Right Opportunity For You And Your Brokerage? 

Critical to getting the most benefits out your affiliation with a real estate franchise is committing to the right franchise partner. Different franchise opportunities offer different operating models which can lead to different results. Some large, well known real estate brands for example, offer little more than their logo and branding to their affiliates. The Weichert Franchise System couldn’t be more different. Our affiliates are taught a system for success which includes all the elements of the modern brokerage including lead generation and technology for example. The Weichert system is a real estate franchise opportunity developed by real estate agents and brokers with the flexibility to work within each brokerage’s needs, rather than offering a less effective one-size-fits-all solution. We offer access to the most sophisticated national lead collection and screening technologies in the country to support high-value lead generation for your brokerage. Our formula for growth combines effective online and offline marketing tools with expert, one-on-one real estate coaching and training, and even a proprietary real estate CRM which integrates your brokerage and fosters our complete lead lifecycle methodology. This franchise offering is part of a practical, hands-on partnership that brings continual innovation and support to each franchisee and keeps your business moving towards your goals even in the toughest times.

For more information on The Weichert Franchising System or the benefits of partnering with us through our real estate franchise opportunities, please contact us today.