Most REALTORS® are likely to be affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. The decision to join a franchise or an independent firm can be difficult. There are pros and cons to each.


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Firm Affiliation of REALTORS®

  • 52% of REALTORS® are affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company.
  • While brokers and broker associates (57%) are most often affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company, sales agents are split more evenly with 48% belonging to an independent company, 46% belonging to a franchised company, and 6% reported as “other.”
  • Less REALTORS® reported an affiliation with a franchised company (42%) than with an independent company (52%).

Source: National Association of REALTORS® 2020 Member Profile

Franchises: The Basics

How to Buy a Real Estate Franchise (The Motley Fool, Oct. 03, 2020)

@Properties Rolls Out National Franchise Program (REALTOR® Magazine, Sep. 30, 2020)

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Announces Addition of Synergy Realty Group to its Global Brokerage Franchise Network (Business Wire, Sep. 15, 2020)

The Franchise Life (REALTOR® Magazine, September – October 2019)

REALTORS® Find a Better Model to Sell Homes (Business Observer, Jul. 5, 2019)

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Franchise (Forbes, Feb. 27, 2019)

Independents: The Basics

Pulse: The State of the Indie Broker Going into 20201 (Inman, Dec. 01, 2020)

Greenville Group Launches Real Estate App to Compete Locally with Zillow (The Post and Courier, Nov. 28, 2020)

Do Independent Real Estate Brokers Need an Office? (The Balance, Dec. 6, 2019)

Less Hassle, More Creativity: The Independent Broker Advantage (RISMedia, Oct. 9, 2019)

A Real Estate Office on Wheels (REALTOR® Magazine, Sep. 6, 2019)

The ABCs of Opening Your Own Brokerage (REALTOR® Magazine, Jun. 26, 2019)

Franchise or Independent: How to Choose?

How to Choose a Real Estate Company to Work for (Fit Small Business, Aug. 19, 2020)

The Real Trends 500: Ranking the Top Brokerages in the U.S. (REAL Trends, Mar. 26, 2020)

Pros and Cons of Buying a Franchise (The Balance, Jan. 3, 2020)

How to Start a Real Estate Brokerage (Placester, Sep. 17, 2019)

Indie vs. Franchise: Which Brokerage is Best for You? (PNC, Aug. 14, 2019)

Choosing the Type of Real Estate Company to Work For (RISMedia – Real Estate Express, Mar. 8, 2019)

To Franchise or Not to Franchise? That is the Question (RISMedia, Dec. 12, 2018)

Pros and Cons of Independent vs Franchise Brokers (Sold.com, Aug. 7, 2018)

Useful Websites

Buying a Franchise: A Consumer Guide (Federal Trade Commission, Feb. 2008)


eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Consultant & Independent Contractor Agreements (eBook)

Creating An Independent Income In Real Estate! (eBook)

Free Agent Nation (eBook)

Real Estate Confronts the Future (Thompson South-Western in association with RealSure, Inc., 2005) HD 1375 SWCR

Business Lessons for Entrepreneurs: 35 Things I Learned Before the Age of Thirty (Thompson South-Western in association with RealSure, Inc., 2003) HD 2346 C89

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