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Firm Affiliation of REALTORS®
- 54% of REALTORS® are affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company.
- While brokers and broker associates (60%) are most often affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company, sales agents are split more evenly with 50% belonging to an independent company, 44% belonging to a franchised company, and 6% reported as “other.”
- Less REALTORS® reported an affiliation with a franchised company (41%) than with an independent company (54%).
Source: National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Member Profile
Franchises: The Basics
Busy CRE Professionals See Real Benefits of a Big Brand (Inman, Nov. 28, 2022)
“A brand with market presence and built-in awareness among developers, investors and consumers can give commercial brokers a valuable competitive edge. For instance, Doug Jennings, Co-Owner of RE/MAX Commercial Alliance in Colorado, has decades of industry experience working with large-scale commercial developments. But at his former brokerage — an unaffiliated independent firm — Jennings says he wasted a lot of time having to prove his credibility to potential clients.”
16 Real Estate Franchises to Start (Small Business Trends, Sep. 21, 2022)
“A real estate franchise is a business that provides services related to the buying, selling, or renting of real estate. These businesses can be involved in a variety of activities, such as property management, home inspection, and mortgage financing.”
20 Real Estate Companies Have 60% of Market Share (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 7, 2022)
“The residential real estate industry has been consolidating at an accelerated clip over the past several years and this data shows just how significant it is,” says Paul Bishop, T3 Sixty’s economist and vice president of research. T3 Sixty’s annual analysis tracks the largest real estate enterprises, franchise brands, and franchisees and ranks firms by sales volume, transaction sides, agent count, and year-over-year growth.
Independents: The Basics
The Biggest Challenges Indie Brokerages are Facing Right Now (Inman, Nov. 2, 2022)
“Individual agents, along with the industry at large, are experiencing an array of changes and challenges. From hurdles in the broader economy to local market adjustments to communicating new market realities with buyers and sellers, there’s plenty to keep real estate professionals on their toes.”
Big Dreams, Small Brokerages: Five Traits of Independent Firms Real Estate Agents Should Consider (Forbes, Feb. 17, 2021)
“At some point, every agent must make a tough decision: to work for an independent firm or a larger, franchised brokerage. According to the National Association of Realtors, as of 2020, the number of agents working for independent versus franchised brokerages was nearly evenly split. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all brokerages work for agents in the same way.”The ABCs of Opening Your Own Brokerage (REALTOR® Magazine, Jun. 26, 2019)
“Ramonica Caldwell, broker-owner of Ramonica Caldwell Real Estate Group LLC in Houston, opened her brokerage mainly for the freedom. She, too, decided to go independent to control her own brand and business identity. Today, she operates with two agents. “I always knew I wanted to have my own company no matter what job I was going to do. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I’m normally a go-getter in everything I do,” she says. In May 2017, she opened her doors after working the previous five years as an agent with different types of real estate brokerages.”
Franchise or Independent: How to Choose?
How to Choose a Real Estate Company to Work for (Fit Small Business, Jul. 14, 2022)
Choosing a real estate brokerage to join is personal, but there are some major differences between firms that can make your decision easier. First, figure out what type of firm first your life style and professional skills: a national franchise, a boutique brokerage, or a virtual brokerage. Next, decide between working solo or joining a team within the office. Finally, compare commission splits, fees and contracts.
Top Real Estate Brokerages by Volume in 2022 (Real Trends, Mar. 30, 2022)
The Real Trends 500 report has been released for 2022 and the top brokerages are available by both transaction sides and volume. The top three brokerages by volume are Compass, Realogy, and Home Services of America. The top three brokerages by transaction sides are Home Services of America, Realogy, and eXp Realty.
RE/MAX Broker Shares His Journey from Independent to Franchise Model (RIS Media, Oct. 15, 2021)
John Noughton, a Broker/Owner in New Hampshire, was an independent real estate agent looking to grow his business. He realized that, for him, the best way to put his agents first and provide them with the tools, technology, and marketing needed to achieve the growth he had in mind was to become part of a larger franchise. Brand recognition is huge, but making sure the culture of that brand fits your agents is sometimes even more important.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Franchise (liveabout.com, Jan. 3, 2020)
There are pros and cons of both franchising and remaining independent. Though brand name franchises can be expensive, they are also the cheapest opportunity many will ever have to own their own office. Franchises may require extra payments either upfront or on a regular basis of some sort, yet those payments are often paying for things tools and marketing that will boost your brand, in turn possibly making you more money. After doing research, make the best decision for you!
Buying a Franchise: A Consumer Guide (Federal Trade Commission, Feb. 2008)
eBooks & Other Resources
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
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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