Quick Takeaways

  • Franchises often come with brand recognition, already in place policies and procedures, and proven success
  • Independent firms often come with more room for personalization, freedom, and lack of what some feel can be arbitrary rules
  • There is no perfect answer, choosing between a franchise and an independent firm takes research and a serious look at your goals

Source: Ask Sean: Should I Buy a Franchise or Start my own Brokerage? (The Close, Dec.. 14, 2020)

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2021 Member Profile, 95 percent of REALTORS® belong to either an independent or franchised firm. According to the same report, 46% of REALTORS® are affiliated with a franchised company while 49% belong to an independent firm.

Franchising is a great option for REALTORS® who want to grow their business but do not want to start a firm from the ground up. One of the biggest benefits of joining a franchise is brand recognition and already existing marketing power. While you may have less control over commission splits and other fees, you often get access to useful tools in return.

Independent firms often come with more independence, as their name suggests. Independent firms do not have a national brand managing their marketing materials or policies, providing a great deal of flexibility. While franchised firms do provide brand recognition, they also are often seen by communities as perhaps less knowledgeable about local issues than independent, local firms.

Choosing between a franchise and an independent firms is a very personal choice – you know what is best for your business. Make sure to take into consideration your marketing style and needs, what kind of fee split will work best for you, and what type of office environment you work best in.

See References for more information.

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