I have referenced the company brand versus independent agency in the past. My carreer actually started in downtown Windermere at a boutique office. I received some great tutoring there, but what I realized after a few years, was that I was missing a majority of clients due to lack of “clout” or brand recognition.
Truth is, you can be the best agent in the world, but if people don’t know or trust your company, they may choose to go elsewhere. Think about it. When you go to a new town or country, you may choose a familiar restaurant or store with the assumption that you know what to expect. The truth in real estate is that a brand does NOT mean you won’t get a bad agent, but it does give the consumer a little more recourse should things go south. I struggled leaving my old office, as I felt comfortable there and liked the location. What I soon discovered was that my new clients had better options with the brand that I could never provide on my own. For example, CENTURY 21, being a global company, provided me the ability to market to areas I could never reach on my own. We are a destination city and many folks have vacation homes in the area. The ability to reach these folks was key.
Beyond that, I also gained some amazing technology. As a franchise, we pay a portion of each sale to corporate. This helps us leverage our marketing dollars to get some pretty amazing tools such as our ZAP platform, which I could never afford on my own, but is free to our agents. It was purchased by corporate for 165 million a few years back and provides marketing and sales tools for our companies. As an individual, agents are limited in what they can spend personally on marketing. As a franchise agent, I have more options for marketing that are provided to me and that allows me to try other options on my own. It also means I have access to clients that would never find me on their own via our global client portal and referral network. I usually explain it like this. If you live in a community with an HOA, you know that the common areas, roads, gates etc. would not be a cost you could cover on your own, so you share that cost with the rest of your neighbors. While I don’t love giving up a portion of each sale, I do understand the value and extra business I generate just from the relationship. Unfortunately, many agents don’t see this and are all about their bottom line while not seeing the bigger picture.
Our business is built on relationships and the more people I can work with, the more likely I am to get referrals. It’s all about perspective. In the end, I am happy to work with a franchise that not only supports me, but it also supports my clients! Thinking of buying or selling? Give me a call! 321-293-2240