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Real Estate Agents Who Work at Big Brands and Small Independents BOTH Deserve a Shot at Earning Your Trust and Business

Whether you’re buying a car, choosing a hotel, or shopping for groceries, people often buy things based upon the brand name. So when it comes to buying or selling a house, many people think that they should hire an agent who works for a nationally known brand.

It’s understandable logic, since brands and franchises are supposed to provide consumers with a consistent, predictable experience from one location or product to the next. Plus, brands tend to be the most top-of-mind and available choices on the market, so it’s no surprise that they tend to seem like the most popular or best selling product or service in any market segment.

But if you’re too focused on hiring an agent who affiliates with a large, well-known brand, you could be missing out on working with a great agent who doesn’t have the name brand on their cards or signs. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently published their 2023 Profile of Real Estate Firms which revealed that 86% of real estate companies are actually independently owned, non-franchised firms.

Do they have as many agents in their office as a nationally branded company in their area does, or do as much business as the larger brands they compete with? Probably not, considering the report also stated that 81% of the real estate firms usually had a single office, with three full-time real estate licensees.

But in real estate, the number of agents working out of a particular office, or the number of houses they collectively sell, and ultimately the brand they work for isn’t necessarily a guarantee that they’ll produce the best results possible, or even a predictable experience.

Real estate brands aren’t like brands who can package a product or service in a cookie-cutter way that will be the same for each customer no matter where they make their purchase. It’s not a hamburger and fries, or a hotel room. A real estate transaction has way too many variables, such as:

  • Each agent is typically an independent contractor. The brand can have guidelines and systems in place, but ultimately each agent is allowed to run their business and handle their clients the way they see fit. When an agent is an independent contractor, the brand cannot dictate what the agent does, when they do it, or how they do it.
  • Each market is different. No matter what you hear on the news about whether the real estate market is on fire, prices are plummeting, or a bubble is about to burst, it’s certainly not accurate for every area or price range. The market could be drastically different from one price range to another in your town. So it would be impossible for brands to guarantee you how long, easy, or difficult of a process it will be for every client in every area and price range.
  • Clients make their own decisions. Even if an agent gives the best advice possible, a client doesn’t have to listen to it, which can easily make the process take longer, or impact the results they get. A brand can’t do anything about that.
  • There are a lot of other people involved in a transaction. Even if you have the best agent, giving the best advice to clients who listen to every word of it, there’s still a chance that the buyer or seller (or their agent) on the other side of the deal could do something that makes the deal take longer, be more stressful, or even fall apart.

What real estate brands can provide across the board are the different tools, services, and compensation models they use to attract agents to their brand. Some agents certainly choose a brand based upon the brand-recognition it provides with some consumers, but it’s also more of a business decision for agents, and they choose the brand and office which is the best fit for their business needs, like training, marketing materials, support, or better compensation terms.

Ultimately, it’s the skills and processes of the agent you hire that will get you the best possible results when buying or selling a house, not the size of their company, the color of their sign, or the brand logo. Being with a big brand isn’t a guarantee they’ll do a better job for you, and being with a small, local, independent one doesn’t mean they won’t do a good job for you.

Be open to hiring an agent from either a big or small brand. Hire the agent you feel knows the market, and has the skills to help you achieve the best results possible whether you’re buying or selling a house.

 

The Takeaway:

Brands and franchises are supposed to provide consumers with a consistent, predictable experience from one location or product to the next, which may cause people to think they should only hire a real estate agent who works for a well-known brand. But if you’re too focused on hiring an agent who affiliates with a national brand, you could be missing out on working with a great agent who doesn’t have the name brand on their cards or signs, since 86% of real estate companies are actually independently owned, non-franchised firms.

When hiring a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a house, be open to hiring an agent from either a big or small brand. Hire the agent you feel knows the market, and has the skills to help you achieve the best results possible whether you’re buying or selling a house. Ultimately, it’s the skills and processes of the agent you hire that will get you the best possible results when buying or selling a house, not the size of their company, the color of their sign, or the brand logo.

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