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Robin & Mike…,  in 84060

I am curious about the advantages of being part of a name-brand brokerage vs. a small brokerage. We have

Asked by Robin & Mike Mazzone, 84060 Wed May 6, 2009

owned our own small brokerage for 5 years, but are wondering if we should consider joining up with a bigger name. Are there buyers and sellers who look for brokerage name recognition when it comes to hiring an agent?

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Written by JOE RUNFOLA | May 27, 2009 8:56 AM Home Selling in Staten Island
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A Boutique Agency (such as Clove Lake Realty) could be described as a firm that has between 5 and 30 agents. Recently a number of small firms have gone out of business, and some large firms have changed their names and downsized. But there are some smaller firms that are still surviving, and even thriving, in the current market, namely Clove Lake Realty. The reason is their reputation, history, and established client base. That combined with advances in technology, low overhead, and a personalized managerial style allow this small firm an advantage over the larger franchises. In uncertain markets clients and customers lean toward well-established firms that have survived tough times. Most sellers are looking for a firm that demonstrates stability and a hands on broker. Sales agents are jumping ship at many big companies where there is a lot of dead weight, anonymity, and your on your own attitude. They find solace at boutique companies due to more training, guidance, and broker access. Buyers and sellers also realize boutique agencies allow the same access to peruse everything that's on the market. I hope this will assist you when deciding to choose a real estate firm to represent you. Clove Lake Realty Inc. is licensed by the NY State Dept. of State, and is located at 1267 Clove Road Staten Island, NY 10301, 718-556-7797. Visit us at
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
I absolutley agree with Jessica Taccetta. Just because a name brand company has a lot of agents doesn't make them a better company than a small one. From a Broker's perspective, some of the big name Broker's I have co-broked with were the worst at doing their part of the transaction. I find the smaller companies care more about their clients and reputation when it's their name on the door! I have also worked for a few different "big names" and decided to go on my own in 1994 and have never regretted the decision!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
One more thing, some of these larger companies offer monetary incentives for agents to recruit other agents or new agents. They get some of what whoever they recruited makes. That leads to large companies with lots of agents who are hired based on quantity rather then quality
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
Having worked for both I will say this: a brand name may get business soley on their name, but the quality of service, attention and professionalism with a smaller company is unmatchable. Smaller companies rely on referral business based on agent and broker performance so quality of service is key, not brand name. It is you who are providing service to your clients and customers, keeping them informed, and spending time with them. Keep it small, caring enough about each individual you work with will let you give them the quality of service they deserve and keep you away from the cut throat competitive environment that does not benefit anyone.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
I strongly disagree, I feel it is the quality of the agent that makes a brokerage firm! I worked for 15 years for Re/Max and never made more money than when I went to a local small firm, at that time, now their big as their reputations have gone out into the neighborhoods, because of the quality of their agents and it is still a 100% company.
When a smaller brokerage joins a national firm, "I feel" they and their agents get swalloed up, things change even though they shouldn't!
Keep your small brokerage and work on improving the quality of your agents and bringing in new aents, improve your technology, be different!
Debbie J
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
On the average, having the name of a brand name over you building is positive for business.

Our team at CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes enjoys this advantage at listing and buyer presentations. Nonetheless, we live in a highly dense area with many brand names and so our presentations also include how we are different from the pack.

In your area, you may need to study your competition in order to answer your question. In smaller towns, the local 'mom and pop' shop may be as well received as a brand name.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 7, 2009
Yes they often do look for a recognized and trusted name to do business with. While a small brokerage can offer wonderful training and mentorship, large brokerages have prestige,advertising and market presence.As a matter of fact, it was name that helped me choose the agent that sold me my first home, and name that sold me on the brokerage to join, when I later became an agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Robin & Mike,
Good question. I am a Broker/Associate with ReMax ACR Elite Group, Inc in Largo FL. Without a doubt I have received business solely based on the brand. When I have asked why you called ReMax some have replied, "Is there anyone else?" There is great value in brand name association. The 95% is good and it's all about real estate not recruiting!

HOWEVER, there are brokers who do well in localized markets, being the 'without a doubt' expert in their area. Consider expanding your ranks to saturate your market. Develop a productivity suite of tools agents need to succeed and make these tools freely available. Create proprietary lead generation sources and keep the flames burning with high energy optimism and collaborative teamwork.

I wish you the very best and prosperous outcome in whatever you choose to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Brand names get you automatic credibility. And, they have more resources available to them for training, marketing, etc. Last, but not least - the referral aspect is great. Check out KW - it's a different model and might be the "hybrid" that would work best for you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
I am not a buyer or seller but in the St. Louis area the majority of buyers and sellers do tend to gravitate towards the larger brand brokerages. Smaller brokerages that do well have a niche market. I would assess what is going on in your region/selling area and find out which brokerages are doing well and why. It is difficult for a small brokerage to compete with the larger ones unless you can emphasize your point of difference to your potential clients (or have a great referral network).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
I think some will use a large brand brokerage just because they are visual people. But I am sure, that by you being a broker you well know that this is a referral business and opportunity in sales come from the ones you know and the level of service you provide. Seeing that you have been in business for five years must mean that you have had a referral base going and people do trust your service. But much to all of our dismay this economy did change the rules and we must change how our business is done. I would like send you a book entitled SHIFT and encourage you to speak with your local Keller Williams Market Center. I think that there is huge opportunity in this market for you and my wishes would be for more success for you. Please let me know where I may send your book.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 8, 2009
Most folks don't even know the name of our company until we write a contract and they see it. Oh, Get Us A Home Realty, That's a nice name, go figure...
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
Robin & Mike: Every answer here has its ring of truth to it. In my opinion, Bing Byrne hits it right on the nail when he said: "It all depends on your business plan".

Most people do not even concern themselves with this but, you could be in any company, big or small, instant name recognition or all about you and in the end, if you have no clear view of what YOU want and - even more important - WHY are you in this business...the results will be the same either way.

With no plan and no clear understanding of why you are in this business, you will fail. With a clear plan and reason for waking up every morning, chances are you will succeed regardless of the company.

Having said all that, as a member of a big name company which is #3 in the industry (up from #4 this year), with over 70,000 agents in the USA and Canada, a great corporate culture and benefits unmatched by others, a large company also allows you the freedom to move around, build relationships in other cities, work a referral business typically guarded among members of the same company and an ability to help relocating folk and returning military regardless of transfer or plans for their future.

Don't make a decision before looking at all your options. Following models will make your life much easier if they exist where you are. National names will typically have proven models to share. If you can, pick up the book "Millionaire Real Estate Agent" and take a close look at the models you should follow regardless of where you go.

All the best and remember...Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on your business plan. If you are a small office and plan on staying small then I wouldn't consider a franchise especially if you are well established in your area. If you have plans to grow and recruit and train new agents then a franchise offers the advantages you may need.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
Brand names are worthless.

It's the support that the company provides that make it a great experience.

People work with people they like, know and trust. That's sales 101. Boutique companies are popular because they are seen as flexible, agile and highly specialized.

Keller Williams is the last real estate big brand I will ever work for. If they do something radical to change I will go with a boutique company again.

I would look into the Keller Williams Model, I think the support that you have from them is incredible. Contact me if you would like me to walk you through any questions!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 27, 2009
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
In this current foul economic climate, there are more independent agents and one man shops than you can shake a stick at. It makes a tremendous diiference when looking to to bring on a new agent if you can offer corporate training, company tools and marketing, and the occasional influx of referral or relocation business. All good agents know you can't depend on these things, but it sure makes the icing on the cake sweeter.

Think of it this way; the next time you need to purchase a car, do want to buy one that has a name on it that you recognize such as Chevrolet, Ford, etc... Or would you be willing to take a chance on the guy that builds his own, but no one has ever heard of his brand and it has never been crash tested?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 26, 2009
The advantages to a brand are huge. Resources, products, credibility, just to name a few of the biggies. It is my experience that the only thing a small company has to offer a customer over a brand is lowered commission. If you have to lower your commission to get the deal you make less than having a franchise fee and a split and the customers that are looking for a deal on the commissio are not always willing to get fewer services to get it they want the work and results of a brand and the price of a no name.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
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