D...Thank you for your question. I am a experienced agent that has enjoyed many years of success in real estate. I started my career at a locally owned and operated company that was very well respected within the market. This was a great training company for new agents. I am very aggressive and a quick learner so I hit the ground running and did a lot of business. After being awarded Rookie of the Year, I chose to join a company new to town because it allowed me to keep more of the commissions which is a benefit to me and to my clients such as Deborah explained. No one new of this company and would ask "Keller who?" but yet my business soared to new levels because of my skill and expertise. This company is now recognizable on a local and a national level. Keller Williams is now the 2nd largest company nationwide. After many great years at Keller Williams as a top producing agent, I just made a change to another up and coming company that allows me to keep even more of the commissions than Keller Williams thus benefiting me and my clients once again. This company has 2400 hundred agents right now compared to Keller Williams 7000 plus and ReMax 10000 plus. This company has been featured for its technology on CNN among other accolades; however, consumers do not really know of this company so I am back to "what company did you say your were with?"... I feel like I am back at the "Keller who?" but it is so much fun telling people about my new company and educating them on what matters. I know that I am selling myself and what I do for my clients and how I market my listings...not my company. Would I have made this move if my clients were going to suffer and my business was going to decrease? Absolutely NOT!
You see D, companies advertise their company name. When you see the ReMax hot air balloon or the billboards...do you see your home being advertised or the ReMax name being advertised? Agents are 100% commission in most states and with most companies because we are independent contractors. We pay our brokers to hold our licenses and allow us to use their "name" such as ReMax or Keller Williams. Agents choose their companies based on training, cost to do business, and commission splits. A newer agent needs to be at a company that trains new agents and they will pay a higher split because of the need for that training. An experienced top producing agent needs a higher level of training which can sometimes be found within their company and can always be found within the real estate industry by independent leading trainers and not a specific company. A great agent seeks higher levels of education to keep their skills sharp and their businesses growing.
The companies advertise the company name...the agents advertise their listings. With that being said...it does not matter what company you list with...it matters what agent you list with. There are good agents and there are bad agents at every company... it does not matter big firm or small firm. The MLS will give your listing exposure to every buyer and every agent. Homes listed on the MLS feed to every company website include the big firms. Websites such as Trulia and Realtor.com give you additional national and international exposure to buyers. Agents do not care if they sell a ReMax, a Keller Williams, a Prudential, or a local companies listing etc...they simply care that they find their buyer the home that meets their buyers needs. Agents cannot steer for any reason!
When you list with an agent at a big firm do you really think that the other 100,000 plus agents within the firm are also working hard for you? Absolutely NOT! They are working for their clients...they are working to get their own listings sold. Does an agent need a company name to network or talk about your home? Absolutely NOT! I have friends in every real estate company. I network with agents and lenders etc all across the country from all different companies. Even the agents here on Trulia are from all different companies... some small and some large and some in the middle. A company name has nothing to do with your home selling or not selling... the agent has everything to do with it!
Interview...Interview...Interview until you find an agent that is a match for you in personality that has a complete marketing plan with heavy interneting marketing which includes Trulia and Realtor.com with multiple photos etc. Find an agent that works hard to get their listings sold...an agent that does just put the home in the MLS and cross their fingers that it will sell. Find an agent that will tell you the truth about price and condition. Do not worry about company name...worry about what it is they are going to do for you and how are they going to communicate with you and how are they going to get your home sold.
If you choose the wrong agent...say NEXT fast!
This is not to say to say that listing w/ ReMax is less advantageous. I am not making that statement at all. With ReMax, the agents function highly autonomously. The ReMax agents keep the majority of their commissions, and from the monies they keep, they pay for the advertising and marketing expenses. One ReMax agent may do a lot for their clients, and even employ assistants, and have sophisticated tracking systems. Another may not have those benefits to offer a seller. In contrast, another large company may handle more of the marketing functions for the agents, and pay the agent a lesser portion of the commission.
You can certainly interview agents from large companies or small. Do gain an understanding of what marketing, communication and representation will be provided and who (company or agent) will be handling what. An agent from a large company may be doing a lot of "solo" work; while an agent from a small company may have tremendous backing and support from their company. What matters to you as a seller is that your property gets maximum exposure to the widest pool of potential buyers and aggressive marketing to all buyer agents at all companies.
Your best buyer may be working with an agent anywhere..........and that is why you want your property marketed everywhere. You don't want a company to represent you that is focused on getting an in-house deal. You want seller representation that is committed to finding you the best offer from any and all buyers anywhere.
You, as a seller, still do want to know who is going to do what for you. I spoke w/ an agent from a large firm the other day who had no idea of who Googlebase, Trulia, Oodle, Propsmart, or Zillow were. Their response was that, "my company puts it on the web". If the agent doesn't even know where it is marketed, and is not checking on the listing for the seller, who is? When you speak w/ prospective agents, you need assurance that someone is taking responsiblitiy for managing your lisitng. If that someone is the listing agent, or the transaction manager supporting that agent does not matter. But, you do want to know that your listing is being monitored and promoted. Asking your agent who does what will provide answers that foster doubt or instill confidence. If your agent cannot answer, be wary. If you agent can confidently explain how he/she does it perosnally and juggles all those duties, or confidently shares with you how his/her support team is actively invovled but yet he/she stays on top of it....you have a potential winner in front of you.
I am cautious when I hear an agent claim, "We have more buyers" because this says to me that the focus is on looking within their company for a buyer, not looking anywhere your best buyer will be.
Buyers do not search the internet and say, "Oh, that home is listed with 'x', let's not see it." There might be a very extreme instance where a buyer was so angered by a firm that they avoid their listings. That is rare and extreme. Buyers choose properties to look at based upon what meets their needs. Even if they search on Brand A's site, they are searching all properties via an IDX search in most markets. The buyer will choose to look at a property depending upon how it is represented and if it fits their needs. If the buyer believes the property merits further attention, the buyer will contact their agent or the link where they found the property to make arrangement for an appointment.
As a seller, you want well written text descriptions, ample pictures that clearly show your property in its best light, and wide distribution of the property information. You also want to know that inquiries or requests for appts will be promptly attended.
I called an agent 3x in 2 days to set an appt to see a property that my buyer had an interest with no return call. The agent works for a large company. She could have just as easily worked for a small company. When setting appointments, sometimes the office can do it and I don't even need to speak directly with the listing agent. As a seller, you want to know that your inquiries will be tended to courteously and quickly.
Choose a sellers agent who is committed to you, the seller and finding you your best buyer.....from wherever that buyer may emerge.
A large -Nationally recognized firm may have more opportunities for their agents to Network, in-house marketing departments, training and access to Relocation companies. Since the internet is a big part of marketing now, having a Company website that is professionally done - is a big benefit. Having a good Marketing System is important. That being said, you may find a very experienced Veteran agent at a small firm, the agent may have a very effective system to promote your property to the masses.
It all comes down to finding an agent that YOU are totally comfortable with - that listens to what your expectations are - and provides you with a marketing plan that you agree with.
Real Estate is not one-size-fits-all.
I have worked for several Real Estate companies in the last 30 yrs. Some were smaller independent companies, and others are Internationally recognized Companies. I chose to affiliate myself with a Internationally recognized company for the extensive support I get, and Company name recognition has helped in many cases with both Buyers and Sellers being more comfortable working with me. I personally network with agents from both my company and many agents from other companies in our area when promoting my listings.
You may want to interview agents from several companies in your area, just to see who is the best fit for you. All the Best!
The benefits of having a Realtor that is associated with a big firm is the marketing resources that company can provide for you. In todays market place simply placing a home in the MLS isn't the way a home gets sold, if this were true all the homes in the MLS would be sold. Choosing a firm with an established brand name doesn't guarantee you have a good agent but can be reassuring to a buyer moving from another part of the country because they are familiar with the reputation of the firm. In the end it is what each individual broker regardless of firm will provide for you to market your home effectively to get your home sold!
A great agent will do a great job, whether affiliated with the top agency, the 2nd agency or one of the small independents. A quality agent knows how to market a home, and what it's going to take to get your home sold. Keep in mind, it's not the listing agent's job to SHOW your home, it's their job to market your home to all the other agents in the area, through the MLS, through brochures, flyers, broker's tours and any other methods at their fingertips. A good agent has a network of other good agents, and they talk up their own listings, and search out other agents who might be searching for just your type of listing.
Yes, ReMax is a good agency, just as Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker, but it's not their national advertising that's going to sell your property, it's one of the many agents working at the ground level who'll achieve that.
When you look at the numbers the main reason that one company sells more homes than another company is not because the company is better but usually because the company has more agents. For instance...here in Atlanta ReMax is number one over Keller Williams Realty which is number two and over Coldwell Banker which is number three. What makes ReMax number one...they have more agents than Keller Williams and Keller Williams has more agents than Coldwell Banker. That is why Coldwell Banker fell in position not because the company is no longer good or the agents within the company are no longer good. More agents mean more transactions. ReMax does more national branding of their name than any other company... but the clue here is that they are branding their name. Keller Williams Realty (the number 2 company nationwide) does absolutely no commercials, no billboards, no hot air balloons, because they understand a company is all about the agents...they offer a higher commission split so that the agents can advertise their listings and themselves which in turn grows the company further. THe Keller Williams website although professional no where compares to ReMax or Coldwell Bankers for ease of searching so fewer buyers stay there to search and yet they became the number 2 company nationwide and here locally. Coldwell Banker who has the best website locally and also does a lot of branding with their name here locally just like in your hometown fell to the number 3 position. So if having the number one website and all the marketing products made a company a better choice for consumers how did Coldwell Banker fall to number 3 in Atlanta and Keller Williams Realty rise to number 2 when Keller Williams leaves it up to the experienced agents to advertise?
Yes, 82% of buyers use the internet to search for homes before they hire an agent (realtor.com is the largest national website pulling from every MLS across the country with more hits than any other website putting ReMax website in the number 2 spot). Where they search for homes and who they use as an agent have nothing to do with each other. They are going to choose the agent that they are most comfortable with knowing that each agent has access to every listing.
D, if you hire a full time full service professional with a detailed and aggressive marketing plan and they implement that plan your home will sell regardless of what company the agent is with. The key is full service and full time. A great agent knows how to get their listings exposure and get them sold regardless of what company they are with. A bad agent in a Coldwell Banker or a ReMax or a Keller Williams will not get their listings the exposure. There are agents within every company that do not know how to sell a home especially in this market. If it were the company selling the homes, would not these agents be successful by default?
The new company I just changed to here locally from the number 2 company has been featured on CNN among numerous magazines etc for their advanced technology; however, this company is growing and building market share but has no where the market share of the top three yet... but for those of us that have made the change we will continue to represent our clients and do the marketing that we know sells our listings including the networking. It is the agent that sells the home not the company name.
Try holding interviews at your home. Invite 2,3 or4 different agents, some from big firms and some from small, and determine the difference for yourself.
Personally, I think is the agent that sells the house. I closed 7 deals in December and my firm is fairly small.
If you like I can act as a professional 3rd party intermediary and do the interviews for you (at no cost to you)since I am also able to network to other states. If you tell me your needs I can interview a big handful of people and show you the results saving you precious time.
Whatever you decide, Good Luck in your search!
I have used both. Depending on the market and the individual realtor or real estate agent, you get mixed results.
You can get " Nationally Recognized Blam-O Realty" and get handed to a not so motivated Real Estate agent that gets passed of as the primary contact on your deal /
OR you can get " Ted & Rea's 'Homes You Want' Real Estate agents, with a small local pair of offices and a real tiger shark set of agents.
Yes, There is Some Difference, I have had a deal handed down to a far suburban vice president from the main office that I had originally contacted (and was also a personal referal from a bank president friend of mine). ( Big Company)
I have been handled by rookies, that couldnt sell a house if you called them with closing papers ready.
( Local area only, with some developer contacts)
I have worked with National chain/ small office agents that will bend over backwards to do what is needed.( Sunday showings and Cell phone contact if running later than the sceduled time.)
Its all in your Interviews and your diligence with the people you call on.
You do Due Diligence on your Properties, Do it with your Realty agents as well.
Then in the End.......Its in your GUT!
BUT, ..........You will know whats right.
Good luck and Great Deals,
I've worked with two large franchises - currently with one of them now. I love my agency and can say nothing negative about it. The large franchises can offer the agent so much more than a small agency. That may, in turn, offer more to you. But don't just list with a large franchise without checking out the agent first. You could get a brand new, inexperienced person that way.
NOW - big agency vs small agency. Your chances of finding a well trained, experienced agent are usually better with a bigger name. These large agencies usually have a lot of training available and a staff to back up the agent. Listing with the biggest producer in your area may not be the best move either - unless you can be assured that you will be able to relate to (talk to) that agent on a regular basis. Often, The Big Agent is just the leader of the band. You probably won't get the leader (or even the brass section) but an assistant. If you don't mind that - go for it. However, if you want your hand held by the experienced agent you expected you may want to look for a high producing, successful single agent.
SO - does it matter if you list with one of the big franchises or not???
No - You need to find the agent who will do the job you need done - sell your house. That agent may be from a franchise or a small "Boutique" agency. Do your due diligence and check them out.
12 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your REALTORÂ®
Make sure you choose a REALTORÂ® who will provide top-notch service and meet your unique needs.
1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate â€” like many other professions â€” is mostly learned on the job.
2. What designations do you hold? Designations such as GRI and CRSÂ®, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.
3. How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year? By asking this question, youâ€™ll get a good idea of how much experience the practitioner has.
4. How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market? The REALTORÂ® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison.
5. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices? This is one indication of how skilled the REALTORÂ® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.
6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? You donâ€™t want someone whoâ€™s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so itâ€™s important that your REALTORÂ® is responsive.
7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction? While itâ€™s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, itâ€™s important to understand where the practitionerâ€™s obligations lie. Your REALTORÂ® should explain his or her agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party.
8. Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done? Because REALTORSÂ® are immersed in the industry, theyâ€™re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive compensation from any of the providers.
9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? Having resources such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, and assistance with technology can help an agent sell your home.
10. Whatâ€™s your business philosophy? While thereâ€™s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess whatâ€™s important to the agent and determine how closely the agentâ€™s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless thereâ€™s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?
12. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients? Ask recent clients if they would work with this REALTORÂ® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the REALTORÂ®.
I hope you found this helpful. Sincerely, Mary Marcilla, Keller Williams Realty, CRS, ePro, Realtor, CNE