Making the leap from real estate agent to broker and owner is a scary and exciting transition. It is one that leaves most filled with questions about finding their own path to success. One of the biggest forks in the road that all real estate brokers face at some point in their career is whether to maintain their brokerage’s independence or to join a franchise. Of course, like anything, there are pros and cons to both business models. Making the right decision for you and your team requires careful thought.
The Myths & Realities of Joining A Franchise
If you have been thinking about partnering with a franchise, you are likely being held back by a few common concerns. However, there are also tremendous benefits which attract thousands of brokers like yourself to make the leap every year. Here are some of the biggest myths and the surprising realities when you find the right fit.
Myth: I’ll Lose My Individuality. One of the biggest benefits of maintaining your independence as a real estate broker is being completely autonomous and able to explore your individuality as a business owner. For many, there is a strong emotional desire to maintain that independence, especially if you are operating a multi-generational brokerage that has, or will be, passed down within the family.
Reality: You Can Gain A Support Network And The Reach Of A National Brand. While some fear partnering will diminish their own brand, the truth is that most benefit from partnering with a franchisor that already has a powerful brand with a broader reach. Being tied to a company with a national platform can be a shortcut to gain credibility and trust within the community or simply raise your current standing in the market. Being the leader of a brokerage can be lonely. You are the captain of the ship and all the responsibility rests on your shoulders. However, aligning yourself with a franchisor that offers a personal business coach, as well as a network of other brokers and agents, can supply the necessary support, resources, and coaching you need to navigate forward with confidence.
Myth: It’s Too Costly. Franchising fees are also typically a main concern of real estate brokerage owners considering a partnership. When analyzing the pros and cons of a franchise and comparing them against one another, it is wise to consider the value that one receives in exchange for fees.
Reality: The Benefits Can Far Outweigh The Investment.
Let’s face it. You have to invest money to make money, but find the partnership that offers the most extensive systems and support for your investment. The cost should be inconsequential to the benefits received as a result. With the right partnership you can gain things like training and continuous learning opportunities for your agents, which can be very time consuming for you to do on your own. You can benefit from a franchisor’s more extensive resources when it comes to technology. By choosing a franchise that already has a suite of tech-savvy resources in place and the resources to stay up to speed, you can skip the headaches and supply your agents with everything they need at all times to be successful and a reason to stay with your company. Plus, you typically get the benefits of polished professional marketing and sales materials so you don’t have to spend time developing them and can focus on your business plan. Not to mention, the pool of expertise and peers you have access to also helps you avoid common landmines which tend to be costly in other ways.
Myth: A Franchise Won’t Understand My Local Market. Some brokers fear that partnering with a national franchise will create the perception that they are not in touch with the local market or that the franchise won’t understand the unique needs of your market.
Reality: There are franchises out there that value involvement in the local community and whose systems are flexible enough to allow your local expertise to shine, as opposed to one-size-fits-all models. A good franchise brand should complement your strengths and local knowledge, not swallow them. At the same time, it should give you access to resources at a level few independents can afford to maintain on their own. Being part of the right Franchise will allow you to do what you do best, while you get the advantages of better resources and ability to tap into larger pools of knowledge and referrals.
Myth: A Franchise Is Going to Tell Me How To Run My Business. Some brokers fear that affiliating means giving up your autonomy and control over how to run your business.
Reality: Franchisors are really relying on you to know your market and know how to run your business. However, what a good Franchisor can bring to the table is a perspective from 50,000 feet. They work with all types of brokerages and see, and have seen, all types of challenges as well as keep tabs on industry trends nation-wide. A good Franchisor will coach on what they’ve seen work and what doesn’t. That type of advice can help steer you clear of certain minefields to save you time and money. They can also share best practices and trends working across the country that have led to success. If you can get that type of roadmap to shortcut your way to success, why wouldn’t you want to take it?
What Indies And Franchises Have In Common
Ambition: While there are many differences between independent brokers and franchises, one thing that all owners share is the desire to succeed. Ultimately, it is this drive to grow and progress that made you want to become a brokerage owner in the first place. Everyone is searching for a way to get to the next level. The difference lies in the collective resources and support you are able to tap into to get you there.
Need For Brand Recognition: Standing out in a crowded field is a common challenge for independents and franchises alike. You need to spend money on marketing and develop visibility and a positive reputation in your local market that is professional and polished if you want to compete.
Desire to Serve The Customer: A good brokerage, whether a franchise or independent, wants to ultimately provide the best experience for its customers. Having modern, professional, polished materials, good follow-up and a desire to put the client first are all keys to success no matter what type of brokerage you own.
Are You Considering A Real Estate Franchise?
It is important to note that just as not all real estate brokers are created equally, not all real estate franchises are the same. There are pros and cons to every franchise and you should invest the time to compare them carefully in order to make the right decision for you and your team. Different models offer different opportunities for growth, and your success as a franchisee depends on committing to the right partnership.
For example, while some franchise opportunities use a hands-off approach and supply little more than their branding, the Weichert model is a far more personalized experience. The Weichert model of franchising supplies its brokers and agents with productivity tools like a CRM, marketing tools, a network of leads, coaching, training materials, and all the elements of a modern brokerage wrapped within a supportive culture.
For more information on The Weichert Franchising System or the benefits of partnering with us through our real estate franchise opportunities, please contact us today