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Agent's Choice:

Though almost 9 out of 10 real estate brokerages are independent, over 40% of agents are associated with a franchise. Independents account for more offices and tend to have smaller staffs while franchises have fewer offices and generally larger teams. It’s not possible to make a blanket statement naming one environment over the other. That’s a personal choice. Either way, finding the brokerage that’s best for you requires gathering lots of details and forming preferences during the process. We’ll try to help. Here’s some good news; both independents and franchises can be great to work with! Though there may be differences, none will prevent you from building a successful career in real estate.

Here’s a quick overview...


When joining a franchise, you become part of a system that serves up procedures and support that many savor. Of course, these things have a price tag and agents may be required to help pay the bills beyond commission splits in the form of franchise fees with each commission paid. They’re known for providing comprehensive onboarding and training. They also have strong name recognition. That’s one of the reasons they attract so many agents. For brokers, starting a franchised office means they’ll be associated with a household name that has a strong presence in the industry.

Just like franchises in other industries, money is pooled at the corporate level and used to support marketing in print, radio, online and television. That stimulates leads and more business. Of course, those leads will be distributed to a larger staff. They produce first-rate marketing material and research and are known for an aggressive approach to technology.

A large number of agents working with the right tools produces sale volume and a healthy agency inventory. Because they’re national, they maintain a robust referral network that connects all offices and agents throughout the country. Also, when agents relocate, many find it preferable to join another office in the system in order to to hit new ground running quickly because they know the system.


For those who seek a less “corporate” feel, independent brokerages may be preferred. Though many are considered “small,” they can excel at providing great service with a hometown, local feel. Independents tend to have fewer salespeople and less competition within the office. They frequently encourage a more entrepreneurial approach to business. Agents ask for “permission” less often and are encouraged to apply their own creative ideas. Technically, the level of oversight can be less but this really differs regardless of brokerages status.

In addition to more flexibility, agents frequently have a greater impact on company policies. Expenses carried by agents can be less, but there’s a possibility that will impact on the kind of support offered. Even if advanced resources aren’t as readily available, there could be more opportunities for one-on-one mentoring and guidance. Joining a smaller independent office means you’ll definitely interact with the owner!

When all is said and done, independent and franchised firms can be very similar. Think about where your priorities are and don’t put too much emphasis solely on whether a brokerage is franchised or independent. Assemble and organize what you’ve learned so you have the benefit of comparison. When it comes to what you need to know, read a few more articles here at