Well, I finally did it! I broke free from the “branded” real estate company to go out on my own. In making the decision, I found that almost everyone I spoke with, clients, friends, past clients, neighbors, etc. were very supportive and encouraging.
My clients all said that they really didn’t care where I worked, that they knew my work ethic and had complete confidence in the fact that I would sell their home or help them purchase a new one. I can’t begin to tell you how reassuring that was since the previous ”branded” firm has everyone convinced that the reason why the agents are successful is because they work at brand x. Do you know how expensive it is to work at brand x? Try about $20,000/year.
When I realized how much it cost me to sell real estate from brand x, I decided that I should start my own real estate company since I already had my broker’s license. Afterall, what more could it possibly cost? Then, I started to think about what I would like to offer other agents. Agents that are productive, that want to sell real estate but aren’t interested in taking property time waiting for the phone to ring or people to walk in the door, having to do home tours, that find office politics distracting, that can work from home and generate their own business, but don’t want to pay the high fees that most brokerages require.
Then I started to think about the kind of agents that I would like to have representing The Property Source. In addition to demonstrating high ethical and moral standards, they also need to demonstrate outstanding customer service. Our business should be referral based. We should not go from to transaction to transaction, just waiting and hoping for the next one to fall in our laps. If we provide unsurpassed service to our clients, and stay in touch with them, and show them that we care, they will want to refer business to us. Their referral is our goal.
I have come up with what I think is a perfectly wonderful business plan… It’s a fee per transaction. When I tell people about this plan, they say, “Oh, but Janet, how are you going to make money?” My answer is that I am building my business and I’m not really interested in making money off of the other agents. I have set this up so that my expenses in having agents work at The Property Source are covered by the transaction fee. There are no monthly fees and no hidden costs. It’s all just very straight forward and if the agent finds that it just doesn’t work for them, that’s fine, they’re free to change brokerages. I will never charge them a transfer fee and they are always able to take their listings with them. Afterall, they may want to come back one day.
I believe in a win-win situation. If I treat the agents fairly and they know what to expect, they will be happy to work here. And, if they are happy to work here and can keep more of their money, they will be more productive and we will have more Property Source signs out there. More signs = more business for everyone!
If I continue to list and sell properties like I have from year to year and stay in touch with my past clients and those clients refer others to me, then that’s all I really need to concentrate on. You see, I don’t need to rely on the other agents keeping me afloat. I win, they win, we all win.