Small Firms versus Large Brand Name Firms
I am a Broker/Owner of a small firm, and so I am going to plug for the smaller company. The big companies were ALL small at one time, but by hard work and time invested they became the "Big Guns" for a reason. Sometimes though, when your idea grows so large and spread out, it is hard to keep close to your original ideals. And then someone leaves that company and starts a smaller firm so that they can more closely control how they believe Real Estate should be handled. That is the case with me.
The upside is that my agents are truly my friends. We celebrate birthdays and hang out Downtown together. We watch the Superbowl and celebrate Fiesta Fridays in our office. We are able to express ourselves creatively without a glass ceiling, restrictions, or a mold that we have to somehow fit into. I have a small and wonderful crew here that truly respect each other and work as a TEAM! There is no hiding leads or stealing clients. We work well together.
The downside is that if you are not as experienced, you will have to work your behind off to get leads and clients. The call ins are not as frequent (although I give my agents at least 2-4 leads a week), and you are fighting against people's notion that smaller may not be better. When they hear that my company is called 360 Realty, they often say. "I have never heard of you, how charming!" But some like that we are small, super friendly, COMMITTED to customer satisfaction, and highly motivated.
Whatever you decide, the most important thing to remember is that you have to CARE about your clients. Good luck :)