a big change for me, from International franchise to local independent

Real Estate Agent with Realty of Warner Robins

I recently left an internationally known franchise for an independent company that has no real estate presence in my area.  They have 1 small office in the Atlanta area, but are not recognizable at all to anyone in my service area. But they do have a logo and a website, and seem to be modestly successful in their service area.  The owner is around my age. His business model is very different than what we are used to in this area, but it works for them in Atlanta, so it should work for us in Houston county.

I welcomed the change that allowed me to express more of my creative side when acquiring new listings and new buyers, and using the mortgage companies of my choice or my buyer's choice.  I want to think for myself and I want to advertise as I want to.  

I no longer have to contend with franchise fees, franchise requirements of paperwork, quotas set by the broker and I realize that the franchise affiliation does not make me any better of an agent.  I realize that the MLS and the NAR provides me with most of the advantages of the franchises. With IDX, a current website and up-to-date technology, I can compete with the franchises.

I can no longer afford to wait for the franchise name on the sign to do the job for me. Being an agent with an independent company means that I am a pro-active agent and my business depends on me to budget and design a marketing plan that will surpass other agents to get the job done. Again, my livelihood depends on it.

I pay more attention to my own website now, and am most concerned with the content and the marketing of myself, rather than relying on the franchise to market for me.  On listing appointments, I focus more on me and my personal statistics. I tell my customers that no matter my affiliation, ultimately it is the other agents I market to, and we all cooperate no matter our company affiliation.

My broker/owner has time to sit down with me, and discuss my concerns and listen to my ideas, and he has the ability to change courses on anything we desire. He sets the commission splits, not the franchise.   We are not bound by the franchise requirements, but make our own way as we go.  We make decisions based on what is ethical foremost, and secondly, what is going to make money.  If we need to change the rate of commission, we will.  If we chose to turn away a listing, referral or a buyer, we can.

I am proud to be a part of my company, and if we succeed, I have only myself to thank, and if we fail, again, I only have myself to blame.  But I will know that I tried and gave it my all, because I had to.  I feel empowered and I know that I am accountable for my own results.


It has been two months since your post, How is it going now?  Would you still recommend moving from a well known franchise to an independently owned company?  Are the freedoms perceived still working for you? 


Sep 01, 2007 11:06 AM
Mary-lynn Banfield
First Impressions Real Estate Inc. - Dartmouth, NS
Thank you so much for writing this. I work with an independent company as well, people always ask why I left my franchise to go to an independent company that most haven't heard off. There are so many positive reasons why I'm there I'm happy to see someone else with the same views as me!
Feb 18, 2008 01:31 PM
Cameron Jones
Realty of Warner Robins - Warner Robins, GA

It has been 9 months since my post, and my move to the independent company. My expectations have been met and I am looking forward to the coming year (the next 9 months). We have had minor growing pains, which I won't go into here, but will be happy to share if you contact me directly.  Overall, I would do it again, with no hesitation or any other reservations. Actually, I wish I had made the move sooner, but now is the perfect time for my life situation.  From a career stand point, I would have been better off with the independent move long ago.  But I guess, mentally I wasnt ready and didnt think I could make it without the franchise standing behind me.  When I compare the numbers, and realize how much money I gave away in fees to the franchise, I have to wonder why others can't see the difference to their income that a move could make.

Even though we moved in the middle of the year, I actually made more money last year, than I did in the previous year, and I believe most in my office that made the move with me would say the same thing. We did expect a drop in our production due to the move, but we did not experience that.  Even in this down market, we still prospered.  It is because we knew we needed to work smarter to compensate for the fact that we did not have the franchise handing business to us and that we actually would have to beat the bushes and get our own buyer and sellers.  And we did!  And I am happy! 

Feb 22, 2008 11:48 PM
Howard Tennyson
Ace Home Inspection, LLC - Warner Robins, GA


It sounds like things are working well for you. I wish you continued success and a great 2009!!



Hoping everything you touch turns to $old!

Sep 03, 2008 02:02 AM