Need advice on going out on my own...

Real Estate Agent with Ozarks' Independent Realty

Well, after 5 years working for my broker, I think I am ready to make the next step- opening my own office. I have been a licensed broker over 4 years now, primarily sell foreclosures, and have developed a decent reputation. I am nowhere near a top producer in my market, and that's okay with me. I just want to support my family. I am thinking of converting a room to a home office, for at least the summer so I can be home with the kids and the garden, and save some money while I am strating up.

I would really appreciate any advice from those of you who have gome this route. Did you have problems getting people to recognize your new office name? Any special marketing tips? Any major pros or cons to thehome office thing? Any insurance snags with working from home? Would you do it differently if you had to start all over? has it been successful for you? Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks, in advance, for the help!

Comments (5)

Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor


My father in law and mother in law had a radio station there in west plains. KKDY

They sold it several years ago. I will ask my father in law what he thinks about the real estate business there.

Personally I think you should try to negotiate with a broker for more commission and stay working for someone else. If I had it to do over again I believe that is what I would do! There are lots of expenses and headache to running your own brokerage. the top producer here just came to work for my 6 months ago for those very reasons. He had a very successful coldwell banker franchise that he closed up. He is so happy and worry free now. I have the same plan in a few years to just work for someone else.

Mar 10, 2008 10:43 AM
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Mike- I adore my broker as a person, but we don't always see eye-to-eye (I know- who does). Lately there has been more discontent and I think we have just kinda grown our seperate ways. I do intend to keep on good working terms with him, and I value his expertise in many ways. I just don't think there is any room for advancement there. It seems he is more interested in the success of the business than in the success of his agents, who are making the business what it is. That is fine if that's how he wants to run things, but I am seeing things differently. As I said, we are just growing in different directions... And there is not another broker around I would consider selling for. In many cases it is because I have witnessed too many unethical situations done by the Brokers themselvesd, or by their agents (and therefore accepted by the Broker). I will not work for someone I cannot trust implicitly, the same way I won't hire any agents I cannot trust the same way. That's just me and the way I believe, and my high standards....

Erica- I have thought about a franchise, but i really don't like the way big corporations run things in this country. Its a matter of principal with me. This area is not like every other part of the country, so being told how to advertise and run my business, plus having to pay them from every transaction and yearly fees? I know name recognition is a big factor, but I feel it's more important to have a company that I can run completely the way it will work best for each client, and I don't think any franchise can give me the leeway to do what I do and actually allow me the same profit-level I would have strictly on my own. I see both sides... Yes, the overhead issue is part of the reason for wanting to start at home. I live in the boonies, but selling foreclosures, I would not be getting a lot of walk-in customers. Most would be phone calls, and no problem meeting them to show. A lot of my business is on the road, so why not start from my house instead of driving to town, then getting started? I think, if I could close 3 sales all summer (very feasible), without the overhead of rent and extra utilities, I could save enough to rent a place in town in the fall when the kids are back in school.

More opinions?

Mar 10, 2008 12:09 PM
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

We started our own office nearly 5 years ago, and we are so happy we did! Our situation was a little different- we handle rentals as well as sales, so we had some stady income immediately.

We tried the "at home" thing, but we needed a place for people to drop off rents, so we rented a small, cheap office quickly. There is an independent office in town, quite successful, basically 2 agents and a couple of assistants, who work from their homes. They've done this for years.

AS far as getting known- I think the best things we did were 1) using our NAME as the office name, so everybody knew the office was OURS, and 2) picking colors for our signs and ads that were not even close to any other office in town (we picked green and yellow) so that people know our signs as far off as they can see them. We get comments frequently that people "see your signs all over town".

Prest Realty logo

Mar 11, 2008 06:27 AM