Look around for a minute in your community. How many good small businesses do you see? I mean good ones, not the ones that are clearly not going to make it. How do you support them and does your own business stack up well against them?
My wife and I buy local every chance we get and if we do by from a franchise we try to make it one that is 100% locally owned. I know, you can’t avoid Walmart, but we try all the time. As I look around in the markets we are in at Miller Homes Group and the ones we are expanding to I see franchises with little or no local ownership. I see agents with horrible splits in the name of recycled training and outdated marketing principles. It seems to me that the numbers the big franchises are posting in agent count are actually going down in total and they are just switching agents from one brand to another.
As business gets better around the country I am finding agents that are going online and getting training and having masterminds with peers and going the independent route.
Yes, there is a place for the big franchises in our business, but keep in mind the largest population of agents still is in the independent status. They keep more of their money and invest in themselves and their own community, which helps everybody.
Having gone the big corporate way in the beginning taught me many things that I am thankful for and many things that scared the hell out of me. The latter is why I am an independent broker/owner today.
Money sent to Denver, New Jersey or Austin won’t help the local BBQ place or dress shop and as I looked at the return I was getting, it became clear that I wanted to be a local business owner and not be a part of a toxic corporate system that had to look at a map to know where I was.