by Patricia Feager, 6/3/18
To survive in the real estate business, you can't just have a license, be a secret agent, or pretend you're the best if you're not. Being a Broker or a Sales Agent means unless you sell, you don't get paid. A new agent, licensed by their State, has to be sponsored by a Broker. Many new licensees choose a Franchise because they want to be the best in the industry and because of the brand. The brand doesn't make you successful. You have to work hard to be successful. In this business, the only money guaranteed, is the money earned. That means, regardless of whether an agent has sales or not, they are still paying multiple fees to keep their license and stay in the business. This is true for all agents.
Is Being the Best Really Being the Best? Like many who get started in the business, I wanted to be the best and work for what I perceived was the best Brokerage Firm in my area. A Franchise is a corporation. By definition, "A franchise can be owned as a corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company or other business structure," for example, chain stores, like "restaurants, hotels and retail stores." To be clear, I chose to leave the Franchise voluntarily after 14 years and made astonishing discoveries.
Similarities between Corporation & Franchise. A Corporation is formed under "state law." Coming out of Corporate America into a Franchise world had many similarities, i.e., meetings and domination to control the market. Prior to becoming a Real Estate Agent, I worked in two different divisions of a major Fortune 500 Company. They were Pharmaceutical Marketing and Sales in Chicago; then relocated by the Corporation to Texas in Human Resources. As an employee, both divisions required mandatory monthly meetings, and often more frequently, depending on circumstances. The same was true at the Franchise.
Observations from the peanut gallery. Meetings take a chunk of valuable time that you never get back. Often, they are about accolades to who did more than anyone else (many of those deserving accolades never showed up to the meetings). They are about technological challenges that will improve the way you do business. New technology is not cheap and also doesn't guarantee success. Changes in the industry. Looking at stats, data charts, listening to speakers. Welcoming new people. Saying goodbye to retirees or those who were leaving on good terms. Often, meetings included food, drinks, and unexpected prizes (trinkets and trash.... extra pounds of carbs and fat). No pun intended, but every wasteful meeting eats up more time. The biggest and best change for me personally was to get out of a Franchise. My Broker keeps me informed and I choose which meetings are of value to me and where they are provided.
Conclusion. In my opinion, if a parent can't mold their own child into the greatest gift on earth, neither can any Corporation, a Franchise, or Broker. You can feed them, but they may not grow big or they grow so big you rarely see them. To my knowledge, there is no proof that entities or any mandatory meetings make people smarter, more likely to succeed, or financially independent. In sum, bigger is not always better. In Real Estate sales, income is never guaranteed. Neither is the amount of time on earth. Choose wisely.