It's all about big brand names for some people. We can't get away from the influence of the media and social pressure to have the "ITEM" of the moment. My daughter was speaking about how many of her friends are trying to get a bag from Prada or a pair of Jimmy Choos and she wasn't having any of it. This girl, that many admire for a wonderful sense of fashion and who is always put together when she leaves the front door, buys good quality items without all the brand name madness. It is the look and quality of the service she gets from her clothes that matter. And as she says, she can get a whole lot more for the same money if she steers clear of the "Labels".
I choose to work at an independent medium sized real estate brokerage for similar reasons. My company has two offices and about 100 agents but we are still leading the way in our area with new ideas and exciting initiatives to get our listings sold and bring in buying clients and customers. We offer agents with experience in many different aspects of real estate which allows us to work together on many different levels. The Big Brand Name Companies are not able to adjust their plans as quickly as we are. In the past few months we have radically changed our advertising strategies and as a result, are still profitable in a time of lower income for many brokers. We are not required to make payments out to the franchised national office which allows us to put more into getting our listings sold and providing our agents with more support and profit.
When choosing a broker to list or buy real estate through or to work for I suggest looking past the "Name" and reviewing the success of the company and individual agent in this market. Our previous market allowed many to become agents who really did not work in the real estate industry but rather dabbled in it. Many of these agents are now finding it difficult to produce in these difficult times. While many agents who work in the "Big Brand" companies will provide excellent service, the "Branded Firms" may not be the best in your area. Being "Independent" has a lot of perks and a smaller local firm just might be the perfect place for you.
In the Greater Hudson Valley of New York you will find my brokerage is ready to provide you with a personalized plan to meet your real estate needs. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Orange, Ulster, or Sullivan Counties in New York give me a call and I will give you designer service. If you need help elsewhere in the world let me know and I will find you an agent who can give you the service you deserve.