GO LOCAL: National Franchise versus Independent Brokerages

Full disclosure, I am writing this from the inside perspective from a local and highly successful real estate office.


What do national brokerages uniquely offer?

  • Initial online branding which makes it easy to find their national website.
  • Standard systems, processes and templates for emails, fliers, and postcards.

What do independent brokerages uniquely offer?

  • Adaptability.
  • Unique SEO (search engine optimization) opportunities to get their local website on top of the national brands. The internet is the great equalizer.
  • Local business with local brand recognition. GO LOCAL!
  • Highly customized marketing solutions for each and every listing.

Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net Specifics: (As I cannot speak on what other independent firms offer.)

  • An in house professional photographer and graphic designer working full time for the 8 Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net agents.
  • An in house transaction manager who combs over all documentation with an eye for detail exclusively working on the file intake process for the 8 Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net agents.
  • An active buyer’s database of over 3,000 buyers looking to move the our area.

Around 2002 there was a boom in independent brokerages. Now, the news around this method of dealing with real estate is on the decline due to a few key factors:


  • Real Estate is Becoming Highly Consolidated. When the credit crisis began, many of the blooming smaller owner/broker businesses closed their doors. That vacuum remains through to today. And the consolidation continues. Large players including LPL Financial (Nasdaq: LPLA), Raymond James (NYSE:RJF) and insurance firms cited as looking to be more active in acquiring smaller broker-dealers. (SOURCE)



  • Heightened Regulations.Financial institutions are increasing their regulatory bodies as more scandals and laundering schemes are uncovered. For the general population to regain their faith in the world of investing, provisions and stipulations are going to have to be clear and transparent. Many of the large brokerage companies have lobby power and can therefore have an impact on the newly developing regulations. This pattern is cyclical. Larger companies have more weight and incentive to create an environment that edges the smaller firms out of the marketplace.


What the Clients are Saying:


"I go by recommendations, size/type of firm don't factor into it."

"It's always all about the person across the table or at the other end of the phone line.
The big national offices probably create more problems for the process than they might solve.
But this isn't limited to just RE agents. It's true in everything."


"It’s impossible to provide a consistant product with such a complicated product such as real estate. Too many uncontrollable variables. 

What makes a good agency is "good agents". The logo on the building doesn't matter."

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/real-estate/1742181-buyers-sellers-national-real-estate-firm.html#ixzz3371mQP2r

I would absolutely enjoy hearing what you have to say on this matter. We get questions regarding the pros and cons of big versus small, local offices regularly




Comment balloon 3 commentsJenifer Lower • May 29 2014 08:58AM


You are very brave asking this question!  Could be a big can of worms!  :)  I have to say, that being a part of Keller Williams, a very agent-centered company, we have a lot of the same benefits as you mentioned being with a local company.  That is exactly why I joined KW, because I needed to be with a company that would allow me to run my business the way I wanted to run it, with my niche.  The uniquness of my niche required me to be able to operate my own website, and rank above the ZTR and others for my key terms.  And I do! I look forward to seeing the other comments on here.


Posted by Catherine Ulrey, Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist (Keller Williams Capital City) over 4 years ago

Hello Jenifer. You always have a unique post. I enjoyed reading and they are really accurate. Excellent blog!

Posted by Patty Da Silva, Davie, Southwest Ranches Cooper City, Plantation, Weston, REALTOR, Top Listing Broker (BROKER of Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-7253) over 4 years ago

Thanks to both of you for your comments.  It will be interesting to read additional comments, we all chose our brokerage for the opportunities provided and comfort in fit, but we don't always look at it from the view point of the consumers.

Posted by Jenifer Lower, Your Dream. Our Passion. (Bozeman Montana Real Estate .net) over 4 years ago