The 3 Types of Brokerages You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own

If your team has grown to the point where your brokerage isn’t contributing to your success, you may be thinking about striking out on your own. The risks and uncertainties involved with starting your own brokerage may keep you from taking the leap. But leaving your brokerage behind may open up significant opportunities for professional growth and financial gain.

In this blog post, we’ll be reviewing the different types of brokerage models to help you decide what might work best for you to serve your customers and ensure success for years down the road.

If you’re one of those TL;DR types, and you’re thinking of starting your own brokerage in the new year, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today to watch the full course, “Are You Ready to Open Your Own Brokerage?


Traditional brokerage

In a traditional brokerage model, agents typically leave their current brokerage and start a new one. The business owner or lead agent takes on the responsibilities associated with leading a business in addition to their duties as an agent. Your brokerage can specialize in a type of real estate, such as new construction or luxury homes. As you grow and develop your team, you’ll receive a portion of the sales closed by each agent that works under your brokerage.

Owning your own brokerage will allow you to implement new ideas and deliver results to your clients under your vision.

There are great rewards and great risks in starting a brokerage. You assume the amount of work and the cost required to manage a business. Even the most successful, hard-working agents can underestimate the commitment needed to open their own traditional brokerage.

But you will be free from the bureaucracy of the “big box” brokerage, and have the ability to adapt and make changes more quickly based on the climate of the industry and your particular market.


Franchised brokerage

You also have the option of buying and running a franchise of another brokerage. As the owner of a franchised brokerage, you will represent a well-known brand, have a built-in support system and work within the system of the larger organization.

There will still be rules you’ll need to follow and requirements to meet. You’ll need to pay for training, support and other resources for your office and for your agents. You’ll need to pay ongoing percentages of revenue — likely 5 percent of your gross revenue — for sharing in the brand.

To determine if buying a franchise is right for you, you’ll need to consider the market share of the brand, the required fees and the potential for sales. Just like starting a traditional brokerage, you’ll need to be prepared to handle the day-to-day operations: business planning, acquiring and training on new technology, and hiring additional agents to grow your team.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, franchises are more likely to succeed than independent startups. There is much less risk involved in owning a business that has already been established and is well known in the industry.


New, nontraditional brokerage

New, nontraditional brokerage models emphasize small teams and partnerships that share resources to maximize efficiency. Nontraditional brokerages may share work spaces, administrative staff and office equipment to save money and maintain profits.

Within the team-based model, specialists are designed to handle specific duties within the team. Each team member focuses on a particular specialty and communicates with the rest of the group based on this role. Each sale is integrated within the team.

New models in any industry often take time to adapt and change to best fit the climate of the market. A nontraditional model may work for you, but you’ll have to consider the management style that will work best for your agents. Once you’ve achieved administrative planning and success, the team-based on model may bring unmet client service standards to your customers.

A nontraditional model gives you the opportunity for greater reach for marketing, networking, lead generation and sales [How?]. The strength of this model lies in your team being able to drive referrals based on excellent customer service. The focus is always on retaining and growing current agents within their specialty, and ensuring collaboration within the overall team.

No matter what you decide, owning and running your own business can be both challenging and rewarding. Those who are up to the challenge are usually in for an interesting path to success.

To chart your own path to success in 2019, download your free business plan template and start your free 7-day trial of AgentEDU.

3 Steps to Handling a Low Appraisal

Receiving a low appraisal can be frustrating. If you’ve done the appropriate research and if all the parties agreed to the price, then it can’t be too far off base, right? So what options are available to you if the appraisal you received isn’t what you and your client expected?

If you’re one of those TL;DR types, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “How to Handle a Bad Appraisal“.

Here are three steps to handling a bad appraisal:

  1. Try to get the appraisal adjusted. Before taking this route, be sure to let your clients know that it’s difficult to get an appraisal changed. You can ask the appraiser to return, provide additional information to support your own findings, or have the lender send out a different appraiser take a look, but this is an extra expense and rarely yields positive results.
  2. Apply for a loan with another lender. Another route you can take is to have the buyer apply for a loan with a different lender. There may be new fees incurred, but if you’re sure that the appraisal was simply wrong and you can’t get it changed, this may be the best way to get the property reappraised and produce a more favorable outcome.
  3. Have the clients agree to a new price. You may have to ask your buyer to agree to a new price or put in a higher down payment, or ask the seller to lower the price to meet the appraisal results. If you’re representing the buyer, you may want to try to get the price renegotiated. Putting the price in line with the appraisal can be a chance to get a better value for your client. If you’re representing the seller, your goal is to get the buyer to make a higher down payment — because the lender is really only concerned with the amount of the loan, not the total price of the property.

These negotiations can be tricky, and both sides might have to give a little. What happens will depend on the market and how motivated the buyers and sellers are. But at the end of the day, the most successful agents avoid this situation by having an appraisal strategy already in place.

To learn more about how to overcome a bad appraisal and how to make the most of the appraisals process, explore our Appraisal track at AgentEDU.

AgentEDU features more than 70 different courses, each designed to teach agents the best practices for every situation. From daily core skills to high-level negotiations and everything in between, AgentEDU helps agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth.



4 Ways an Assistant Markets a Listing

Attracting qualified buyers is one of the most important skills that sellers will expect from their agents. An assistant can be extremely useful in helping agents with this essential task. In this blog post, you’ll learn four ways an assistant can help marketing your listings.

If you’re one of those TL;DR types, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course, “An Assistant’s Role in Marketing Real Estate Listings.”


Traditional advertising

In many cases, traditional media is still effective for the real estate business. For example, use postcards to let neighbors know about a new listing or a recently sold home. This offers market information, plus exposure for listings and the agent. Make sure the photos look great, the message and the call to action are clear, and that your agent’s brand is properly reflected.

Print advertising is effective in certain markets, but not in others. Online advertising allows potential clients to click through the ad to the agent’s website or email. Also: Don’t forget to look into marketing opportunities on syndication sites like Zillow. These can help with lead generation. Ultimately, advertising works best when you know who your target market is and how to best reach them.


Social media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are among the most popular social media networks, but additional networks may emerge and you’ll need to be ready. The idea is to keep your company relevant and useful. If you can find a specific angle that can bolster your brand, all the better. Create an editorial calendar planned three months in advance so that you can map out a strategy and use analytics to optimize and refine your message.


Surveys, testimonials and reviews

A completed transaction is not the end of an agent’s relationship with their client. It’s a good idea to send a survey to clients after a transaction is finished to let them share the pros and cons of their experience with your agent. This information is useful to agents so that they can make improvements to their systems and services. It’s also a low-pressure tactic used to ask for a testimonial and an online review. In order to create and send a survey, you can use a simple, expensive third-party service.  And getting testimonials and reviews on sites like Yelp can help an agent attract new clients and stand out from the competition.


Get involved in the community

One of the best ways for agents to market their business is by having an active presence in their communities. Assistants can be on the lookout for what’s happening in the local area.

  • Attend community meetings
  • Visit festivals and entertainment events
  • Consider volunteering at the local school
  • Sponsor neighborhood programs

You can keep track of event opportunities for your agent and maybe even attend some of them yourself. They will give you the opportunity to meet potential clients and share more about your business while having a little fun along the way.

Selling homes is just one part of an agent’s business. It’s just as important to ensure that your agent will have a steady stream of business, and that your agent’s brand is professional and visible within the community.


To learn more about a real estate assistant’s role, start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU today and explore our 8-course track dedicated entirely to training assistants in the unique needs and demands of the real estate industry.

10 Simple Ways to Prepare a Listing for an Open House

Preparing a home for sale can make the difference in market time, price offered, and overall satisfaction of your performance as an agent. This task is too important to take lightly or to leave up to the sellers. Your goal is to prepare a listing so that potential buyers create an emotional connection to it. In this blog post, we’ll cover 10 simple ways to prepare a listing for an open house.

If you’re one of those TL; DR agents, then click here to start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU and watch our two-part course, “Preparing Listing for Real Estate Market.”


The first step in preparing a listing for market is to advise the owners on how to clean and reorganize so that they make sure the home looks its best. Eliminate clutter and storing personal items will help you make an impression with potential buyers.

Your sellers will need to be on board with these recommended changes. The home may need paint, repairs and additional staging. Even rearranging or removing some of the home’s furniture can make a big difference. Sellers have to understand that an attractive presentation means the home will sell faster and for more money. Walk through new construction model homes to get ideas.

Here are 10 affordable and easy steps every agent can accomplish before a showing.

  1. Clean the house from top to bottom. Wash baseboards, nooks and crannies to make everything look fresh and new.
  2. Change out light bulbs, make them match and dust them off. Keep all lights on during showings, including closets and under-cabinet lighting.
  3. Remove clutter, including personal items and furniture that make rooms seem smaller.
  4. Patch and paint all cracks and holes in the walls. Get rid of outdated or strong colors and go for neutral paint.
  5. Curb appeal is paramount. Clean outdoor areas of debris from last season and store any decorations.
  6. Remove curtains and other obstructions to let as much light in as possible.
  7. Remove seasonal clothing from closets to show more space. Make sure all the hangers match. Closets and storage space should look as large as possible.
  8. Scour shower doors, change toilet seats and clean out drains.
  9. Clean out and dust all vents.
  10. Add healthy, robust potted plants – take out the fakes.


Once you’ve completed these steps and given the home a makeover, you’ll notice a big improvement – and your potential buyers will, too.

To learn more about how to prepare a listing for an open house, click here to watch the two-part course and start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today!