I hear it every single day and have followed through with it myself from the beginning that starting your own Real Estate brokerage can be the smartest and most rewarding move a Realtor could ever make, especially if you are working for a very large national brand and are a top producer. There are good things and bad things in starting an indie brokerage but if you are doing it for the right reasons, there should be no turning back and a huge opportunity ahead in making your very own footprint in the industry. Below I will spell out 3 really good reasons to start your own brokerage and maybe clear it up a bit on why you may not quite be ready yet to go solo. Starting your own brokerage and taking on the additional risk and responsibility is a major decision but if you are the type of person that can put in the time and effort, it will be the best decision you made as a Realtor.
You sell a ton of Real Estate – I get a kick out of agents that made $50,000 one year as a Realtor and then decide they have it all figured out so they start their own brokerage. That’s really not enough experience in my book or regular business to warrant a break from good mentoring and problem solving. But if you already are closing 20+ deals a year and have a nice stream of fresh referrals it may just be time to leap out on your own. This is a point you have to be honest with yourself also in determining where those leads are from and what your actual volume is. If you are selling a ton of Real Estate already on your own, then there may be no real reason to not be an indie.
You are a Branding Guru – I don’t think most Realtors understand the importance of their personal brand and growing it beyond just the sphere of influence. But if you understand that your branding must be constant and affective in a saturated market and you have the capability to generate this content, you may be ready to become an indie broker. I learned this early on and may have been one of my strong points from day one. Marketing the WKRP Indy brand has been focus 1 from the beginning. Agents that have the ability to create and execute great branding in an affordable manner are way ahead of the curve to become independent. If you are one that thinks that just having a logo and some signs makes a brand you may not be ready to take the leap. Take a hard look at your branding and marketing and decide if taking this additional task on is worth the time and money. Relying on outside companies to do this can get expensive and may not be worth the up front cost today so truly studying what you may or may not need is critical before you make the jump.
You are a leader – To start your own brokerage and be affective from day one I really feel like being a leader in the industry is key. Many times we meet a broker that may have a good book of business or strong referrals but lack leadership skills that a brokerage may need. Having a brokerage is much more then just being independent. The point of a brokerage is to bring additional agents on under your model and retain them for an amount of time. If you are unable to drive a mission or be the “go to” person for questions you may not be ready to become an indie broker. I have met several agents that talk about going independent yet have no idea how to lead a team and that team will slowly dissolve or find a better way. If you are a natural leader and enjoy spending time developing a team for their benefit it may be just the right time to head out on your own. But be very honest with yourself in what that may entail. Spending lots of extra hours on your team’s initiatives and maybe passing on a company lead but stepping back and being generous as a leader can be the most rewarding part of owning your own brokerage.
I know that starting a brokerage may not be for everyone but there is no better time then now for those that are ready. Look at your business and where you’re heading and be honest as to your qualities and strengths. Just wanting to reduce costs is not a great success model and maybe spending some time with your current broker could clear some of this up. But let me be the first to tell you that starting an independent brokerage from scratch, accomplishing great branding, attracting other agents to the team, working alongside growing successful agents and at the end of the day developing as a strong leader of a company is and will always be the most rewarding professional process around. The money will always come from there.
Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.