The shift toward independent brokerages [Special Report]

Local control of branding and technology makes independent companies nimble
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Independent brokerages are more prevalent now than they have been in a decade, and an Inman survey suggests that real estate franchisors will have to continue to fight to maintain their market share as more brokers question their value proposition (click to download full report and charts as PDF file). Independent firms do business without the fees, rules and bureaucracy of a franchisor. But they also do without the national exposure, brand recognition, access to enterprise-scale technology, and other perks that come with being part of a large franchise brand like Keller Williams Realty, Century 21 Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Re/Max or Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. While indie brokerages have always outnumbered those affiliated with national franchise brands, independents tend to be smaller firms. So with the rise of franchising in the modern era, the majority of agents came to be employed with firms affiliated with one of the big brands. That trend has revers...