Indie brokerages are nimble and growing, prompting real estate insiders who took the stage at Inman Connect New York to call for a new category as their market share increases.

Inman events are the best way to connect, learn and grow. Don’t miss the next one, August 3-5 at Inman Connect Las Vegas! Get your ticket now for the best price.

When you hear “indie brokerage” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For most people, it’s a small, boutique brokerage hyper-focused on one market (or a few small markets.)

But for Barb Betts, broker and CEO of The RECollective in Long Beach, California, that description is in need of an update as indie brokerages grow more and more across all kinds of markets.

“They’re not just boutique, there’s all different types of indie models out there,” she said on stage at an Inman Connect session in New York on Wednesday. “There are so many options for the indie model, and I think that’s exciting.”

The narrative of indie meaning small is especially outdated now that there are huge brokerages operating in multiple states that are technically independent, such as Fathom Realty at approximately 9,000 agents.

“People don’t realize that some of those names and companies are actually independent,” said Betts.

Those nationwide brokerages that nonetheless don’t franchise may necessitate the creation of a category in between franchise and independent, said Sarah Richardson, CEO of Tru Realty, who co-moderated with Betts on Wednesday.

“Let’s create a new middle model name,” she said.

Another narrative Betts and Richardson said they would like to counter is that indies face bigger challenges when confronted with a downturn — an assertion they argued doesn’t hold up when held to the light.

“I truly believe that since independents aren’t under the heavy hand of a franchise that we can be more nimble, we can be more innovative, and we can pivot quickly, even in a downturn,” Betts said. “I think even in a downturn we’re going to see more and more teams and more independents growing.”

Indies may also thrive under a downturn thanks to their unique stock option plans offered to agents, which can help keep agents on board for longer.

“It is nice to be able to give agents another revenue stream,” Richardson said. “These companies are keeping agents happy as the market starts to transition, as we start to see, us becoming, unfortunately probably a bit more transactional in order to make the same amount of money. So giving stock and having investing periods is a really great way for agents to have more money and have more options and be sticking to that broker that they work with.”

Email Ben Verde

agent advice
Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription
×