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In an industry long dominated by corporate giants, indie real estate brokerages are emerging as trailblazers, challenging conventions and bringing innovation to the forefront. These independent firms are reshaping the way properties are bought and sold and revolutionizing the real estate landscape by embracing flexibility, technology and community engagement.


Let’s delve into how indie brokerages break the mold, leveraging their unique characteristics to drive success in an ever-evolving market.

  1. Efficiency and innovation: Indie brokerages prioritize agility and low overhead, utilizing open floor plans and flexible workspaces to maximize productivity and profit margins.
  2. Tech-driven approach: Technology is central to indie brokerages, empowering them to stay ahead of the curve with cutting-edge tools and solutions.
  3. Fearless adaptability: Born from adversity, indie brokers thrive in challenging market conditions, driving innovation and embracing change.
  4. Cultivating top talent: These firms attract top agents by fostering a culture of collaboration, independence and social giving.
  5. Community engagement: Indie brokerages champion local causes and actively engage with their communities, building trust and goodwill.

Dream Town Realty in Chicago

Yuval Degani

Located in the vibrant city of Chicago, Dream Town Realty has established itself as a premier destination for real estate services in some of the city’s most esteemed neighborhoods and beyond. Since its inception in 1998 by CEO Yuval Degani, Dream Town has been committed to providing clients with a boutique experience that exceeds expectations. What began as a single office flourished into a six-person network housing over 450 dedicated agents.

Degani, a passionate marketer, emphasizes the importance of marketing not only the firm but also its listings and agents. Each agent at Dream Town is assigned a dedicated creative account representative, showcasing the brokerage’s commitment to personalized attention and promotion.

Technology plays a pivotal role at Dream Town, with the brokerage being an early adopter of SEO techniques to secure top rankings on Google. Innovations like solar-powered lawn signs, which garnered attention and served a practical purpose, demonstrate the brokerage’s knack for staying ahead of trends. Furthermore, Dream Town developed its own agent CRM in 2000, a testament to its ongoing commitment to technological advancement.

In addition to its focus on innovation, Dream Town prioritizes cultivating a thriving organizational culture. Recognized as a Chicago Tribune Top Workplace in 2023, the brokerage leads cultural initiatives such as the InspiRE mentorship program, which provides real estate opportunities to underrepresented communities. Dream Town’s dedication to diversity and inclusivity extends beyond programs to encompass comprehensive support for agents, including top-notch coaching, mindfulness training, and farm-to-table food delivery.

Degani encapsulates Dream Town’s ethos with a simple yet profound motto: “Always be in service to clients and agents.” This guiding principle underscores the brokerage’s unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional service and support to all stakeholders.

ROVI Homes in Agawam, Massachusetts

Steven Rovithis

ROVI was founded in 2015 by Steven Rovithis and has grown to over 200 agents operating in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Florida. They have been recognized as an Inc 5000 company twice and have a culture that attracts collaborative, empathetic and growth-minded agents.

Operating at the intersection of a real estate team and a traditional brokerage, ROVI offers a unique combination of comprehensive support, training and lead generation opportunities alongside the advantageous high splits and caps characteristic of virtual brokerages.

A critical distinction lies in their proactive approach to addressing the industrywide challenge of client acquisition. A study by the consumer watchdog group, Consumer Federation of America, revealed that 49 percent of the agents sold either zero homes or only one in 2023 and 70 percent sold five or fewer homes — with 37 percent not selling a single home.

Recognizing that many agents struggle to ramp up their business early on, ROVI goes beyond simply providing leads. They developed a streamlined and intricate process of nurturing company-sourced leads through their internal sales team. By doing so, they are providing agents with appointments versus mere leads, providing agents with opportunities much closer to transacting and resulting in a higher rate of closed deals.

Aside from qualified appointments, ROVI Homes places a high focus on ongoing training and learning. With three full-time trainers and a Tom Ferry coach, they offer daily training and keep agents accountable for what they learn. They do script and role-play training multiple times a week and even have live prospecting calls every Friday.

Rovithis believes it takes about 100 transactions to truly understand the business and is all about getting that knowledge into agents’ heads as fast as possible. Their morning calls are open to everyone, with quick sales tips followed by a roundtable discussion where agents can ask anything or share their experiences. It is all about learning and growing together.

Rovithis is passionate about helping agents not only succeed quickly but also identify if this business is for them early on. He is a proponent of the concept of time compression, which is the idea of condensing the duration of an interval into shorter periods.

Rovithis believes that placing agents into a fast-tracked system will quickly reveal if the individual is a good fit for the business, thus saving the agent from wasted years of sub-par results only to later depart the industry.

When speaking with Rovithis, his passion for his agents as well as the business comes forth strongly. When asked, he sums up his philosophy in two words: kaizen and grit. Rovithis said, “Kaizen, the Japanese word for continuous improvement is what we are striving for at ROVI. As an organization, we are focused on getting 1 percent better every day, and we strive to push that mindset down to our agents.”

La Rosa Realty in Celebration, Florida

Joe La Rosa

La Rosa Realty, founded in 2004 by Joe LaRosa, has grown exponentially to encompass over 26 offices operating across six states and Puerto Rico. With a lineage rooted in real estate, Joe La Rosa draws from his family’s legacy, inheriting invaluable insights from his father, a seasoned real estate developer. Guided by a visionary approach, La Rosa Realty introduced a groundbreaking flat-fee model in 2011, pioneering a new standard in the industry.

A conversation with LaRosa reveals a shrewd businessman with a knack for anticipating and navigating market trends. La Rosa Realty’s distinction as a National Association of Realtors Top 75 Company for five years underscores its commitment to providing unparalleled value to its agents. La Rosa emphasizes his unwavering dedication to an agent-centric ethos. He says, “We want to define what it means to be agent-centric.”

Culture is paramount at La Rosa Realty. Maintaining physical offices, La Rosa Realty fosters a supportive environment conducive to agent success, further exemplified by its pioneering 100 percent commission plans that prioritize agent welfare without compromising on offerings. The brokerage invests heavily in technology, furnishing agents with a robust stack of tools, including websites, CRM systems and social automation platforms, all at no additional expense.

La Rosa Realty’s commitment to the community extends beyond business operations, evidenced by its active involvement in charitable initiatives, notably its Thanksgiving Giving Campaign, which has provided meals to over 8,000 local families. This underscores the brokerage’s ethos of giving back.

Prioritizing agent success, La Rosa Realty implements mandatory coaching for new agents and provides ongoing support and guidance. Their recent introduction of revenue sharing demonstrates a commitment to innovation, offering agents a straightforward and transparent plan to track their progress and incentivize their performance.

Final thoughts

Indie real estate brokerages are not just disrupting the market — they are revolutionizing it. With their agility, tech-driven approach and commitment to community, these firms are breaking free from the constraints of tradition and leading the charge toward a more dynamic agent- and client-centric real estate experience.

As they continue to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, indie brokerages are poised to shape the future of the industry for years to come.

Diana Zaya is the founder and president of MaverickRE Consulting. Connect with her on LinkedInX and Instagram.

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