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From Franchise to Independent

by Chicago Agent

Dare MessinaBy Dare Messina, Agent, L.W. Reedy Real Estate

I joined RE/MAX in Elmhurst as a newly licensed Realtor in 1987. At the time, RE/MAX was on the cutting edge as a new model and culture which allowed Realtors to keep 100 percent of their commission. This attracted experienced, successful Realtors who were capable of running and financially supporting their own business and had the ability to pay a management fee and their share of the office expenses.

I thoroughly enjoyed and profited greatly in the 17 years I worked there. I was proud to work for such an amazing company whose logo and service was recognized around the world. Working there opened doors for me and I received referral business from across the country.

As an office, however, we were all business. The owners kept an arm’s length relationship with the Realtors, and rarely had office meetings or offerred training. It was up to the individual Realtors to stay abreast of new rules, laws or changes set by the company, state or MLS.

Eventually, I resigned to pursue an opportunity to manage a new real estate company in the area. Unfortunately, it did not materialize as projected and we parted ways after two years. I considered returning to RE/MAX, but it was no longer a 100 percent commission company, and had shrunk dramatically in numbers. After considerable thought I altered my belief of the value of working for a national franchise and decided to join L.W. Reedy Real Estate in Elmhurst. Initially, I was interested in Reedy because it had the best commission split structure in the area and no international/national corporate fees. A second reason for selecting Reedy was that it was the only place where I was unable to persuade any Realtors to join the 52 others who had committed to the new real estate company I was managing.

A third-generation family-owned company, Reedy is a structured office with a focus on professionalism. New and top-producing Realtors alike are welcome to join, only if they are committed to upholding the integrity and trust Reedy has built and maintained over its 50 years in business. There are about 75 Realtors and an affiliate referral company. The office has an open door policy regarding management and there is almost always a management or staff person available for assistance. The company believes in continuing the education of its Realtors through weekly meetings and classes sponsored at the office.

Reedy has the longest office hours in the area and it has Realtor “floor-time” assignments. Realtor names can be on the signage but, in most cases, not the agent’s personal contact information. The company is in a prime location in uptown Elmhurst across from the commuter train station.

All Realtors start on a 50/50 split on the anniversary of their start date with the company. Average producers can reach 100 percent commission during the year. The company pays for most of the Realtors’ office supplies and equipment regardless of the commission split.

After working with L.W. Reedy for over three years, I discovered Realtors don’t leave this company because they feel respected and valued by the owners.

Dare Messina is an agent with L.W. Reedy in Elmhurst. She can be reached at 630.430.5781.

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