Many real estate agents dream of branching out to open their own office. Buying a franchise can be one way for ambitious and ownership-minded agents to step in and take on a substantial leadership role. This opportunity provides a platform from which to mentor, train and help agents — all while having a greater sense of autonomy and the freedom to make your own decisions.
But the organizational planning and financial commitment required can be prohibitive, as can the challenge of leaving behind the support that comes with being a member of a team. Agents typically enjoy a great deal of technological and organizational support through the tools and networks provided by the company they choose.
Franchise-affiliated brokerages remain a minority in the business. About 37 percent of respondents to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Member Profile indicated that they were affiliated with a franchised company, while 51 percent said they had ties to an independent company. Their presence is also increasing, though not without encountering a few bumps along the way. The NAR’s 2015 Residential Franchise Report showed that most of the 32 franchisors listed expanded their offices over the previous two years, while nine either lost office space or held steady over the same timeframe.