How much does it cost to open a franchise?

Becoming a franchise owner comes with a lot of benefits that can help a smaller, independent brokerage, such as marketing and operational support and brand recognition. However, there are also a number of fees and costs that go along with joining a franchise. If you’re interested in opening a franchise, see what some of the major brokerages can offer you. And check out our cover story on page 12 to read how some Chicagoland agents have successfully made this important career move.

Company Name Buy In Cost Fees Benefits Date Established # of Franchises Nationally # of Franchises in Chicago
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate $35,000 6% royalty Business consulting, marketing, tools and training 2008 91 1
Century 21 $25,000 (first office) $10,000 (branch office) 6% royalty Operational Support, international branding, recruiting, business resources, technology, on-going support 1971 2,300 68
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC $25,000 6% royalty Operational support, international branding, recruiting, business resources, technology, on-going support 1906 2,200 155
Crye-Leike $13,500 to $25,000 6% royalty, 20% renewal Sales training, relocation services, marketing, sales leads, recruiting systems 1998 115 (28 franchise offices, 87 corporate offices) 0
Engel & Volkers $35,000 6% royalty, $17,000 renewal Global sales opportunities, virtual reality support across all of our licensees, EDGE – a new domestic and international syndication platform 2006 in the U.S. 115 0
Equity USA $1,600 $499/transaction Payroll services, broker training, transaction tools, websites, E&O insurance, profit sharing, operational reimbursement 2002 60 1
ERA Franchise LLC $25,000 6% royalty Operational support, international branding, recruiting, business resources, technology, on-going support 1971 520 2
Exit Realty $7,500 (rural) to $32,000 (urban) 10% of the current franchise fee upon renewal Technology, tools and training and a unique formula that provides the opportunity for all EXIT associates to earn residual income. 1999 510 7
John L Scott Realty $15,000 5% royalty, $2,500 renewal Technology, presentations, coaching, luxury market clients, marketing 1990 76 0
Keller Williams $35,000 6% royalty Coaching, profit-sharing, international brand recognition 1987 743 2
List4Less / Sell4Free $29,000 5% royalty, $1,000 renewal 95% commission retention 2002 9 0
NextHome Inc $2,750 to $6,750 $185/month/agent or 6% A fully automated and integrated system, state of the art proprietary technology platform with single sign on access, branding, marketing, advertising, recruiting, support, training and more. 2015 200+ 1
REMAX $12,500 to $35,000 $5,000 to $17,500 renewal Worldwide recognition, extensive training 1973 3679 105 in northern Illinois
Sotheby’s International Realty $25,000 6% royalty Operational support, international branding, recruiting, business resources, technology, on-going support 2004 615 6
United Country $15,000 $1,500 renewal Differentiation for lifestyle properties in small cities, towns and country markets 1997 450 3
Weichert $25,000 6% royalty One on one support, tech, business plans, workshops 2001 388 15

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