Another excellent question, and the same question I ask myself every time I see some hapless realtor driving around with a logo on their car (that they paid for themselves) advertising for big block real estate company, and if you look real close you can see the agent's name in small font somewhere on the ad. Maybe it's the entrepreneur in me, but when I see an agent spending their own money and effort to advertise someone else's company I am beyond bewildered.
Well actually I'm not completely bewildered, because I know first hand how agents get lured into that mindset, having myself worked for the largest big block real estate brokerage in the country.
The big block brokerages have done a masterful job in inculcating agents into thinking the agents work "for" them. Agents are independent contractors and the brokerage is supposed to work for the agent ! Which leads to the dirty little secret the big block real estate companies don't want you to know and how the big brokerages turn the new bright eyed agents into fully committed kool-aid drinking big block disciples.
The first thing an agent gets when they join a large brokerage is a "free" telephone number from the broker (which just happens to be owned by the brokerage), a "free" email address (also owned by the broker), and a "free" website (ya, you guessed it, also the brokers). So the new agent, who started the day as an independent contractor, has finished his first day as a "branded" brokerage agent. ..All under the guise of free stuff ! Who can turn down free stuff ? This "free" stuff provided by the brokerage is all systematically designed to entrench the agent into their brokerage. Fast forward 1, 2, or 3 years when the agent wants to leave the brokerage for greener pastures and all of his clients and his advertising over the years have his brokers information on it. So in order not to start all over again building a client base he is essentially forced to stay with the current broker in order not to loose all his connections. And don't forget all the business cards and For Sale signs the agent has all over town advertising the brokers company.
I'm not saying the old traditional brokerages are completely evil. In fact I'm sure there are some brokerages that are more altruistic than others, but my point is this; the traditional brokerages had their time and place, but now they no longer are able to serve the purpose they once provided that justified taking a large chunk of a realtors paycheck. And soon they will disappear the way of the old school travel agent did and numerous other services that have been resigned to the online world.
It’s actuallly quite amazing that the old business model lasted as long as it did for the old school brokerages. It served it's purpose during its time, but with the internet being the great equalizer of information it's time has come for the traditional brokerages as it has for many businesses that have now had acquisce to the online world. And because of that, agents are voting with their feet and leaving the traditional brokerages and hanging their licenses now with the 100% Commission brokerages. Technology marches on.
Ronny Santana - Broker / Owner
California's Premier 100% Commission Brokerage
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