Pittsboro Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews discusses the pros and cons of using a “franchise” agent vs an “independent” agent. The biggest advantage a franchise agent has is access to technology and brand name recognition. The technology helps with marketing homes, speeds up transactions and helps us help buyers faster and better.
Interviewer: Why is a franchise agent better than an independent agent?
Eric: Well, I mean, they I guess …
Interviewer: Are you biased?
Eric: I am biased. I am biased. So, I mean, we’re a franchise office. We purchased a franchise over 21 years ago, and there are a lot of franchise firms, Allen Tate, HPW, Fonville Morisey that are coming into the area. And we’re one of the … I mean, we’re certainly the oldest franchise in Chatham County that’s been around for a long time. They had a Century 21. They had a couple RE/MAXs, but none of those lasted. And then we-
Interviewer: Sorry, that’s Realty World Carolina Properties.
Eric: Realty World Carolina. So Realty World is the franchise. Carolina Properties is the tag line that we’ve added to it. And there’s a bunch of Realty Worlds in Raleigh. There’s a bunch on the coast. There’s a bunch in the mountains, but they’re not huge in North Carolina. They fluctuate between sixth and 10th in the national franchise game. They’re really big in California, in Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. They’re big in Florida, but there’s certainly, I mean, you got, like I said before, RE/MAX and Century 21 and all the standard names or whatever. But one of the things that we found when we were first going it and we were going it alone without the help of the franchise, is that there’s just no way an independent mom and pop … And we have really, really good independent firms here in Chatham County and there’s good agents.
And there are people that sell 10, 15, $20 million. But the problem is that there’s just no way they can keep up with the technology. There’s no way. We have a corporate tech pack out of California that does so many things for us. I mean, it does contact database management. It does transaction reports for us. It does a comparative market analysis for us. I mean, it’s constantly changing. The game’s constantly changing. It does social media coordination. I can’t imagine if I was an agent on my own or if I was an owner of a local firm completely on my own and having to do all these things for my agents, or you have to say, sorry, we don’t do that. And the agent has to do it on their own. So an incredible amount of support. And also we have a lot of people coming from California.
Well, I’ve already told you one of the biggest agencies in California is Realty World. It sure does help me when someone comes from California and they see that Realty World logo or sign or whatever. I mean, there’s some trade offs, I’m sure. Now, one of the things is that my agents have to pay $165 a month to the national franchise that other local agents don’t have to pay that fee. But I mean, if you’re selling one or two houses a month, 165 bucks is nothing. So I think we get a lot of value from the company name and also the support. We have webinars all the time. We’re constantly learning. And so there’s power in being a franchise agent, I think, for sure, especially in Chatham County.