12 Reasons Why Small Brokerages are Underrated

I joined a family business after college in 1987.   I’d been licensed for a few years before and, although I really didn’t plan to become a broker, it seemed inevitable.  The job market was not good and a job while I waited, turned into income I couldn’t turn away.   I built a first home about a year after graduation and began to think of personal investment as residual income.  It helped to grow up around the family business, but I think I always had an interest in independence.   Succeeding with my ideas and work felt more rewarding than succeeding after direction.

Regardless, I stayed in the business and, over time, it evolved.  Watching the rise of computer use has been interesting.  If you think about it, I was practicing before social media and before the internet was widely known.  Back in the late 80’s, I picked up running a local BBS (bulletin board system), essentially an early version of internet with dialup modems.   Several early systems were systems I built from parts and client relationship management software was nearly unknown then and my client list was a combination of names on the computer and a Rolodex.   All files were paper.   I gradually changed the way I worked, with technology offering an advantage I felt other agents would need to work to match.  Today, there are more tools available and the bigger difference is choosing to do the work personally or delegating.   In my opinion, most communication needs a personal touch.   The experience still matters and content matters.

Why choose small, experienced brokerages?

  1. Experience is a given, but every client calling, reaches someone able to answer all questions.  Buffers like an unlicensed assistant or receptionist, increase odds of miscommunication or losing a sale.
  2. Fewer steps to reach the broker can mean a great deal.  I forward my office line to my mobile every time I walk out the door.  Every call reaches me and I have details of every listing with me, scanned into cloud, at all times.
  3. Experience matters in more ways than you think.  The reading list above includes some of the material I’ve picked up over the years.  Some are reference, some old textbooks and some were meant to add fresh direction.   Most of my daily reading is online now.
  4. I’m a full-time broker.  Small offices can’t afford part-time anything, but part time means listings and clients are very difficult to service.  Even if you work with a part time partner, the connection changes when shifting from one agent to another.
  5. Personally, I learn more every year.  In the last few years, I took the time to go through GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), TRC (transnational referral certification) and e-Pro programs.  The first and last programs were quite interesting and were worth taking the time to begin again.  While written often for new agents, both have ideas most of us will not have considered.
  6. Portability is more necessary in smaller offices and better, in my opinion.  My entire office is with me at all times.  Every file, every survey, closings, new listings, MLS and everything.  You might think this is common, but it actually isn’t.  My work evolved into the use of technology over a long period of time and, in some cases, I think I was years ahead.
  7. Smaller means innovation is always needed.  I can’t compete at all, if I’m not good.
  8. Privacy is easier to achieve.  In particular, buyers may prefer to make offers on property without telegraphing the offer or being known at all.  I am the beginning, middle and end of a transaction, at least on my side.   It may not matter to every buyer, but I’m certain this is often a consideration.
  9. Relationships make a difference.  I’ve benefitted from this and suffered, as I occasionally think friends may prefer not to air laundry.  Agents become friends, counselors, advisors and, most importantly, trusted.   This means social media works really well for me.
  10. My adverting is targeted to only pieces that work.
  11. Doing it all can be challenging, but the benefit is extreme competence.
  12. Smaller may equate to a lower cost to deliver service.  Low overhead means I can consider listings and commissions on a property by property basis.

There are probably 13 Reasons Why, or 14, 15 or 16….., but the main points are connection with clients in smaller offices includes fewer steps.  Innovation and education are required to compete, so the average small office, in my opinion, often has a higher average level of agent experience than a larger office.    Privacy can be important for many clients and is easier to deliver with fewer steps.  Social connections and networks work for 1 to 1 interaction.   I’m far from a professional writer, but my posts are real and I do reply to feedback here or on social media.   This becomes difficult, if content is “canned”.  I don’t waste much.   Waste may not mean much to you, until you realize waste adds to my overhead.

Are you consider buying new construction or building a home? Not already represented by another REALTOR®?  Ask me about a buyer broker agreement and how I think I can offer substantial benefits.

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