Cindy Davis (SD Home Source Realty)

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Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

There are enough different business models out there. I think most agents can find a suitable match. But everyone's needs and wants are not the same. What one needs as a new agent is different from what they need or want once they are seasoned. It's good to have choices.

Jan 19, 2015 04:25 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

The basic business--getting sellable listings--has not changed in the 38 years I've been a Realtor.  Realtors have always talked about changes, but it hasn't happened in any substantive way.

When the market is good, the number of brokerage increases; when it's bad the number of brokerages contracts.  Franchises have always been unpopular with agents, but not with the buying/selling public.

Technology and the Internet have vastly improved marketing and have changed communication, but not the basic business of listing sellable property. 

Jan 19, 2015 03:41 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

I am with Suzanne McLaughlin I love working from home and I an not with a big box company either.  My office fees are minimal- seriously minimal.  I have several brokers that have consistently invited me to come and work for them- they can't come anywhere near my agreement!  To make the amount of money I am currently making in a big box company- I would have to sell about 2 million more a year before I would be even with my agreement now;) 

Jan 19, 2015 12:51 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I have not found that to be the case.

Jan 18, 2015 08:54 PM
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

My broker and I left the big box over seven years ago, and we are so happy.  I hate how they charge for every little thing, and I love officing from home.  Plus the benefits of writing off the space for taxes!

Jan 18, 2015 06:03 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Yes, the antiquated real estate system is definitely broken. We have a surplus of several hundred thousand real estate agents and the average age indicates that young people are avoiding real estate as a career.

Jan 17, 2015 05:20 AM
Jill Moog
Coast & Country Homes and Estates, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad, CA Homes for Sale

Cindy, Good question. I agree, it is evolving and will continue to change. I was at a seminar last week and the speaker was on the Profession Standards committee. She said change is coming regarding the Independent Contractor status of Agents. 

Jan 17, 2015 03:47 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I see more and more agents breaking off from the big names and opening their own brokerage.  I feel that the big name brokerages will be dwindling s time goes n.

Jan 19, 2015 09:51 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think the internet really gives more power to the local agent/brokerage.  As to the commission structure I will not address the amount, but I know some want a fee for service.  This may work on a limited basis, but I think commission is here to stay.

Jan 19, 2015 06:12 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Our market is definitely dominated by the national brand name brokerages. Fees don't vary much between them and our independent brokers. 

Jan 19, 2015 01:57 AM
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

As bigger name brokerages take more comissions I can see more independent borkerages start up. The value add for a brand name is less with the advent of social media and other mediums available and affordable to the individual.

Jan 18, 2015 01:37 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have seen more local brokerages opening than big box franchices expanding.

Jan 17, 2015 01:09 PM
Bill Dandridge
MKB, Realtors - Roanoke, VA
GREEN, ABR, GRI, EcoBroker

I do not think so. The limited-service brokers certainly do charge the sellers less money, but that is reflected in the service they provide.

Jan 17, 2015 10:07 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Cindy Davis one thing is for sure - the traditional model IS changing! I have seen it over last decade - and yes, now all franchise want to be agent-centric!

Jan 17, 2015 08:12 AM
Dipti Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
On a team with Praful Thakkar

I do not think so.

May 28, 2018 10:40 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Those who adapt to the changing times will prosper, others may not.

Oct 23, 2017 09:08 PM
LuxurySoCalRealty San Diego
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

I don't believe so in the luxury market.  

Jan 11, 2016 07:43 PM
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

There is synergy and comraderie  in the big companies. They have a big bank of knowledge.

For agents who have the discipline and production and don't mnd being alone, I like RE E Brokers and they charge only $600 per transaction. It's also good for part-timers.

Others might benefit from a medium size company.

Jan 25, 2015 01:32 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Many hide behind the cardboard Country 22, Richochet Max or whatever off color blazer. Now with a little thing called the Internet, you don't need the training wheels that are expensive. Independent and control on the spending with a strong online presence you direct make it build your own model, platform to sell. Own it instead of renting the shoulder to shoulder perception of big and happy and pulling together... for a high monthly fee and nothing you ever own working for another.

Jan 23, 2015 09:50 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I don't know about broken but I am getting a lot more agents calling me to join my company because of the overhead costs.

Jan 23, 2015 01:32 PM
Shannon Thomas
Selling Indy Metro, LLC - Avon, IN
Managing Broker, E-Pro, ABR,SRS, SFR

I'm with a non traditional brokerage and love it.  I work out of my home and don't have to go to madatory meetings.  All of my leads are self generated and my home office has everthing I need right here.  I was with a traditional office for 2 years and I just couldn't see the overhead that I had to pay.  My brokerage fees now are minimal. 

The cost of doing business without paying huge brokerage fees and large split commissions is still high.  


Jan 22, 2015 08:20 PM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

In our market, the big box companies still dominate, but there are some great up and coming companies that are pulling big agents away.

Jan 21, 2015 08:12 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Interesting comments.

When I opened my office I was an independent - as was everyone else in our small town. When C-21 came in they didn't do very well and didn't stay  very long. The sign brought in "tourists" but the locals were distrustful. They wanted to deal with someone they knew and didn't realize that offices are owned and operated by local people. (In that case it wasn't true - it was owned by someone in the next town over, but...)

C-21 is back now. They bought into the office I used to own. Since they're the only ones left in town, and the people who were there before are still there, I suppose they're doing OK.

Jan 19, 2015 01:13 PM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

I think it depends on the area and market.  What works in a small town may not work in a large city.

Jan 19, 2015 10:47 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Lloyd Binen hit the nail on the head in my opinion when he said, "Franchises have always been unpopular with agents, but not with the buying/selling public.   " 

As much as there is extra expense to the agent when working at a franchise, for better  or worse, it lends credibility in the public's eye.    I track my leads and get enough by my association with a franchise to make it worthwhile.   Plus, they pay a lot of operating expenses.

To answer your question, I do not think the model is broken.   I like that there are so many models to choose from though.

Jan 19, 2015 07:37 AM
John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

Personally, I wouldn't know one model from another as I'm not a traditional RE broker. I use my license as more of a necessity when needed for projects I'm working on. At the end of the day I guess I really don't even need a license but it does add some credibility and I didn't mind going through the learning curve.

Jan 19, 2015 05:58 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It depends on the agent's personal goals and objectives, doesn't it? Some agents are not prepared to work independently, so starting in a traditional model may be the solution to get training and experience learning from other successful agents in the office. 

Jan 19, 2015 04:57 AM
Kathy Judy
Tri-Cities Real Estate retired - Ontario, OR

I agree that easy to use technology and social media have changed everything. however in our case at least, the agents who spend time in the office do better. There is some value in "being there". And yes, an independent contractor had better be truly mandated meetings, the same rules that would apply if you would hire a contractor to work on your home. Real estate companies have blatantly violated this for years.

Jan 19, 2015 02:20 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

This is an odd question. What does traditional look like?

In my market, the mom & pop brokerages don't have a chance at market %. If you can't change the system or invent a new model - who cares?


Jan 19, 2015 02:00 AM
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Cindy, I think we're seeing the same changes:  some smaller boutique agencies,, some cut rate agencies and the large firms.  I see more and more agents getting their broker's license and becoming independent's as the major trend in our Phoenix real estate market. 

Jan 19, 2015 12:48 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It seems to be working just fine down here, Cindy except for the market share of the big franchises which seems to be declining.

Jan 17, 2015 06:00 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I would say it is evolving, and there are many out there who are trying to do away with 5-6% commissions.  I do see the office sizes shrinking and desks being shared, which definitely reduces overhead.  Time will tell. A

Jan 17, 2015 03:19 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ


I an not sure I know what a traditional real estate model would look like.

Some brokers/team leaders impose minimal compensation standards on agents.

Some franchises dictate from the ivory tower what the compensation will be.

Some allow the agent to create their own business model and establish their own compensation schedule AND benefit from a brand synonymous with real estate.

Some models allow an agent do turn a transaction every year or two while others need to see 25 a year or you are FIRED.

Some allow close collaboration with investors, property managers and diversified income.

I don't know what the tradition model is......UNLESS the definition is entirely based on compensation at the level you suggest. Then one must question why you think it is broke.

Jan 17, 2015 02:02 AM