When in the course of real estate business it becomes necessary for an agent to dissolve the ties of a firm that has connected him with other agents and declare his or her independence, it must be determined whether it is the right decision to ensure your pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

For real estate agents, the decision to declare your independence and run your own agency and brokerage is a big decision. There are pros and cons to independence vs. becoming a partner with a real estate franchise. The push toward independence can reap rewards for agents by fostering flexibility, inspiring leadership and create competition.

Like any business decision, declaring your independence comes with a list of pros and cons. It is important to weigh these issues as you make that jump and decide what is right for you. Let’s examine a few:

Independence comes with complete freedom and autonomy. You can develop your brand, seek out your own clients and are free of the burden of any franchise fees.

On the flip side, complete freedom also places your chances of success completely on you. Marketing, recruitment, retention and growth will depend solely on the decisions you make. You will have to build your brand and stay informed of all of the latest technology.

Working with a franchise, particularly one that is a respected national brand, offers many advantages, including brand name recognition. Working for a recognized and successful real estate franchise can provide you with instant recognition and market awareness that leads to more prospective buyer and sellers.

Once you declare your independence, you will be able to make your own decisions on how to invest in growing your business. You can invest as much or as little as you like and you can determine what areas are more important, from marketing and software to other areas.

Working for a franchise will give you the muscle of their marketing tools, websites, company resources, skill-enhancing training programs and tools and market promotion. Many agents find this appealing because they can concentrate on representing home buyers and sellers more effectively.

After declaring your freedom, you can pursue customers as you wish. This certainly can be a strength depending on your personality, experience and level of commitment. If you are an agent who has been working in a market for a while, you certainly can excel in this area as an independent.

As part of a franchise, you can have a source for potential customers and the franchise can generate a significant number of leads for you through their website and ongoing marketing and advertising.

Once you’ve declared your independence, you can provide a personalized level of client service as well as a more intimate experience and relationship based around consistent one-on-one interaction.

Most leading franchises provide training and mentoring for their agents through live and online courses, seminars and sales conferences. This can help agents develop and maintain positive professional growth and are designed to give them an edge over the competition in the market.

With independence comes some of the responsibilities of running a business, such as benefits. If you are going to be a one-person operation, you could get benefits through your spouse’s place of employment, otherwise you will have to pay for your own health insurance. Many agents already pay their own way in one way or another, so for some the difference may not be that great. For others, it can be an increased expense, especially if your new enterprise grows and you have to add employees to maintain that growth.

With the franchise, there can be group medical insurance and retirement programs that are not available to independent agents. Many of the options available to a franchise simply are not available to an individual.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to declaring your independence as an agent. If it makes sense for you to be independent, you can, and of right ought to be a free and independent agent.

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