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Franchise Brokerage versus Independent BrokerageOnce you go Independent Brokerage, you ...

Updated: May 6, 2021

Fresh after finishing the preliminary real estate courses, and anxious to jump onto the steaming train that is today’s real estate market, a new realtor may stop to consider what type of brokerage dynamic best epitomizes an interpretation of success and self-fulfilment.

Do I consider a national brand brokerage, steeped in years of familiarity? Can I see my name on a lawn sign in conjunction with this company’s reputation, however common or impersonal it may be to my career aspirations? Consequently, am I permitted to establish my own personal brand under this prominent, parent brand umbrella?

Or, do I consider an alternative – an Independent Brokerage. Can an independent brokerage satisfy my dreams for real estate fame and prosperity?

Making a selection between what type of brokerage you want to join is not an easy one. However, more and more realtors are beginning to realize that they can reach household name recognition and brand empowerment faster, and more effectively, in an independent brokerage context.

National franchise brands offer instant membership, strong infrastructures, credible history, and standardized methods often associated with structured fees, commission splits, and locked in company policy. Stressing the promises of security and safety, larger franchise brokerages promote strength in membership numbers and scope of influence.

Conversely, independent brokerages offer a realtor many intangibles a national brand is incapable of providing. A partnered relationship between personal brand and brokerage brand is far more achievable with an independent brokerage. Real estate has always been a localized enterprise. To align with a vibrant and creative independent brokerage in the locality of your choice will allow you to empower your personal brand immediately and creatively, as opposed to melting into the populous of a bigger brokerage.

Furthermore, many independent brokerages offer the opportunity to stand out instantly with the same support structures in place, not to mention the perks of lower brokerage or desk fees. Finally, independent brokerages offer a realtor opportunities to grow as a professional. Leadership positions, which may one day transition into running your own office and creating multiple streams of income at a later stage in your career, are much more attainable under a more fluid, independent brokerage construct.

The debatable choice for a realtor has always been big franchise brokerage versus independent smaller brokerage, but should it not hinge on an evaluation of how you see yourself in your business? Do you feel your charismatic personality is better suited to lead your personal brand, or are you prepared to follow a brand model that governs over your business? Do you see yourself more visible in your marketing and promotion? If so, would you prefer to have your personal brand evolve alongside an independent brokerage’s brand? Most importantly, can you solely rely on a brokerage that promises you more listings when, as an entrepreneur, you realize that you will have to hustle, either way, to compete for your listings?

There are obvious benefits and disadvantages to both choices. So is it as simple as choosing a brokerage that can help you find yourself in your business? Ideally, the choice should be one that feels like home, since home is where a realtor’s heart is.

SOURCE: Dean Serravalle, Broker of Record, Revel Realty Inc.

Dean Serravalle is the Broker of Record of Revel Realty Inc., one of the fastest growing independent brokerages in Ontario. In six short years, Revel has amassed over 200 realtors and expanded to 11 offices! Dean has also published four novels, one of which was recently shortlisted for the ReLit Award. His author website is

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