Starting My Own Real Estate Company

9 Replies

Hey everyone! I've been investing in real estate for years and recently decided to get my real estate license. A friend has contacted me about starting a company with him. He has a BIC that wants to be a part of it so we have that covered. My question is, how would an independent agency compete with all the big, national agencies that are dominating our local areas? I am in South Carolina. I am ok with offering smaller commission fees if that's the answer. Real estate is not my primary business. I am just looking for a little advice from some seasoned real estate folks that have felt the frustration of going up against the big time agencies.


The big time agencies don't have as much of an advantage as you think. It's all about who they talked to last, and who is in their mind. One of the other agents in my office was telling me about one of her neighbors, in an area she just moved to. This particular person was friends with 4 other real estate agents, some of which lived pretty close by. They listed their house with an agent out of Salem, over an hour away, because he sent them a letter.

I think something like 80% of people only interview one agent. You just have to stay at the top of their mind. Make the cold calls, and do the other things that agents should be doing, but almost never do.

Thanks Shawn! WE only have a few independent agents where I live. The market is consumed by RE/Max, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Weichert, Assist-2-Sell, etc.

Victor, I agree with Shawn.  I work in a small, boutique agency myself.  I have no issue going against the big guys, one of which I used to work for, because people trust people, not brands.  If you stock up on good, responsive, aggressive agents you might actually find you can charge higher rates.  I cater to my clients and offer a very concierge like experience to buyers and sellers alike.  Additionally, you can tailor your website to be much more local than the big boys, thus helping you in the SEO area.  Good luck with your endeavor.

I agree with these other folks. I'm with an independent agency and have been for 4 years. I briefly left to go to one of the big guys and I wasn't very pleased. I didn't close one deal while I was there and went right back to my old company because I had way more freedom and my current company NEVER creates any obstacles for me to succeed. Your clients want to work with you. Not necessarily your company. You just have to be a stellar agent and keep them coming back and referring you. I'm going independent some time fairly soon and I'm really not worried about facing off with the big boxes. 

@Victor Webster , you are well enough known in the area for the community work that you do that you have a huge starting advantage. (At least I would think that you do) Use your network and build from that. Just let everyone know what you are up to and that you are there to help them or their friends if they need it.

@Victor Webster

A lot of great advise already to your forum post. I agree 100% with @Shawn Torsitano , @Bryan Hedges , @Troy Gandee and @Collin Smith . Relationships matter to your clients far more than the company. 

I would waive a flag of caution about your comment to go the whole "we will charge less fees" than the big guys. Without talking commissions as that's illegal and unethical, in my opinion the moment you start trying to undercut the other guys you simultaneously de-value yourself, your company and your worth. I don't actually believe that gives you any leg up. That is a hotly debated idea, but that's my two cents and opinion. 

What got you in the door most likely were the three biggest things that get you business: someone who likes you, someone who trusts you and someone who knows you. Your ability to convert someone you do not know to those three feelings of a customer will drive your success, I firmly believe that. 

If you go into it with the right reasons to treat people with a high level of care and effort, the success will follow in terms of transactions. Not enough agents in the world understand that, and are just chasing their next check instead of building their business slowly the right way towards real wealth. 

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