Robert Donica

Sometimes, bigger is way better.

Bigger ice cream cones are better than smaller ones. Bigger bonus checks are better than smaller checks. And bigger diamonds are better than smaller diamonds (my friend Jenni Ruiz thought I should add that last one to the list).

But bigger things can also mean bigger challenges. A bigger tax bill, a bigger hole in your sock, and a bigger commission fee are all “bigger is NOT better” examples.

But what about real estate firms? Are the big box brands better than their boutique counterparts? What exactly are the differences? Let’s take a look.

Know The Differences

National and regional brands can offer some great things to their agents. They have great locations in their markets with big, expensive offices. They run regional and national ad campaigns to bring clients in the door. These agents have access to lead generation machines that bring in buyers and sellers galore. But notice I didn’t mention any specific “bigger” or “better” benefits to the seller.

I have heard agents from big box firms boast about specific incentives and programs that they use to sell houses, but when pressed to quantify those benefits, the room goes chartsilent. “We work with the most relocation companies!” “We get buyer referrals from major websites!” “We have the best signs in the Northern Hemisphere!” I’ve heard all these claims and more, but I’ve never seen a single agent or agency be able to claim the actual value of these claims to a client. The value is in the agency’s ability to bring in more clients – whether or not those new clients are going to be interested in your listing is unpredictable at best.

Smaller brands (they prefer to be called “local” or “boutique” brands) have their own set of issues. With often underdeveloped marketing plans, limited budgets, and a shoestring staff, they might struggle to cover an agent who goes on vacation or runs into a deal outside of their expertise. Some of these agents will attempt to cut costs by not using a showing service, provide electronic lockboxes, or have a full time office manager. For the crazy rates they charge, you should never have to go without any of these things.

So which one is better?

The truth is, it’s the individual agent you choose that will matter most, not the type of agency they belong to. Do they answer their phone and return emails/texts promptly? Did they show up to your listing appointment on time and fully prepared? How many houses have they sold (if they don’t say at least 100, don’t pay a full commission!)?  Are they professionally dressed and speak like someone you’d want representing you? Are they a full time agent or just a hobbyist? If your agent isn’t the full package, don’t fork over full commission. Better yet, get an agent who is all that and a bag of chips and pay HALF the commission!

Rocket Realty saw the need for professional agents who won’t wipe out your equity while providing exceptional service. So as you interview agents (you are interviewing several, AREN’T YOU?!), make sure you give us a shot. You’ll have at least the same outcome – if not better – without paying outrageously high commissions in the process.

Good luck out there!