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Oct 19, 2023

Independent or not?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines independent as ‘not influenced or controlled in any way by other people, events, or things’. Real Estate agencies can broadly be classified as either independent or members of a real estate franchise/group. The real estate franchise/group is typically headquartered in an Australian capital city or in some cases overseas. Many of these franchises/groups have become household names through extensive advertising and the sheer number of members Australia wide (and even worldwide). Whilst there are different franchise or group membership models, essentially there is some cost of membership. Typically, this consists of fixed charges and a variable component based on sales and/or management fee revenue. Many franchises or groups provide their own internal training, whilst others are paid up members of independent training groups. Some franchises/groups even provide their franchisees/members with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Property Management/Trust Accounting software and website/email hosting. Franchises or groups are typically an easier way to start a Real Estate Agency with instant branding and often key systems in place but is the additional cost, complexity and relinquishment of some level of control, the best model for a real estate agency? The independent agency typically gets to choose their own internal systems from what is the ‘best-of-breed’ in Australia. This includes their CRM, Property Management/Trust Accounting software, email and web hosting. This can be configured, deployed and used in such a way that suits their local market, their staff and client requirements. Typically, they pay no more than they need to for these systems and often use local suppliers. In addition, there is also no percentage charge on any revenue earned by the agency. This means independents typically offer more competitive professional and management fees and more of their revenue stays local. Furthermore, their staff are not influenced by what is often ‘one size, fits all’ training and franchise/group mandated systems leaving them to be more agile and flexible when dealing with sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants. Whilst most franchises or groups would be happy to take on new members, we believe the independent model is the best and most efficient way to service the East Gippsland property market. We don’t want to be influenced or controlled in any way by other people, events, or things (other than working effectively with our clients for the best possible results, meeting or exceeding their needs or requirements)! Richard Ivey - Director - Coast to Country Real Estate Pty Ltd