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The Flex Survival Guide: Here’s How to Decide Between Brand Licensing and Franchising

If you’re at the point in your career where you’re deciding whether to open your own brokerage, congratulations! Reaching this point is an exciting, and simultaneously, overwhelming time in your career. You have a big decision to make on how you want to move forward. You can go independent and open your own firm with your own brand that you build from scratch, or you can become affiliated with a franchise.

Depending on your goals and preferences, both options have their benefits and their drawbacks, but there’s a third option to consider that combines the best of both worlds – a brand license through Flex Realty.

Let’s discuss the options.

Going out on your own with an independent brokerage

The biggest pro here? You call the shots, 100 percent. With complete autonomy, every aspect of your business - from logo to website content and commission fees - is how you want it, enabling you to be as creative and disruptive as you’d like. Plus, there are no franchise fees.

What you save in franchise fees, however, ultimately gets zeroed out when you take a look at the significant investment that will need to be made in developing your own brand look and feel and your own marketing materials and marketing plans. You’ll also have to account for fewer resources - both human and otherwise - and more responsibilities resting on your shoulders.

Starting from scratch with your own independent brokerage means you’ll need to spend both time and money researching and deciding on the tools, technologies, and resources that will get your brokerage up and running and keep it open. You will be responsible for vetting and selecting everything from the paper in your printer to the CRM used to manage and grow your customer base, to the ongoing training and education you provide to staff, and everything in between.

And finally, while forming your own independent brokerage offers you a clean slate to shape and mold as your own, it’s important to remember that developing brand recognition, credibility, and trust isn’t just like flipping a switch: it takes time. And the more competition and saturation that exists in your market, the harder it will be to develop all three.

Affiliating with a franchise

One of the biggest pros of franchising is stepping over the starting line with an established brand and brand recognition. You have access to the brand assets and the name of an established firm that people in your area may already be familiar with, especially if it is a nationally recognized real estate brand.

Similarly, you get access to valuable technology and resources. Large firms are able to offer franchisees access to lead gen and CRM platforms, as well as training and educational support for brokers. Additionally, as a franchise affiliate you are able to access existing marketing materials to promote your listings and recruit agents for your firm.

With all of these benefits comes sacrificing complete autonomy. As a franchisee, you will lack the ability to fully run your brokerage the way you want to. You’ll also encounter franchise fees. Although each franchise agreement varies, there’s a strong chance that you will end up paying thousands of dollars upfront in exchange for access to existing technological, marketing, training and other support services. Some of these agreements might also include contract renewal, monthly advertising fees and royalty fees that could add up to 5-6 percent per transaction or more.

The other significant downside is the lack of differentiation you would encounter. Franchise affiliates all too often fall victim to the “sea of sameness.” In taking on the franchise branding and way of operations, many franchisees end up offering customers the exact same, run-of-the-mill experience.

Flex Realty Brand Licensing: the best of both worlds, and more

If the pros of both of the above options sound good to you, then you’re in luck. Realtors looking to go out on their own and disrupt the status quo have the option to license the Flex Realty brand.

In doing so you get the best of both worlds: the instant differentiation and independence of your own brokerage with the support and access to resources of affiliating with a franchise. No starting from scratch, no startup fees and hidden costs, just a chance to break through the status quo and reach an exceptional level of success (not to mention, a constantly ringing phone).

Picture this:

  • Our brand and full service for less approach give you a uniquely appealing position in your market, whereas most competitors offer clients one of two paths – full service at premium rates or discount service at discount rates.
  • Brand licensees are able to access a full-suite of ready-made Flex Realty-branded, personalized collateral and advertising campaign templates, proven to generate results and customized to your market.
  • Expert guidance, on-site training, personalized coaching, and webinar sessions from the Flex team offer support that prepares you to successfully follow in our agents’ footsteps.
  • Access to the most robust CRM technology in the business to help make your life easier and your business more profitable.
  • A business that is yours, and yours alone, to run as you see fit.
  • No hidden fees. Instead, a licensing agreement that is structured on a per transaction basis.

Interested in learning more about becoming a Flex brand licensee? There’s no better time than right now. Reach out today and schedule a consultation call with us.