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How "Little" Brokerages Can Get "Bigger"

It’s true — the VAST majority of independent brokerages can’t afford to write a 7 figure check to the Zillow’s of the world.

As Jay puts it:

This could be the beginning of the end for small brokerages

Or not.

I’m in the “not” camp.

That said, I have an idea about how “small” brokerages can get, well, a bit “bigger” — without actually physically getting any bigger.

I’ve long thought there is an opportunity for independent brokerages around the country to unite and build a “network” based upon a shared set of values. One brokerage in each market, and use that larger collective group to negotiate better deals on technology products, marketing spends, and admin items (like business cards) — and of course share SEO juice between members of the network. It likely wouldn’t get to be the size of ERA, Howard Hanna, Prudential, or any of the large franchises, but the network would certainly be able to get better deals by banding together than by negotiating separately. Of course, that’s only useful if everyone wants to use the same set of services (details, details).

This is actually somewhat similar to Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. The difference being that LeadingRE will let in anyone that wants to pay — versus the network I’m envisioning being entirely based on shared values and members would only be permitted into the group if they are vouched for by other members, or voted in somehow.

Just a hunch, but I’m guessing the likes of Thompson’s Realty, San Diego Castles, Heddings Property Group, and M Squared Real Estate would be interested if the shared values were consistent with their own. They can correct me if I’m wrong.

What do you think? Would it work? Would brokerages buy in?

**Photo via

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Anonymous

    Something I have long thought about.

  • Dude, get out of my head. This is exactly why I bought (pay no attention to the site, it’s me trying to learn Headway, and flailing about miserably…)

    • dude…you need some professional design on that sucker 🙂

    • Yes, now you’re speaking my language, indie brokers FTW! 

      Don’t worry, Jay, I flailed miserably at Headway, too. After that experience, I much prefer conventional WP themes.

  • mrwilliamsburg

    Sounds like a perfect plan. Maybe our small brokerage would be a good partner ? In the course of the last eight years we have gone from a distant dream of the perfect real estate brokerage to the number one offices in both of our markets, ( Williamsburg VA & VA Peninsula)  Our broker, Liz , is the most energetic, inspirational creative managers I have ever worked for. 

    Check out our company site sometime. 

    Personally I have wanted to create a mini network of other like minded agents in similar retirement and second home communities. A huge percentage of folks I deal with are “researching” a place to retire to…If we formed a network we could offer the buyers a comprehensive info center for all of the popular east coast destinations.  For me that’s typically North and South Carolina, Georgia and Charlottesville VA. 

  • Good point Drew! This new certainly a thing that needs a lot of thinking. Great job!

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