Bigger Isn't Always Better

5 Reasons to Choose an Independent Brokerage

Jay Evan Schoenfeldt | November 1, 2023

People often ask me why I started my own brokerage versus joining a nationally recognized franchise. When I was a child, my parents taught me the importance of independence and treating others well. These values have been my North Star ever since.

Rather than operate under another brand's corporate guidelines, I get to create a client-first culture at my own boutique brokerage — and it makes all the difference in the real estate experience I'm able to provide. 

While choosing to work with a well-known, franchised real estate giant may seem tempting at first thought, there are several compelling reasons why partnering with a local, independent brokerage is better.

1. Personalized Attention

At franchised brokerages, clients are often seen as merely transactions or metrics. At an independent brokerage, where agents and clients are a part of the same local community, you’re seen as a neighbor. 

Independent brokerages tend to focus on quality relationships with their clients versus sales volume. As a result, the agents there are often more accessible and responsive — providing a level of service that is not often experienced at a franchised firm.

One of the things I love most about operating my own independent brokerage is 

having the opportunity to really get to know my clients and provide them with the same exceptional service I would expect as a client.

One of my clients was in escrow on a property, but wasn’t getting clear answers from the seller about obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy that would affect the closing timeline. So  I made it my mission to relentlessly call the city department until I got the answer my client was seeking.

Whether you have questions, concerns, or simply need someone to guide you through the complexities of the real estate process, your local, independent broker is more likely to go the extra mile and be there for you every step of the way. 

2. Market Knowledge

Franchise brokerages, with their sprawling reach, are focused on sales volume and encourage a neutral point of view regarding local issues. When you work with a local brokerage, you're tapping into your broker’s relationships and the wealth of experience they have within your community and its smaller neighborhoods. 

These agents are intimately acquainted with the nuances of the areas they serve — from local issues like new development to local regulations that may affect your real estate decisions. Having an insider's perspective can be a game-changer in your real estate journey. 

3. Local Relationships

In order for a sale to go smoothly there are multiple parties and vendors that you rely on — from lenders to contractors to movers. Independent, boutique brokerages often have deep-rooted connections within the community. 

I frequently recommend local vendors that have built their business within the fabric of the community. They are hard-working individuals that demonstrate pride of workmanship. Plus, working with them is a great way to support the local community.

4. Agility & Flexibility

Large, franchised brokerages often come with layers of bureaucracy that slow down the buying or selling process, and policies that put their own corporate needs before the needs of the buyers and sellers they are supposed to serve. 

In contrast, boutique agencies tend to be more agile and nimble, putting their clients' unique needs first without having to follow a rigid corporate policy. They can adapt quickly to market changes, pivot marketing or pricing strategies when necessary, and offer creative solutions that are tailored to your unique situation.

5. Community Commitment

Independent brokerages are deeply intertwined with the communities they serve. For example, I support local organizations like KCRW/NPR, LACMA and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center. 

When you work with an independent broker, you're not just engaging in a business transaction; you're also supporting a local business and investing money back into the community they serve.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your real estate journey is not just about buying or selling a property; it's about finding your place within a community. 
  • While big, franchised brokerages may have name recognition, working with an independent, local brokerage is a choice that puts you and your unique needs first. 
  • Local, independent brokerages provide the personal touches and local expertise that can make all the difference in your real estate experience. 

At Brick & Mortar, business is personal.

Partner with us and let us guide you on the path to your next dream home or the successful sale of your current property.

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Work With Jay

For me success is knowing that each client is given the care and attention to feel confident in their sale. It is never losing sight that they have entrusted me to help them make a well-informed, financial decision.