Between 2021 and 2022, Atlanta led the nation in the number of real estate agents entering our industry. Why is a mid-market, like Atlanta, leading the Country in this category? How are we doing this?
Interesting fact, 40% of all U.S real estate sales takes place in 4 States; CA, TX, NY, FL. Georgia is down the list. Data doesn’t lie. So why are the number of agents growing in Atlanta more than anywhere else in the United States? This type of growth, so far outside the box, doesn’t just happen by happenstance.
Friends of our blog know exactly why this is happening. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is both the reason and the villain for this situation. NAR has direct control over 90% of the U.S real estate market. NAR has ZERO control over Atlanta! In most of America, basic monthly fees for a Realtor exceed $100.00. In Atlanta, only franchises charge that. At Wynd Realty, the little ”r” realtor, fee is just $14.95 a month. In Atlanta, some Brokerages offer FREE affiliation.
This is why Atlanta leads the nation in agent growth. It’s reasonable! And it’s non-NAR!
But this is not another anti-NAR blog. We have ten years of those posted online. This blog is about a tipping point. Atlanta already has more little “r”s agents than it has the Realtor sized ones. (An astronomical amount of NAR time is spent protecting their capital “R” and correctly advising on the proper pronunciation of the word Realtor) As the number of agents in our market continues to grow, so to does the gap between the franchise Realtors and independent little r’s.
At some point the consumer will fully comprehend what this means. Independent Brokerages don’t have national franchises they must feed. Consumers needn’t pay for Brokerage overhead that includes nationwide marketing and recruitment. Realtors seem to forget, we ask Sellers to pay for everything while never really considering they do so from their “nest eggs”. For many consumers, their home and the equity they have earned in that home is the nest egg they will need to rely on years from now.
Given this, it is not unreasonable that sellers wouldn’t be that happy funding a Broker’s President’s Club, or paying for some other downstream pyramid commission gimmick. Franchises must continually recruit and that costs a ton. Homeowners don’t want to pay for any of it. Particularly if they have a choice NOT to.
So whose side do you want to be on? The franchise agents aren’t the cool kids anymore. Their business model is as dated as rabbit ears. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/rabbit-ears True fact: the heyday of the real estate franchise movement coincided with the VHS Era. Blockbuster, Keller Williams, Hollywood Video, Remax, Family Video and Harry Norman are all brands of the same time.
Brands from forty years ago are not common; except in the real estate world. Even weirder are business methodologies that have been frozen in place for over 50 years. Sellers are still paying 6%. Brokers are still getting rich. NAR still “contributes” tens of millions of dollars every year to political friends. Agents are still sending holiday calendars. Enough of this already.
Atlanta is growing like nobody else, because Atlanta is like, nobody else!
On behalf of Atlanta’s independent real estate community, we would like to offer a warm welcome to all our capital R Realtor brothers and sisters who are considering transferring over.
Franchises are great, but at a time when markets are adjusting, they can be costly. Save yourself some money and never pay a commission split again. Go independent.
As more and more independent agents populate social media, their collective voices will soon out-scream the franchise messaging and begin to tilt public opinion and discourse. Franchises will fade first in the Atlanta market. (They already have)
If your real estate Broker was ever highlighted in a “Do You Remember the 80s”, you may want to consider newer options. Especially in Atlanta. And in particularly if you are under 55 years of age.
Your Brand is critical, don’t let others drive it.