Elisa Bruno-Midili, NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Cafe Realty 914.230.0650 (Cafe Realty)

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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Real estate is local and regional. In my area, the top companies are independent. Many over the years had initially been name brokerages, who ditched the franchise and reopened as indies.
What do they offer that differentiates them? We all have great tech. The real magic is in what and who we know, reputation and results. Technology is only as good as the person operating it. Most RE technology is beyond the capability of the user or needs of the consumer.

Feb 12, 2019 06:32 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I am associated with what you refer to as a "big box" brokerage. I have plenty of personal differentiators while taking advantage of their technology.

Feb 12, 2019 06:22 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I am the differentiator.  I've been associated with the big box. It was not a good fit for me. 

Feb 12, 2019 07:40 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I never felt at a disadvantage as an independent.  The differentiator was ME.  I had a better internet presence than the biggies and I blogged tirelessly to showcase my knowledge of real estate and the local area which, of course, gave me great SEO.  

The biggest reason I loved being an independent is because I could customize my service to every client.    I had to follow the same legal rules and regulations of the real estate industry but I didn't have to fit in their little box of rules and policies. It gave me much more freedom to serve my clients needs. 

Feb 12, 2019 06:33 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

All real estate is local and repeat business does it for me!

Feb 12, 2019 07:44 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Us. RE is still a business dependant upon the quality of service and reputation of the strong agents.

Feb 12, 2019 07:36 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

The name or size of the brokerage is not as important as the value an individual agent brings to his/her clients. The ways of differentiation vary by person and by market.  Accentuating those positive attributes will provide you and your clients the best experience. 

Feb 12, 2019 06:50 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Both indie brokers and national name brokers seem to do well in our market. Competition is thriving!

Feb 12, 2019 06:42 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Elisa Bruno-Midili, NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker I'm not in Indie but I stood out here because I seeked out High Quality Builders who share the same faith as I do. In doing so I was the exclusive listing agent for several Builders and 2 developers.

Feb 12, 2019 06:30 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Whether a person is affiliated with an indie brokerage or a "big box" brokerage it's still a business of relationships. As far as technology goes there is plenty to go around and the large franchises don't; have a lock on it

Feb 12, 2019 08:55 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Carefully crafted customer service.

Feb 12, 2019 08:26 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I've been with RE/MAX for the past 24 years and I do my own marketing for my team members.... we use a very small RE/MAX balloon on every marketin piece....I promote the team and the team gets the calls...we're top dog in the office and soon in the firm... plus the town....

Feb 12, 2019 08:05 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Many independent brokerages find great advantage in merging with a big company like KW, many advantages for the broker and for the team members.

Feb 12, 2019 06:44 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I'm an indie and have no trouble competing and making myself unique compared to the big boxes.  It's a level playing field out there and most of their expensive tech toys can be had for free with a little bit of smarts and know-how.

Feb 12, 2019 09:16 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

The internet makes us all powerful if we know how to use it.

Feb 12, 2019 08:25 AM
Peter Mohylsky. BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

After 32 years in the business, I am sure you have answers to the questions you have posted.  do what works best for you,  

Feb 12, 2019 08:24 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

What continually comes-up for me literally is how available I am and how well-received that is...Even a polite robo-caller or voice-mail cannot compete

Feb 12, 2019 07:16 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good luck to you Elisa. 


Feb 12, 2019 10:28 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Well know brand names often provide an advantage for the agents.

Feb 12, 2019 09:46 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

There's no reason why a small firm can't use technology and use if better as it is more local.

Feb 12, 2019 07:36 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I think that Michael Jacobs gave you a great answer as did many others .  To differentiate yourself is to do research both outward and inward among your company and its agents.  It takes time and imagination.  Don't let the assumption that it takes big dollars, big technology be the governing reason of why you are not attracting business,  How motivated are you and your partners?

Feb 12, 2019 07:00 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

The only thing the competition can’t duplicate is you. You pick the window dressing of sponsoring broker association 

Feb 12, 2019 01:55 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

An 'INDIE" Broker. My first thought is you are affiliated with the Escort Services frequently offering to augment a visit to Bangalore.

That would not require a New York State license.

Every agent on AR believe they are truly different, superior, differentiated from those who did not survive the crash of 2008.  And they would be correct. Each of these agents demonstrated the differentiation of survival, adaptability, tenacity, hard work and quieting the roar of the devouring lion. These are indeed exceptional agents. They HAD to be.

There is only one differentiator a real estate agent needs. It does not come easily but through very disturbing self-examination and re-invention.

This agent does not chant "Raise the bar," or blather 'We got ethics,' but listens to the void into which they step.

And no one exists without 'technology.'
Understanding human emotion and motivation are not rudimentary skill and to be a 'pro' human technology is required.

Being the very best at all things is of little value if no one can find access to all that bestness.  Technology creates many Front Doors.

Never has David and Goliath been on more equal footing. For a brokerage looking to evolve, it would be helpful is someone of vision was at the helm. When one of vision speaks, the birds of the air gather in the branches of that tree of wisdom.  If evolution is merely amplifying what all others are doing, the branches will be barren and the people parish because of lack of vision.

However, evolution just could involve actually empowering buyer and sellers and guiding them through the expertise of strategically chauffeured professional who embrace the human technology of understanding emotion ad motivation. The joining together will manifest the transformation that brings the fulfillment all parties sought.

The greatest challenge facing seasoned agents, those who have served years in the trenches is they possess the most expensive words in the English language. By owning these words they are unable to be taught, to see a problem that needs a new tool, to see the new way because the old way served them well.

The most expensive words in the English language to own are: "I KNOW."

Once those words cross the mind, all learning ceases and we hit play for the video we have already seen.  "I KNOW what they are going to say so I need not be present...cuase I already know."



Feb 12, 2019 10:35 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Elisa, I spent all of 2011 learning the ropes of Internete marketing. That one year paved the way for our little company (12) to compete with the local big-box neighbors. They have the bucks and the name backing, but we provide exceptional service, are involved in the community in interesting and unique ways and our clients are effusive in their praise for the company. That leads to more business. 

Feb 12, 2019 09:46 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

A Real Estate Office only needs to be a good recruiter of local talent . Add the ability to be a great Mentor and no Big Box can touch you !

Feb 13, 2019 05:47 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

At this point it is my reputation

Feb 12, 2019 08:42 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, you don't need a big box at all, Elisa! YOU are who you need to sell - sell your experience, your customer service, testimonials, your knowledge and your own technology.

In this day and time, there is plenty of technology out there for Indie brokers to use that is just as effective as those of the big brokerages.

Feb 12, 2019 12:09 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I am techy, and an independent Broker/Owner, and my past clients keep me quite busy.

Feb 16, 2019 05:55 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree with Nina

Feb 13, 2019 03:33 AM