Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over. – Guy Finley

The reasons to join a new real estate brokerage can be simple or complex.  Turns out there are quite a few reasons an agent might make the switch.

In some cases, an agent is simply seeking out a brokerage that allows them to keep more of their commission. While other agents are looking to a brokerage for more name brand recognition or the ever elusive real estate lead.

Whatever the reason, changing real estate brokerages can mean an opportunity to take your business to another level.


Why Agents Join a New Real Estate Brokerage


Whether you are a brand new agent or you’ve been in the trenches for a while, most real estate professionals would agree a brokerage that offers a multitude of services without a ton of fees is often times easier said than done.

Those agents who are able to generate and produce enough business and income may feel they don’t need to pay a large brokerage fee. On the other hand, there are agents who are better suited to an environment that offers them prospective buyers and sellers without any work on their part.

These agents would likely end of paying a large part of their commissions to the brokerage for this luxury.

So, which type of brokerage is right for you?

Dependent vs. Independent vs. Interdependent Brokerage Models


Looking at the Dependent Model


Many quintessential Dependent Model Brokerages spend lots of time and resources training their agents and offer them branded marketing material at little or no cost (upfront).  These Brokerages offer agents a very important opportunity to get their real estate business rolling by typically cover expenses like:

  • Business cards
  • Mailers
  • A-Boards
  • For Sale Signs and Directionals

This may be very attractive to a new agent just starting out or one who’s on a budget. These brokerages also offer strong name brand recognition, very attractive marketing, powerful lead generation tools and even transaction coordinators that help you deal with all that paperwork. All this designed to allow the agent and their business to flourish.

The Positives:  

  • Low or No cost access to training and material.
  • Consumer confidence is also a strong motivator for some agents where a Brokerage has a strong market share in that area.

The Negatives:  

  • Most if not all the marketing material offered is branded for the brokerage.
  • Very little emphasis is geared (or encouraged) to market the agent or their brand.
  • The fee structure too can be a negative as most of these prototypical Dependent Model Brokerages take as much as 50% of each commission from the agent.

Examples of these Brokerages are:

Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s and Berkshire/Hathaway


Looking at the Independent Model


The Independent Model Brokerage really took shape as an alternative for those agents who had their own brand, their own source of business and no real need for Broker proprietary marketing or ancillary support services.

Agents attracted to the Independent Model Brokerage liked the high commission splits…in some cases, agents get to keep as much as 100% of their commission with just a moderate monthly desk fee or transaction fee per closed deal. These Brokerages still boasted classes and training but not at the level of the Dependent Models.

The idea of hanging your license with one of these brokerages is all well and good except if you don’t close any deals…you still have to pay your monthly desk fee. Remember…100% of no commission is still NO COMMISSION!

The Independent Model Brokerage also requires the agents be responsible for producing and paying for just about every aspect of their business including:

  • All marketing material
  • Signage and directionals
  • Fees, dues and ancillaries such as support and staff

None the less, this model is attractive because it demands the agent market themselves and their business without too much help from the brokerage. Furthermore, the high income potential with low fees paid to the brokerage makes the Independent Model Brokerage an attractive option for those who have the resources to produce.

The Positives:

  • High income potential and self branding.
  • Agents are able to create a business that allows them, NOT THE BROKERAGE…to be the focus.

The Negatives:

  • Monthly fees and expenses must be paid to the brokerage whether you close a deal or not.

Examples of these Brokerages are:

RE/Max & 100% commission offices


Looking at the Interdependent Model


This model is predicated on the idea that agents are offered an abundant level of training, encouraged to create a real estate business with a team atmosphere, have a say in how the brokerage is ran and even allowed to share in the profit of the office.

With a blend of the resources spent on training and helping the agent create their own brand and a potential for high income with low commission splits and an achievable level at which once the agent paid the brokerage a specific amount, that agent was paid 100% of their commission, the Interdependent Model Brokerage has become a strong option for agents.

The Interdependent Model Brokerage still requires agents be responsible for:

  • Signage and directionals
  • Fees, dues and ancillaries

This model has managed to attract both brand new agents and seasoned veterans alike with the potential for high incomes and career growth.

The Positives:

  • Agents are encouraged to design and run their own business by creating their own brand and eventually build a team for even higher income potential.
  • Other income potential is in sharing of the office profit each month.

The Negatives:

  • Agents may not want to run their own business.

Example of these Brokerages are:

Keller Williams


Top Reasons For Switching Brokerages


We spoke to a number of our clients and asked them if they had changed brokerages recently. Surprisingly, many had said yes!


We then asked them to list, in order, their main concerns as to why they wanted to leave their current brokerage:

  1. Commission split was too high
  2. Training (either too little or too infrequent)
  3. Lack of Support or Office Assistance
  4. Lack of Technology
  5. Brand was not strong in their market


We then asked a follow-up questions, “Why did you choose the brokerage you’re with now?”

  1. Training is great and plenty of options to choose from
  2. Support both from staff and from leadership/owner
  3. Brand awareness
  4. Better commission split
  5. Better Technology


As a side note, we found it particularly interesting that Technology registered at or near the bottom as the reason they left or choose their brokerage!



If you’re considering a change in Brokerages, take your time and really do your homework.

Know what your primary needs are and how your brokerage can meet (and exceed) those needs.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses and find a brokerage that will compliment both.

And, don’t leave your current brokerage until you explore all they have to offer…you may find out there are training options you didn’t know about. Also, discuss your objections with your broker or leadership and see if there’s something they are willing to do to help you and your career.

Lastly, be honest with yourself and take stock in what your real estate business needs…and then explore who can best serve those needs.