News and advice

Is your reputation at risk? The downside of working for a franchise brand.

You may have seen the recent ABC 4 Corners episode, “Agents of Influence” (if not, you can view it here).  

The picture it painted of our industry wasn’t pretty, and we certainly don’t believe it to be true for the vast majority of real estate agents.  

In saying that, it highlighted two things very clearly. 

  1. A few bad apples can spoil the others
  2. Being an independent agent can shield you from negative associations with major brands  

We’ve helped over 95 agents make the move from working under a franchise and starting their own business and brand, and through the process gained some insights into why. 

Firstly, the common theme we hear is that agents are only successful because the work for a large, established brand. While there may be truth in that, we always ask the question: 

“If the brand is so powerful, why isn’t every agent who works for the brand as successful as you?”. 

We’ll let you stop and think about that for a while… 

Secondly, while it may be true that working for a large brand helps with initial prospecting (using the familiar brand name in your pitch), it’s also true that you have absolutely no control on how that brand is perceived in the market, which may not always be positive. 

Let’s look at PRD Newcastle, who was named in the 4 Corners exposé. 

The ABC 4 Corners story suggests that Mark Kentwell’s PRD Newcastle is being deceptive to clients by not fully disclosing information about their relationship with buyer’s agency, Henderson Advocacy (you can see Mr Kentwell’s response on the ABC website here). 

Regardless of the truth, all of PRD and the agents who work for the brand have been tainted by this brush, and may suffer a reduction of trust by association.  

And this is the case for any major brand – your reputation hinges on the entire network doing what they should do, a bad experience with one agent can taint the entire brand. 

Now, let’s contrast that to your own, independent brand.

You are in full control, your reputation is directly tied to the way you operate and the success you have and you will NEVER run the risk of being pulled down from actions outside your control. 

It was also notable that the agents featured in the story who were fighting for better standards were independent agents.

Now, more than ever, consumers are looking for people they can trust. And the highest level of trust can be found by working with the person who owns the business – whose sole focus is achieving the best result for the vendor they are representing. And that might as well be you.

Ready to really make a name for yourself? Build your own brand and partner with UrbanX today.

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