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Big Box, Little Box . . .

I have a love hate relationship with Amazon. They make it so easy to order almost anything and have it delivered directly to my house. Being an avid reader, I order a lot of books.

A couple of months ago, I heard about a book that I thought would be a good read. I went down to the little independent bookstore near my office and they didn’t have it. I thought, “well at least I tried” as I went to my computer, ordered it and had it in my hands two days later.

Yet, every book I order from Amazon I am contributing to the demise of my local bookstore.

I have that same love hate relationship with Starbucks. The drive-thru is hard to pass up especially when I know how quickly I can have my coffee.

There are two coffee shops near my office and I would like to support the independent shops. Even though I wait twice as long most of the time for that same coffee.

Being an independent business owner I know the struggle of competing with the Big Box companies.

I imagine that my potential clients must go thru the same anguish I do, Independent or Big Box?

I read the other day that over 48% of all licensed real estate agents are with independent non-franchise companies, meaning they choose not to work for the Big Box Realty companies.

Yet, almost daily I get calls, texts and emails from the Big Box Real Estate companies inviting me to sit down and hear what they can do for me and why I should join them.

They keep calling because they need a huge number of agents willing to split their commissions to pay for the overhead. The large offices, the brokers, and the franchise fees.

It will become harder for them to retain agents largely because of automation and the internet.

Websites, photos and marketing are light years ahead of where they were just a few years ago and accessible to every agent at lower costs.

It will fall on home sellers to decide. Will they refuse to give up their hard-earned equity to those high commissions knowing the costs of services offered have fallen dramatically? Or will they choose a smaller independent brokerage who offer those same services at fair commissions?

Companies like Amazon and Starbucks offer convenience and fast service and that is what makes it harder for the independent shops to thrive.

In real estate, the Big Box real estate companies offer the same services as the independent brokerages but at higher commissions.

If you are considering selling your home, you will have to decide how much of the equity in your home you are willing to part with for the name on the sign.

Big Box or Little Box . . . game on!

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