Years as an independent broker:
> $50 million
Number of employees:
Why did you decide to be independent?
The biggest reason why we’ve stayed independent is it allows us to run our business however we want to run our business. We’re not constrained by any sort of company philosophies or anything of that nature. We’ve thought about going to a broker network, and for our business, it really just came down to independence.
We read the pros and cons, and based on our business – and everyone’s business is different – we just thought that it was in our best interest to stay independent and not be limited in any decisions we wanted to make.
Would you ever join a broker network?
The majority of our business is private business. There’s a lot of regulation around that, and having to be part of a major broker network might actually prove to be a bit of a hindrance – just the fact that we can manage our own compliance, and things of that [nature]. I have nothing against bigger brokerages; I think they’re great, but for our specific business model, I don’t think it suits us.
It’s something I think about regularly. A lot of it might just be in my head: I’ve always been independent, and I want to stay independent. That’s definitely a part of it. There’s no negative reason behind it – it’s just that we’ve done it this way for so long.
What advice would you give to other brokers who are looking to branch out on their own?
Know your business, and know what being a part of a network would bring or not bring to the table. If you’re joining a network, understand why you’re joining a network. If you want to be independent, that’s great – why do you want to be independent?
I also think I would’ve spent more time with others in the industry. I’ve learned that every problem I’ve faced, mortgage-wise, someone else has dealt with. So in retrospect, I wish I would’ve known more people and therefore could’ve had some more discussion around it. I kind of figured out everything on my own.