Before I ever even got my real estate license, I was a huge fan of Gary Keller and his story of how he grew Keller Williams into the largest brokerage in the world (by agent count and transaction count).
I had read and re-read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent as well as several of his other great books on real estate investing such as FLIP and HOLD. I was mesmerized as I watched clips of him on YouTube and listened to interviews of him talking about the secrets to success and business.
Coming from the military, I had always respected stronger leadership and bold visions of the future and Gary had both of those qualities. So when I finally got my real estate license, I KNEW there was only one brokerage for me…and that was Keller Williams Realty.
So it is with a heavy heart, and a little excitement, 5 years later when I left Keller Williams Realty for good to join an exciting, new brokerage that also has a bold vision of the future.
In this article, I am going to explain to you WHY I made the decision to leave Gary Keller behind and throw my hat in with an innovative, “next-gen” company. This is why I chose REAL Broker, LLC VS Keller Williams Realty.
The Internet Changed EVERYTHING…Except For Real Estate Brokerages!
So obviously the introduction of the internet has changed our society and business within our society a lot!
Old-school movie rental businesses like Blockbuster have been replaced by more convenient streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime & Disney+.
The music industry went from selling us CDs in physical stores, which usually only had 1 or 2 songs on them that we wanted anyway, to now we can stream the exact song we want, where ever we are, whenever we want it!
Virtually every single industry in our society has produced better consumer experiences by embracing technology and developing new business models around that technology.
Except for one…and that is the real estate brokerage. Their business model fundamentally has not changed since the 1980s and is why many of them are doomed to fail.
Why Franchised Based Brokerages Are In Real Trouble!
I truly believe that in the next 10 years many old schools real estate companies who follow a bloated, expensive, franchise model are in trouble.
And we most likely will see more than one national brand in our industry, that has been around for generations, go bankrupt!
To understand why, let’s take a quick look at the old-school, franchise model that virtually all national real estate brands have followed since the 1980s. Let’s take a look at Keller Williams VS REAL Broker, LLC different business models!
As a side note, this is also the exact model Blockbuster followed and why they also failed to adapt.
These national companies then divide the country up into regions and hire Regional Managers to grow them.
The regional managers then sell territories to Franchise Owners. These are the individual brokers who start offices.
The franchise owners then hire an Office Manager. In Keller Williams, the office manager was known as the “Team Leader”.
The office manager then hires support staff and recruits YOU the real estate agent.
All of this bloat and hands in the jar is ALSO why these franchised-based brokerages are SO EXPENSIVE!
Because the office staff, the office manager, the franchise owner, the regional manager, and the company owner ALL WANT THEIR CUT FROM YOUR COMMISSION CHECK!
At my last brokerage with Keller Williams, I was being charged $28,000 a year for the “privilege” of being an agent underneath them!
On top of that, I was also paying $500 a month to have my own office within my brokerage. So that was a total of $34,000 a year I was giving to all those greedy hands up the food chain from me.
At some point, I had to ask myself “Is the value I am getting from my brokerage WORTH $34,000 a year?” and the obvious answer to that was “NO!”
Now, you may be asking yourself “so why don’t the national brands just change to this model?”
And the answer is because these national brands have made serious commitments and have obligations to their Regional Managers and Franchise owners. THIS is what is preventing them from adapting and competing with the next generation of brokerages like REAL.
Blockbuster had the exact same problem! They WANTED to start their own streaming service to compete with Netflix but could not because of their franchise owners who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to open up Blockbuster franchises.
If Blockbuster started cutting them out and renting directly to the consumers, they would be alienating their franchise owners.
Keller Williams, REMAX, Century 21 are going to have the EXACT same issue trying to compete with cloud-based brokerages like REAL.
Why Their “Value Proposition” Are Not Relevant Anymore
Now, I will admit, you do get SOME value out of traditional brokerages but the question you have to ask yourself is “Is that value worth what I am paying for it?”
For me, the answer was “no way!”
So let’s take a deeper look at the “value” we are bring sold and I’ll show you why I decided it was NOT worth the price to me.
Free Real Estate Training
So most brokerages advertise that they will TEACH you how to be a successful real estate agent, how to write a contract, and how to generate business.
And I’m sure back in the 1980’s driving to your brokerage to watch a slide show in a conference room was one of the only ways real estate agents could get training like this.
But TODAY we have far more options available to use and I personally dread the idea of having to drive to an office just to watch another boring slide show by an agent in my office who barely knows what they are talking about.
TODAY there is literally more free training and education for real estate agents on YouTube than you or I could consume in a life time!
AND you are able to find far more specific and higher quality training than you can probably get in your office!
Want to know the best way to run Facebook ads to generate real estate seller leads? There are hundreds of videos on that!
Want to know the best objection handler for “We are just looking”? You can probably find 20 or more and watch agents use them on a live person!
Want to know how to run a successful real estate business or hire an admin or get more reviews on Zillow. All of this and more you can find for FREE and in an instant!
Have a more specific question or need some advice, FREE Facebook groups like Lab Coat Agents are an absolutely invaluable resource where you can get your question answered in an instant by successful agents across the county!
ALL OF THIS FOR FREE!
So the “value proposition” from traditional brokerages that I can drive to the office and watch slide show presentations from “successful agents” in my office has very little value or relevancy in today’s digital world.
A Physical Office
When I was weighing the benefits of Keller Williams VS REAL Broker, the office space I got with Keller Williams was key feature I did NOT get with REAL Broker.
But if 2020 has taught us anything it is that we don’t NEED a physical office to run our businesses. In fact, I am far more efficient without one!
I have gone over a year now without meeting a single client in my office and frankly, they are just fine with that!
Our clients are busy people too and often find it inconvenient to have to take time off of work just to sit in front of us and go over their “Wants” vs “Needs”.
Like everyone, I have adapted and now do video calls with my clients over Zoom instead of having them drive to my office to meet me.
Honestly, there is something freeing about letting go of my office space. I always felt obligated to have one because I was told that is just what successful agents do.
But in 2021, all I need is my laptop and a cell phone and I can literally work anywhere! It’s amazing!
So the value proposition of having a physical office space…just does not have all that much value to me. Certainly not the $6,000 a year I was paying for my own private office.
Association With Their “Brand”
Probably their biggest scam is their dubious claims that we will be MORE successful by associating with THEIR brand and credibility.
I’m just going to say it, I’m not buying it…
The little logo in the corner of my business hard has virtually no impact on whether a client uses me or not!
My communication skills, my reputation, and my knowledge are probably 90% of why my clients choose to use me, not the company.
And it can actually HURT your business being associated with some of these national brands. Keller Williams has always had a huge emphasis on teaching their agents to cold-calling homeowners, door knocking neighborhoods, and using aggressive sales techniques!
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with agents using these techniques but I 100% have talked to leads who were the victim of aggressive KW agents and who have told me they will NEVER using a Keller Williams agent because of it.
And to be honest, I have always hated introducing myself as “Malcolm Lawson With Keller Williams”. It’s just too many names and is kind of confusing! I have absolutely had leads not understand that Keller Williams is a company, not a person.
Introducing myself as “Malcolm Lawson With REAL” sounds way better!
REAL Broker “Next-Gen” Business Model
I do think describing REAL Broker, LLC as “next-gen” is an accurate description. Like a next-gen phone or tech, REAL is better designed, cheaper, and comes with more bells & whistles compared to its outdated predecessors.
So one of my favorite parts about being a real estate agent at REAL brokerage is that I can be a part-owner in my brokerage by owning stock in the company!
This is a huge departure from Keller Williams’s business model which is NOT a publically traded company and is owned by Gary Keller, who is a billionaire.
Personally, I LOVE the idea of being a part-owner in the business that I am promoting through my videos, listings, and clients!
Not only CAN I own stock in REAL, but they actually WANT me to and offer me 4 ways to earn FREE stock in the company by hitting certain milestones in my business. Let’s review REAL broker, LLC stock options.
I earn stock in REAL broker simply by capping! It’s that easy!
I earn stocks by attracting other agents to REAL Broker.
By reaching Elite Agent status, I can receive up to $24,000 worth of REAL stock.
Finally, they off a stock buying option out of your commission in which they GIVE YOU an additional 25% stock on top of what you purchase!
Latest Real Estate Technology
Being a technology-driven company, REAL also fully embraces the latest technology and helps us agents integrate that tech into our business.
Truthfully a lot of this is on the back end, so how I send my contracts to my clients to get digitally sign, how I submit my contract for compliance and to be reviewed, how I manage my listings, and more.
Probably my favorite tech I get access to being an agent at REAL is the REAL App.
My favorite feature is I can see exactly how many transactions I have under contract, how much commission I am projected to make from them, and how much I have already paid towards my cap with REAL.
Not only that but with the app you can easily see all of your broker’s information, get tech support, see and send listings to your clients, chat with other REAL agents, easily see a breakdown of your revenue share, and much much more.
When I was an agent with Keller Williams, they tried launching a similar style app called Kelle and it was a complete train wreck! Nothing worked on it, nothing was useful about it and nobody used it.
My bad experience with KW’s Kelle App is partially why I love the REAL app so much. No digging through endless menus or glitchy software here. I can easily find the most valuable information I need in just a few swipes.
Let’s review REAL Broker LLC software you will get access to when you join.
You get access to REAL’s Skyslop account for transaction management. Think of this as your virtual office space. This is where you put your contracts together, submit them for review and manage your transactions.
You will get access to REAL’s Workplace. If Skyslope is your office, then Workplace is the conference room or office lounge. This is where you can mastermind with other agents, get access to the REAL academy full of video training on a huge variety of topics and ask any real estate questions you may have.
REAL also has partnered with Chime to give you access to their CRM and lead management tools. They understand many agents already have a preferred CRM, so this integration is an optional $25 a month.
The REAL App which I mentioned above. Out of all the tools REAL gives its agent, I think this app is by far my favorite.
Being pretty tech-savvy myself, I love seeing a company that fully embraces the advantages of new technology, and once again, this leads to me providing a better experience for my real estate clients!
REAL Broker, LLC Commission Splits
Because real is a cloud-based brokerage which means they do not have the overhead cost of paying for a physical brick and mortar office space they can pass those savings onto us agents!
REAL Broker has an 85/15 commission split until you meet your annual cap of $12,000. After that, you keep 100% of your commission and pay a $225 transaction fee.
If you are part of a team, you still have an 85/15 commission split with only the team leader paying $12,000 and each team member paying only a $6,000 cap.
When I was with Keller Williams, the annual cap varied depending on which franchise owner you worked under. My last broker charged $28,000 a year!
The higher cap cost was necessary because they need to pay for a physical office, and office staff and pay their franchise fees, ect. With REAL, we cut out all those middlemen and work directly for the REAL company. THIS is what allows our caps to be so much lower!
When I compared how much I was spending at Keller Williams VS Real Broker, I saw an easy way to cut my business expenses by more than half!
Real Broker, LLC Fees
There are a few small fees you will need to cover as a REAL agent. Let’s review REAL Broker, LLC’s fees now.
$149 Sign up fee
$500 annual brokerage fee
$225 transaction fee after you cap
REAL Broker, LLC. Revenue Share
One of the most attractive features to REAL is its revenue share model for attracting new agents to the brokerage.
No, this does not mean you have to become a full-time recruiter!
In my opinion, the best way to attract agents is just by being an awesome agent yourself. So just you being a great agent with great marketing will be enough to make other agents curious and want to know more about the company you work for.
This is exactly what REAL has realized and why instead of spending their money on marketing the business, they choose to reward agents who attract other high-quality agents!
Now other brokerages do have revenue share models for attracting agents as well BUT few of them are as lucrative as REAL’s and few have as easy of a value proposition to attract new agents as REAL.
At my last brokerage, I was paying a cap of $28,000 a year plus $6,000 for an office in my brokerage. By switching to REAL, I am now saving $22,000 a YEAR!!!
On top of that, I can earn stock, get access to the latest tech and earn passive income from revenue share. THAT IS A PRETTY EASY PITCH TO AGENTS!
With REAL you can earn up to $4,000 per capping agent you recruit. On top of that, you also get paid for agents THEY recruit up to 5 levels deep!
So let’s do some math, if you just recruit 3 capping agents a year every year for 5 years, you could receive $60,000 a year in passive income for the rest of your life!
This is an unheard-of revenue share model in our industry. This is a better split than Keller Williams offers or EXP Reality offers and in opinion, a much easier sell than those other companies as well!
Final REAL Brokerage, LLC Review
The truth is, our industry is changing and fast! The value that old-school brokerages used to provide is just not as relevant today!
When you can get virtually unlimited free education and training from Facebook Groups or YouTube and 90% of your work can be done from your cell phone, paying a broker tens of thousands of dollars a year for a brick-and-mortar office just does not make sense anymore.
Innovative companies like REAL Broker ARE the future of the real estate industry and old-school brokerages who are incapable of adapting are going to get left behind.
REAL priorities their AGENTS first, not franchise owners!
Not only can you save tens of thousands of dollars, but REAL offers multiple streams of income through stock bonuses and revenue share.
For me, I save over $22,000 a year by leaving Keller Williams to join REAL. That is money I can put towards Facebook ads, more marketing for my listings, or hiring an assistant, and more! That is the kind of money that can change your entire way of doing business!
My only regret is not joining REAL Broker sooner.
Next Steps With REAL
For your free REAL Broker informational packet breaking down in more detail the fees, stock program, revenue share, Elite Agent program, and more OR to schedule a 1-on-1 zoom call with myself to see if REAL would be a good fit for you, email me at [email protected]
If you are ready to join and don’t have a sponsor yet, I would love to be your sponsor in the company at no additional cost to you and I will then have a vested interest in your success at REAL. When you sign your Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA), just put my name, Malcolm Lawson, down as your “Sponsoring Agent” and I will officially be in your upline!
You can join here https://www.joinreal.com/malcolm-lawson/refer
Or check out these other REAL Broker articles I wrote: