Hybrid real estate brokerage

Is a Hybrid Real Estate Brokerage Right for You?

by The CE Shop Team

What Is a Hybrid Real Estate Brokerage?

As technology evolves, so too does the real estate industry. Many online platforms allow buyers to do some of the work traditionally performed by real estate agents, like searching for properties, applying for loans, and creating contracts. As a result, some brokerages are charging less in commissions but perform fewer services — hence the hybrid brokerage model was born. 

There’s no standard definition of a hybrid brokerage firm per se, but any brokerage that operates outside of the standard 6% commission model (when the market is healthy) is likely a hybrid brokerage firm. For example, a brokerage that offers a flat listing fee or a commission rebate may well be a hybrid brokerage firm. 

Luckily, there’s a strong demand for both hybrid and traditional brokerage business models, meaning those in the real estate industry have more opportunities to find the right brokerage for them. 

Traditional vs. Hybrid Real Estate Brokerages 

Agents who work for a traditional full-service real estate brokerage are likely what comes to mind when people think of real estate agents. Their job is to walk the homebuyer or home seller throughout the entire process, from securing lending to finding or marketing properties, to ensuring all contracts or legal obligations are thoroughly executed and completed in a timely manner. 

On the other hand, hybrid brokerages like Redfin or Zillow 360 aren't completely 'for sale by owner' transactions, but they allow some buyers/sellers to undertake some of the real estate transactions themselves through a streamlined process.  

Traditional Brokerage 

Hybrid Brokerage

Actively procures listings Buyer searches for listings
Works with local lenders for best rates Generally seeks loan approval online
Provides contractual agreements Buyer/seller sometimes draws up contract
Ensures entire transaction goes smoothly in accordance with local laws Buyer/sellers responsible for executing a transaction

Did You Know? 

In most instances, state law prohibits real estate agents from working independently. Rather, agents must conduct business on behalf of a brokerage. Many traditional brokerages are flexible and allow agents to practice real estate on their own terms — even part-time if they so choose. Hybrid agents, however, are often required to commit to a more traditional work schedule. Still, agents who wish to gain the autonomy of becoming a Broker or want to eliminate costs, like the Broker commission, often associated with flexible brokerages can do so by completing the appropriate Broker education and state licensing requirements. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Joining a Hybrid Real Estate Brokerage 

There’s never been a better time to be a real estate professional. Both hybrid and traditional brokerage firms offer something unique for their employees. Becoming a hybrid agent, while technically allowing less earning potential, generally offers a steady salary with benefits, a regular work schedule, and a healthy lead flow through its millennial-friendly online platforms and flat fees that attract budget-minded homeowners. 

This means hybrid agents don't typically have to spend nights and weekends hosting open houses or find themselves cold-calling FSBOs trying to generate extra leads. 

The traditional real estate Broker route, while it may require more personal investment on the agent’s part, doesn't limit agent commissions while enabling agents to set their own schedules, employ their own marketing strategies, and build their own real estate empire. 

Hybrid Real Estate Brokerage Advantages 

  • More regular work hours
  • Plentiful inbound leads
  • Less time invested per transaction
  • Sometimes agents are salaried with bonuses/benefits

Hybrid Real Estate Brokerage Disadvantages

  • Can’t set your own schedule 
  • Must generate your own leads
  • Must walk buyers through every step of the buying process
  • Less earning potential

It should also be noted that using a hybrid brokerage may appear to have lower upfront costs but a great traditional real estate agent or REALTOR® can result in higher sale prices that equals more profit for both agent and homeowner — especially for unique properties or markets where bidding wars require the diligence of a bonafide real estate pro. 

Regardless, either path is a great option for any agent at any stage of their career; your choice hinges on the type of workflow you prefer versus the earning potential mix you’re seeking. Either way, The CE Shop will be here every step of the way to support your real estate career growth.