Janet Besheer, owner of the second-largest residential real estate brokerage by agent count in Saratoga Springs, New York, is leaving the franchise to start her own firm.
Besheer, a licensed real estate agent since 2000, joined the franchise six years ago. Today, she has about 40 agents based out of an office at 38 High Rock Ave, second only to Realty USA.
About 25 agents recently left for other opportunities after Besheer told them about the change. She said at least 50 agents will join her as representatives of Equitas Realty.
Sales volume last year totaled $59 million through the Capital Region Multiple Listing Service, placing the firm 12th on the Albany Business Review list of residential brokers. The firm also had $3 million in sales in Warren and Washington counties.
Besheer’s franchise agreement with expires at the end of this month. Instead of renewing, she’s going to become an independent broker. The business will be called Equitas Realty.
“One of the major reasons was that by becoming an independent brokerage I could provide both the firm and agents greater opportunities to grow and expand in our marketplace,” Besheer said. “My goal is to open offices up and down the [Northway] corridor. The other thing I considered is we can reinvest franchise fees into marketing and technology.”
Under her franchise, Besheer was limited to selling real estate in the Saratoga Springs area.
Besheer said the switch to an independent mirrors a larger trend in the residential real estate business.
Consolidation of franchise ownership and management has resulted in higher franchise fees, according to industry sources Inman News and RISMedia. Meanwhile, data aggregators such as and are disrupting the traditional print advertising model by enabling smaller firms to reach a vast number of potential customers online.
Last year, Besheer recruited , who has extensive management experience in the software industry. White will serve as managing director of Equitas Realty.
“Things are shifting very, very fast,” Besheer said of the technological innovations. “In 2014, Trulia and Zillow will account for $100 million in print and TV ads to attract consumers to websites, and then will sell leads to agents.”
“While this is happening you have to be a fast PT boat rather than a slow aircraft carrier,” she added. “You’ve got to make quick decisions but if you’re in a very large franchise to turn the boat takes a very long time.”
Article Written BY: Reporter-Albany Business Review, DeMasi covers real estate, construction, retail and hospitality.