Going ‘Indie’: How One Brokerage Went Against the Current and Found Success

Going ‘Indie’: How One Brokerage Went Against the Current and Found Success

Though there were 120 independent brokerages in the 2019 REAL Trends 500, it seems the buzz is always surrounding the franchise networks.

That said, there’s a lot to be learned from successful independent brokerages, which have found new, effective ways to stay productive, relevant and steady as new models enter the industry.

Platinum Living Realty Jay and Michelle Macklin formed their first brokerage in 2010.


Platinum Living Realty is one independent that bears watching. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based luxury firm ranked number 164 for closed transaction sides on The 500 and made the “Up-and-Comers List” for closing 1,212 transactions last year.

This would be an accomplishment for any young brokerage, but what’s more impressive is that Platinum accomplished this without the benefit of a national brand behind them. Jay and Michelle Macklin, Platinum’s co-owners, began their careers in real estate in 2003 and opened their first brokerage in 2010. In July 2018, they made the decision to go independent and to separate from Re/Max, which they had been working with for a number of years.

“We are incredibly proud of our rapid success and achievement in 2018,” said Jay Macklin, adding that he and Michelle founded their realty firm “as an alternative to the classic real estate model.”

Platinum Living Realty provides agents with a customized package of over 20 marketing tools to help build their own brands and grow their businesses. Jay Macklin also boasts of “consistent and individualized coaching to work through challenges and problems that arise and abundant opportunities for generating new leads and clients—plus other tools and policies that focus on the agent’s success.”

“What we offer at Platinum Living Realty is a way for our agents to grow a predictive and sustainable business rather than being reactive or focusing on mundane tasks that won’t help close a sale,” said Macklin. “Our unique approach to quality marketing and building leads is ushering in a new and more efficient way to do business as a real estate agent.”

Jay Macklin, co-owner of Platinum Living Realty, presented a session on video marketing at the Rehumanize conference in Denver in May.

Even before the transition, Macklin was employing unique video marketing tactics. After the transition, he ramped up those efforts to recruit agents to Platinum Living Realty, which now boasts more than 110 agents working across four offices in Arizona. His Youtube channel offers coaching tactics for real estate professionals to grow their business.

Being independent has its advantages, Jay says.

“It has actually been good for us to develop and focus in on our own brand at Platinum Living Realty because we can focus on the things that really matter to our agents and our business. We decided that an inch-wide, mile-deep focus on agents and customers was a better strategy for us working and living in the luxury market.”

Although many indicators have the number of independent brokerages shrinking, Macklin thinks that trend is about to turn around. “With all the resources available for agents to connect with prospects, build leads, and sell homes, there’s a question about how much value a national brand offers,” he said.