“I could not be more excited for our agents,” said JP Piccinini, founder and CEO of JP & Associates Realtors. “With the latest additions to our company, our Realtors now have options regarding health insurance and retirement plans.”Agents with the company now have access to an annual agent health care plan and retirement plus bonus plan options through its newly created program, Gemini.
“We strongly value the livelihood of our agents,” said Mark Johnson, chief operating officer for JP & Associates. “Not only does our Agent Health Plan service offer ideal benefits, but we are able to lower out-of-pocket expenses.”
Johnson says JPAR agents may save up to 40-70 percent annually compared to their current health plans, which could potentially be a savings of $15,000 or more a year.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), most Realtors (86%) are independent contractors. This means they must provide their own benefits such as retirement plans or health insurance, which is incredibly difficult and costly to obtain through the open marketplace despite passage of the Affordable Care Act.
NAR has made noise about the possibility of creating an associated health plan for its 1.3 million, dues-paying members, but there has been little to no movement or solution. An associated health plan from the nation’s largest trade association would be a significant boost, and could inspire other trade orgs to follow suit. But NAR has simply not delivered a national solution to date.
So now the most progressive real estate brokerages have taken it upon themselves to offer health care and related benefits to affiliated agents. Compass and HomeSmart unveiled health care plans for agents in 2018. Realogy, Keller Williams and RE/MAX also offer some health care solutions for agents, rather than leaving them at the mercy of the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
JPAR began licensing franchises in September 2018, adding 17 franchises in Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina to the Texas-based company. The franchises also operate on a 100 percent commission model.
In Texas, JPAR agents currently pay a $475 minimum transaction fee but keep 100 percent commission. JPAR agents are required to make a minimum of at least six real estate transactions per year.