How Agents Should Choose Their Real Estate Brokers
While many real estate professionals may choose their brokers based solely on commission splits, smart agents know there is much more to the decision. Before you settle on a brokerage for your real estate career, be sure to consider these five important factors.
Assess the Company’s Culture
Since they spend so much time working independently, agents often undervalue the company culture at a real estate brokerage. However, time spent working closely with your broker, office personnel and other agents will prove that these relationships matter. A good cultural fit can mean the difference between loving or hating your job and a cultural mismatch can make it hard for to motivate yourself to get out of bed every day. Selling real estate is hard enough when you love your co-workers. Be sure to consider a broker’s office culture before you agree to sign on.
Ask About Training
For less experienced agents, a good coaching and training program can mean the difference between failure and a successful career. Real estate licensing school may teach you how to pass a licensing exam, but it does not show you how to sell real estate for a living. If you are relatively new to the industry, look for a brokerage that will provide training and/or a mentoring program. Ask to sit in on one of their training classes before you decide to join the brokerage to check if it is the right fit. If they say you can’t sit in unless you join the team, this could give you valuable insight into the company’s culture.
Be Wary of Overly Generous Splits
For many real estate agents, commission splits are the main consideration when selecting a brokerage. While the lure of a high commission can be compelling, it’s not generally realistic. If a brokerage claims to pay overly generous commissions, it will likely look to collect from its agents in other ways. This usually means desk fees, transactions fees and E&O premiums. Brokerages don’t work for free, and given the amount of liability and risk they take on, this is understandable. While a 90/10 split may seem superior to an 80/20 split on the surface, this isn’t always the case. Be sure to examine the details to make sure you are getting a fair deal.
Look for Business Opportunities
Depending on where you are in your career, you may want to consider what the brokerage offers in terms of securing new leads. While experienced agents tend to generate their own business through referrals, past clients and lead generation, newer agents sometimes need help getting started. Certain brokers provide tools to help agents increase business and may distribute leads internally or provide relocation assistance. Other brokerages leave everything up to the agent. Be sure you understand what type of assistance you will get before joining an office.
Examine the Office
In addition to commissions and company culture, you should pay attention to a brokerage’s office structure. Make sure the workspace is professional and fully equipped with all the services and support you will need to do your job effectively. Maybe you’re an old-school agent who only needs a desk and an outlet. Or maybe you need versatile software, IT support and a full suite of contemporary office equipment to get the job done. Whatever the case, be sure to evaluate a brokerage’s office set-up to make sure it will be a good fit.
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