What should you be looking for in a brokerage?
Choosing the right brokerage is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your real estate career!
Of course there are the big boys in the game that everyone knows about, no need to name them as I’m sure they just pop into your head. But is that all there is? Is that the best decision? What about the local small brokerages? Or the trail blazers–the ones that do things a little differently?
You would think you sign up with a brokerage and they train you to be an agent. NBD. Mmm’yeah, that’s sort of true. However, here are some things to consider when choosing a brokerage that’s right for you:
#1 Do they have office space available, a conference room you can use?
Now, I know what you’re thinking…”This chick is whack! Of course all brokerages have conference rooms and offices. Where else would I work. Pft” Well, I hate to tell ya, but there are brokerages who have virtual agents. No, they’re not what you think—they’re real people, not holograms.
Anyway, Virtual Agents work from home. No dedicated office space. So, when meeting new clients, they typically meet up at a local coffee shop or the person’s home. When an office space is required for a more formal meeting, they can use their preferred lender’s or title company’s conference rooms (if they’ve built those relationships). They can also opt in for a shared office space (which sometimes comes at a cost).
So, keeping all this in mind, how do you envision yourself working? Do you need a dedicated office? Do you want a nice conference room to take your clients?
#2 What is the commission split and what do you get with that?
Not all brokerages have the same commission split. The bigger brokerages tend to have bigger splits, but that’s due to their established brand recognition. Others have a standard flat fee versus percentages. Some have no monthly charges.
Here’s the tricky part. What’s most important to you, paying less and possibly getting less, or paying a percentage split and possibly getting more resources? Sometimes you pay less but that doesn’t matter if you’re not getting business.
#3 Do they offer tools such as digital signature software (DocuSign, DigiSign), agent websites, marketing templates?
Remember #2 where we went over commission splits? This is part of what you need to think about. Maybe you’ve opted for a percentage commission split and that includes all of the above. Or maybe you decided on a flat fee because that includes a website at least and that’s all you need right now.
As an agent in today’s ever evolving field, you will need at least a website, you will need to market on social media, and you will need different software to manage your business. It’s up to you to decide if you want to use the resources provided by your brokerage, your own, or a mixture of both. I personally use a mixture of my own personal software as well as the amazing tools provided by my brokerage.
#4 How is their training—do they have online videos, team you up with a mentor, weekly one-on-ones?
All agents need training, period! Whether you get that via a mentor, online training, one-on-ones, or a mixture of those, you need to decide what suits you best. If your brokerage offers amazing online training, but you know you’re not the type to sit at the computer and watch them, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Maybe what you need is a mentor you can shadow a few times a week and some one-on-ones.
We all learn differently, so find what suites you best.
#5 Do they provide you with any leads or train you on different ways to get them?
Aha! This right here my friends is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing of all! Ok, not the most important but definitely important. Did you know that most brokerages don’t provide their agents with leads? And as far as finding out how to be successful, they offer paid subscriptions to other services that teach you how to get leads.
Again, this is something that you should keep in mind and ask.
Luckily, I signed up with a team that gives me leads and helps me find ways to get them 😉
#6 How is their social media presence and social media training? Is that important to you?
Did you know the average person spends a mere 2.5 hrs on social media daily? Yeah, I know. That seems low, ha! Think about it, people spend more time on social media than they do on anything else. So why wouldn’t you want to target those people?
I get it, some people don’t want anything to do with it and they want to stick to the old tried and true ways of getting business. Good for them! I know I’m not that way so when looking for a brokerage, I wanted to make sure I had resources available to help me.
#7 Do you jive well with the broker, staff, and the other agents?
Now I understand working as an agent is pretty much a solitary career choice, but remember we don’t always work alone. We deal with our broker, office assistant, other agents, transaction coordinator, etc.
Have you ever had a job where you worked with someone you truly didn’t like? Do you remember the feeling you’d get when you had to ask them anything? I have and I hated it! Your broker is your go-to for pretty much everything. So you want to make sure you feel comfortable reaching out to them. And if you work with a transaction coordinator, well make sure you like and trust them, because you’ll be working closely with them.
Can you imagine working with a group of people who don’t share your ideals, goals, and personality? How do you think you’ll succeed in an environment like that? Maybe you’re the type that likes to work alone. I understand people are different, but there are those people that you just don’t jive well with. So make sure you keep that in mind.
I don’t know about you but if I have the choice to work with a group of people I get along with that share similar goals….sign….me…up! Which I did end up doing 😉