How to Pick the Right Real Estate Brokerage
Too many new agents think the only important factor when choosing a real estate brokerage is the commission split. But there’s a lot more to think about, even when it comes to money. You’re final in-the-pocket income has to do with many other services the brokerage might provide. Before picking a brokerage, you need a comprehensive understanding of how it will help you grow your business.
First, remember you’re an independent contractor not an employee. That means that an interview with a potential brokerage is for your benefit as much as theirs. It’s your time to assess whether or not the brokerage will give you the tools you need to succeed.
Picking a real estate brokerage is an investment in your business, not in the brokerage.
Look Beyond the Commission Split.
Make sure you understand just what you’ll be getting from your real estate brokerage, and just how much it will cost. Look carefully at what kinds of exposure, mentoring, and lead-gathering the brokerage will provide to you. Some of these services might cost extra, and other brokerages might include more under a higher fee. Make sure you break down what you’d be getting for your money.
National or Local?
Signing on with a national brokerage as a new agent can be a great choice. It’s a sure way to meet a wide variety of talented agents. Speaking of learning, national brokerages usually have established resources for new agents including training classes and internal software. It’s also useful to have a widely-recognized name behind you when you’re new in the business.
But no matter how good those resources are, there won’t be a lot of support. National brokerages bring in a large number of new agents every year, because they assume a high percentage of those agents won’t last more than two years. Local, or boutique, brokerages generally do the opposite. They bring in a much smaller number of new agents but invest much more time in each one. In a boutique brokerage you’ll also have direct access to all the other agents and the broker, which can be a powerful resource in its own right.
What’s a team? Should I Join One?
A team is a small group of less experienced agents that work under a more experienced one. They’re valuable at national brokerages, because they provide new agents with personalized support and a group of close colleagues. Some new agents shy away from teams because members get a lower percentage of a commission—but that’s a moot point if you’re not closing any deals! A team might be what it takes to help you break into the market.
Still Not Sure? Try Thinking Like a Consumer.
If you want to know which real estate brokerages are successful, try looking at them from a lead’s point of view. This will help you figure out which brokerages have the widest sphere of influence in your area and which are most successful in your market niche. It can also give you a valuable sense of what marketing techniques grab attention in a daily context.
Remember—your business assets belong to you.
It’s likely that you’ll switch brokerages at least once over the course of your real estate career. Because you’re a contractor and not an employee, the connections you build belong to you—and you should bring them with you when you move! Even if the brokerage supplies you with some software or other technology, make sure you keep your own records and consider investing in your own CRM. You want to make it as easy as possible to take your business assets with you when you move.