Choosing a Brokerage - A Word for New Agents
One thing I love about new real estate agents is the stars in their eyes when it comes to considering commission splits various brokerages offer. I'm here to tell you that's completely backward from how you should go about figuring out where to hang your license.
Don't Decide Solely Based on Splits
Maybe you're taking real estate courses and geared to get licensed or your with a real estate brokerage but feel you aren't getting anywhere. 90% of nothing is still nothing but 90% for a productive agent is hot. If you don't have a large "sphere of influence" you're going to need help growing your business and that means support.
Don't get me wrong
It's awesome being on a nice split, right? But when you're a new agent there are a great deal of things you need to factor if you really want to launch your business and stay in business and enough to cover all your monthly fees and expenses. And, there has to be enough left over after taxes to make this career worthwhile to you right? If all you're considering is your split, your strategy for choosing a brokerage is flawed.
If you can dream it, you can do it
I completely understand, but if you're new, here are some things you may not have thought of:
Brand - I found this one out the hard way, like many agents do. But after a few brokerages I'm super happy where I am now. But brand is important, and there are many great brands out there. It's interesting to me that buyers care less about what brand a Realtor they work with unless they're the affluent or elite types, and sellers tend to care more about brand but also about personal referrals. Choose one that is very recognizable and one that garners a lot of respect.
Getting granular from the brand, there's then a franchise to choose in some cases, and not all franchises are the same under a big brand, but most offer similar everything. Look to see how active they are on social media and other forms of internet advertising. Be sure of and double-check a real estate company's internet presence. Interview the company, after all, it's your career.
Can they help you with professionally managed business Facebook pages? What about other social media forums?
Relationships Style Management - You'll find this especially important as a new agent. Will a manager be available to help you or someone with experience. If you discover every time you have a question you get an answer like "we're looking into it" or "we'll get back to you" a lot, that's not a good sign. Ask about coaching and mentoring, shadowing and about a real estate company's learning environment. You have no idea how much more you still have to learn.
Agent - Centric - Keep in mind when you're tempted by high splits, the odds of getting the support you need go down. Don't get me wrong, I'm speaking to new agents, a seasoned pro wouldn't have to weigh these as heavily and can hang their license just about anywhere and succeed. An Agent- Centric brokerage is all about you so that you can be all about your clients. How do some brokerages do that? By making your job easier for you to do, and by providing you with the tools, services & products that free up your time and help to reduce the costs of owning your own business.
You'll find that when you're succeeding, time gets increasingly precious and if you haven't hung your license with anyone yet, you'll find out just how important it will be.
When a real estate company is prospering, it's because they are arming their agents with a more complete arsenal, providing technology and training, decent offices for meetings including meetings with clients and provide very necessary resources. Well, that all cost money; keep that in mind. You spend some time earning your way up the commission split ladder, but then, now you're on a much better split and you still have all the support.
Nurturing - Are there regular classes, if so, on what? How often? Are there webinars, GoTo meetings and training videos? Try to determine what your "life-lines" are going to be, how good and how accessible. Once you've got answers to those questions, it's time to ask about working with or along side someone until you find your sea-legs. If you can't get quality time with a mentor or personal coach regarding building your real estate business, again, that's not a good sign.
Dynamic - Every agent is going to develop their own style and flair as much as personalities are formulated with age, and it's no different in your choice of niche and preferred working environment. You may find you like working with mostly buyers, or maybe mostly sellers. What kind of help will you get with obtaining listings? Will there be cutting edge technology like 3D Virtual Tours? Training for listing presentations? Do they assist with advertising your listings across a strong selection of choice media?
Ask for and take a look at a brokerage's Agent Value Package.
Does the brokerage have lead programs for buyers and sellers? Different types of programs? You may consider a niche like short sales. Is there someone to take you under their wing for that arena? What about commercial real estate if you're leaning that way. Look for a real estate brokerage with many strong suits, as, if they're doing well across the board, it makes for better personal options and growth.
You can use this blog post to develop a list of a baker's dozen questions that are most relevant for you in your quest to join with the right brokerage. If you'd like to know more about our premiere Ohio franchise of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, give me a shout, I'm happy to send you some info.
Here's to YOUR success! Cheers!