Real Estate Fundamentals — How to Choose a Brokerage

If you are new to real estate or feel like making a change to your current business operations, you might be thinking about what brokerage you’d like to hang your license with. Because your broker will receive a split of the earnings you work for, we encourage you to find a broker you feel pours value back into you and your career. Perhaps you are an agent who is recruiting to your market center. Helping aspiring agents understand what they value and what they are looking for in an agent-broker relationship is the best way to introduce how your brokerage is the best choice for them.  

Every agent is different and will weigh what brokerages offer differently. No matter what you as an agent are looking for or whether you’re consulting with an agent to help them, here are some things of importance when considering brokerages: 

  1. Are they well-established? — If you’re just starting out, it may be in your best interest to work for a well-established broker. A well-established, stable broker will likely have better promotion of their properties and agents, be tapped into their community, and offer more resources. This isn’t to say a start-up broker doesn’t have its benefits. But if you are essentially a start-up yourself, working with a more experienced brokerage could help you get off your feet quicker.
  2. Do they have a good reputation? —Research the major brokerages in your area and see what their reputation is like locally and nationally. Then, talk to your fellow agents and see what brokers they work for or have worked for in the past. They will likely tell you more valuable information than any internet search could. Ask about their experience working for the broker and what they like and don’t like about their current or past situation. These opinions will be biased based on personal experience, but it might help you understand what you are and aren’t looking for.
  3. What’s their culture? — Many brokerages serve their legal responsibility to their clients but don’t have a company built on culture. Culture may or may not feel important to you, but knowing what purpose you serve for the greater good can help fuel your Big Why and your value proposition as you work to earn a living. If a brokerage has a clear mission, upholds strong values, and boasts a good work environment, they likely have a good culture to work within. This may be the number one thing on your list if you are looking to switch brokerages. Think about what it is that isn’t serving you at your current brokerage. Chances are it has a lot to do with culture.
  4. What market do they serve? — Some brokerages specialize in certain areas of the real estate market. They focus on clients looking for specific things like luxury properties or large pieces of land or work mainly with commercial properties or investors. Some serve broad markets and cover large areas of their region, while others serve a smaller clientele. Think about what type of market you are interested in working in and go from there.
  5. What does the money look like? — Understanding a broker’s commission splits and fees may be the most important piece of the brokerage puzzle. If you don’t have a lot of savings to work with, you might not be able to afford larger fees or take a lot of hits with commission splits. However, when it comes to fees and splits, you might get what you pay for. If the fees and splits are low, they might be lacking in education, resources, technology, and promotion. Lay out all of your options and know what you are working with when it comes to your finances before you make a decision.
  6. Do they have solid training and education? — You’re going to need a lot of training when you start your career, and throughout your career. Find out what types of training and resources brokers offer their new agents as well as what ongoing education they have for continued support and career-building. Consistently learning is what will make you a top-producing agent. As Gary says, “We learn to earn.”
  7. What are their technology and resources like? — You need to understand what tools you have at your disposal at a brokerage. Some brokers offer technology to their agents and other resources like office space and facilities. These tools can be huge in helping launch your business, staying organized, and practicing effective lead generation.
  8. Do they provide their agents with leads? — Some brokers provide agents with leads. Usually, this is with internet leads that they are paying for. If you have a small SOI or are new to an area, this could help you establish or grow your business. Keep in mind that even if leads are given to you, you will be expected to work them and convert them on your own.

When you take all of these things into consideration, you should feel comfortable choosing a brokerage that feels right for you. Do you have any other tips for picking a broker? Let us know on our Facebook page. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter. 


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