Are you excited to start your real estate career? Get ready to embark on an exciting new venture. You are now the COO, CFO, and chairman of the board of your new business. You are now the person responsible for your success. While you are in charge of your destiny as a real estate professional, it’s important that you take time to find the right brokerage that best suits you. Every firm has different philosophies, cultures and procedures. Choosing a brokerage with an excellent reputation and strong market share can profoundly affect your success. Here are some important factors to consider in your search for a brokerage firm.
Don’t start your new career without knowing what to do, what to say, or how best to do your job. You have your real estate license, but that does not mean that you are prepared for life as a real estate agent. Yes you have knowledge, but that knowledge is no substitute for experience. Be sure to look for a company who has a comprehensive training program with a live trainer. The value of live instruction is so important and far exceeds watching a video or webinar. A live instructor can immediately answer your questions and share experiences. Knowing what to say to a prospective seller or buyer, how to properly conduct an OPEN HOUSE, how to prospect for business, what to say on a listing appointment, how to prepare a CMA, how to write an offer on a purchase contract, or how to tell a seller what they will net when their home sells, are crucial to your success. This is essential information you must know. Proper training and coaching will give you more confidence to effectively interact with your clients and lead to successful sales. Without proper training, guidance, and coaching, you may be in for a rough start.
You want to know what you will be paid. While the commission split you receive may be a very important factor in your decision, there is so much more than just commission to take into consideration when choosing what company you will start your career with. Many companies may provide you with a high commission rate and provide you a desk and chair and let you “have at it”. Be sure to find out what the commission schedule is and how it is structured. Does it have a cap, is there a desk fee, can you earn more, are there incentives, do any fees come off the top? Furthermore, ask if there are additional fees you will have to pay? Some brokerages give a higher split but charge you a phone fee, a marketing fee, technology fee, office equipment usage, copier fees, or various other fees. Some companies don’t. Do your research and be sure to ask about the details so you fully understand your pay structure.
Will you be a lone ranger or will you have someone available to help you along your journey? Find out what the company policy or procedure is in this area. As prepared as you may be, every day brings new challenges, questions, legal issues, and situations that you may not know. Today many companies have managers who list and sell real estate. That means they are receiving compensation from selling and listing real estate. They are essentially competing with you. Will they be fully accessible to answer your questions and guide you, or will they be too busy working their own transactions? Determine if you feel comfortable having a manager who may not be available when you need them and is competing with you, or do you want a full-time manager who does not list or sell to be fully accessible to you for support. By far, finding out how you, as an agent, are supported is a very important question to ask on your interview.
Beyond the management team, assess yourself to determine how you work best. Besides conducting your real estate sales responsibilities of finding buyers and sellers, ask who performs the office duties. Every office is structured differently. Some provide staff to perform the duties and some don’t. Think about what will work for you. Time is of utmost importance as a real estate agent. Time is money. If you are an excellent multi-tasker and a very hands-on person, then you may be comfortable entering your listings into the MLS, making your own marketing materials and flyers, and other office tasks. However, if you are someone who doesn’t want to waste time on tedious tasks and want to use your time to concentrate on listing and selling real estate, then look for a company who has office staff that will support you. Technology support is also important to find out. Find out what technology is being used in the office and how it will help you, is there on-site training, and is there a fee you must pay to access it.
Choosing a brokerage is the first important step you will make in your real estate career. Do your research, do your homework, ask the questions, to find the right company that suits your needs and will give you a solid foundation to build your successful career.
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