If you’re lucky, you come from a line of real estate agents in your family who have established a long track record for excellence in your service area, and selecting a brokerage firm is easy. However, if you are like most real estate agents today, before you can sell your first piece of property, you have to find a real estate brokerage firm that best suits your needs—a place to call home, if you will.
With nearly 110,000 real estate brokerage firms in the U.S., it’s important to know the essentials of picking the right one for your career. You’ll need to consider a number of components to ensure you’ve selected the right broker for your personal and financial goals. Here we will walk you through five things to consider when choosing a real estate brokerage firm or broker to work for.
#1: Reputation in the market
More likely than not, if you live in a metropolitan area, your region is brimming with different brokers and firms. However, whether you live in the city or you live in a small rural town where competition is slim, you must first consider the reputation of the broker that you are considering in the market you’ll be working in.
A bad reputation for your brokerage firm inevitably rubs off on you. Make sure that you choose a reputable real estate brokerage firm or individual broker with a solid track record in your area. Are they the go-to firm for buying and selling? Do they have a reputation for working in commercial or residential real estate? Make sure you’re working with a broker whose position in the market reflects the type of real estate professional you want to be.
#2: Commission split
For new real estate agents, the appeal of a big commission split in your favor is almost too powerful to resist. Get the details written down on paper and take your time to read it carefully. It may turn out that an 80/20 commission split is even less once office supplies, copies, association dues, and other expenses are taken out. Remember, accepting a position at a real estate brokerage firm is a negotiation. Do not be afraid to ask questions or to push for a more favorable share in compensation. You’ll also want to make sure you have a full understanding of how this commission split will be updated over time.
#3: Amount of support
One way to choose the best brokerage firm for you is to find out how much support they give you. What is their stance on education? Do they offer technology tools and educational courses to get you started on the right foot? What about things like business cards, signage, and marketing material? On a more personal level, is the broker available to discuss your deals with you? Will they be available to give you advice on marketing, sales, and negotiation? Will you be surrounded by seasoned agents that can give you valuable advice as you start out in the field?
These are important questions to ask when selecting a broker, as you don’t want to start your first years in real estate alone.
#4: Visibility in the market
Has the real estate brokerage firm you are considering been in business for a while? If so, how visible are they in the market? Do you see signs around town for them? Do they have good name recognition in your local market? The answers to these questions will tell you just how popular this particular broker is.
After years in the business, you would expect for a quality real estate brokerage firm to have an established reputation in town. Ask around to see just how known the company is in the area and whether or not you will have a reasonable amount of success working under their brand.
Furthermore, what is their market share? Do they represent 3% of all homes sold in the area you’ll be servicing or 30%? What types of marketing initiatives do they have to ensure that their agents are getting leads from these efforts?
#5: Additional training and resources
Many top brokerage firms across the country have a proactive stance on real estate education. Not only does education ensure that their agents are up-to-speed when it comes to new industry trends and procedures, but studies show that the more education, training, and experience an agent has, the more money they can make.
Ask the potential broker if they support continuing education and licensing. Do they offer employee-to-employee mentoring? Are licenses and fees secured through the firm? Or will you be responsible for paying for additional resources on your own?
Learn more about choosing a real estate brokerage firm
Whether you are just now starting out in your real estate career or you are an experienced professional looking to enhance your educational background, Real Estate Express has new training and licensing courses available. Browse our course listings to sign up for our online seminars and training courses. Plus, check out our blog for more tips and insights specifically designed to help you launch your real estate career.