How to Choose the Right Real Estate Broker to Work With and Things to Consider as a New Real Estate Agent | 8 Key Factors
Are you a new real estate agent trying to determine which brokerage to work for? Choosing the right real estate broker is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your new real estate career. Just getting your real estate license is the beginning of the obstacles. Joining a brokerage or identifying real estate companies that align with your goals and needs can set you up for a thriving business, whether you’re focused on it part-time or you want to work around the clock.
This comprehensive guide will shed some light on key considerations for real estate professionals and walk you through the key factors to consider when it comes time to choose a real estate broker as a new agent. We’ll cover questions to ask brokers, understanding commission structures, training programs, company culture, and more. Read on to learn insider tips that can help you find the perfect brokerage fit.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Brokerage
What real estate brokerage models exist and what are the differences?
When starting your search for the right real estate broker, it’s helpful to understand the most common brokerage models out there. Here are several types you’ll encounter:
- Independent and boutique brokers that specialize in luxury properties, commercial real estate, property management and/or unique neighborhood expertise
- National franchise brands like Re/Max, Century 21, etc.
- Hybrid models that offer virtual access with some physical offices
The model influences factors like brand recognition, training approach, access to referral networks, marketing resources, and more. Make sure to learn the distinctions so you understand the pros and cons of each.
What fees and costs are associated with real estate brokerages?
Outside of the commission split, here are other brokerage-related fees to factor in:
- Desk fees for office space and amenities
- MLS access fees to list properties in the local multiple listing service
- Licensing and registration fees in your state
- Brokerage transaction fees per sale
- Fees for E&O insurance, legal resources, accounting services
- Marketing fees if you utilize brokerage advertising services
- Franchise fees for national brands
Make sure to clarify all recurring and one-time fees so there are no surprises. Some brokerages offer all-inclusive options.
What training and mentoring support should you expect from a brokerage?
Especially as a new agent, you’ll benefit tremendously from detailed training programs and mentoring from experienced brokers. Here are some key things to look for:
- Formal onboarding for licensing, contracts, systems, skills
- Access to seasoned broker mentors for shadowing and guidance
- Ongoing education resources and company-paid training
- Coaching sessions and accountability for hitting goals
- Help building your business plan and clarifying your focus
Prioritize brokerages committed to your professional development and long-term success. This support can shorten your learning curve significantly.
What commission split should you look for as a new real estate agent?
The commission split refers to how much of each transaction fee the brokerage takes versus how much the agent receives. This can vary significantly based on experience level.
As a new agent, you can expect to start with a 50/50 or 60/40 split in your favor. Top producers at some brokerages may earn up to 90/10 splits after meeting certain annual sales volumes or thresholds. Understand the tiers so you can project your potential income.
How can you evaluate brokerage culture and leadership?
Unlike other jobs, real estate brokerages function a bit like families. You’ll be working very closely with these people every day. That’s why assessing culture fit is so important.
Here are some suggestions on evaluating brokerage culture:
- Schedule an office tour and talk to various agents to get vibe checks
- Ask about collaboration vs. competition among agents
- Request bios for broker/owner and managers to assess experience
- Look for shared values around work/life balance, professionalism, and transparency
- Search online reviews by current and past agents
- Consider if the style matches your personality – laid-back or fast-paced
The right culture can make work enjoyable. But dysfunction takes a toll over time. Carefully vet during interviews.
What questions should you ask brokers during the interview process?
Interviewing potential brokerages is a key part of your decision process. Here are some questions that can provide great insights:
- How long have you been with this brokerage, and what made you choose it?
- How much mentorship and coaching do experienced brokers provide to new agents?
- What are the core values and mission of the brokerage?
- How much say do agents have in shaping company policies and offerings?
- Does the brokerage organize any networking/social events among agents?
Should you join an existing real estate agent team?
Many brokerages give you the option to join an established real estate team alongside more experienced agents. This can provide some advantages:
- Being mentored by and shadowing successful team agents
- Getting guidance on lead generation strategies that work
- Having a support system as you build your business
- Benefiting from the team’s existing brand and marketing
- Learning specialized skills like commercial real estate
However, vet any team thoroughly, clarify your profit-sharing arrangement, and ensure you still receive sufficient individual attention. Joining a team has major pros and cons to weigh.
How can you research brokerages in your local market?
Cast a wide net initially when researching brokerage options in your area. Here are some approaches:
- Search industry associations like NAR and state licensing boards
- Look at brokerage websites and social media pages
- Network with agents at open houses and industry events
- Check brokerage ratings on sites like Zillow and social media
As you narrow down the list, interview 3-5 brokers in-depth to make the final selection. Local expertise is invaluable.
Key Takeaways on Selecting a Real Estate Brokerage as a New Agent
Choosing the right brokerage for your real estate career is an important decision. Keep these tips in mind:
- Learn the common brokerage models and fee structures
- Ask detailed questions during broker interviews
- Vet culture fit and leadership experience
- Clarify what training support and mentoring is offered
- Consider whether joining a productive real estate team is for you
- Research brokerage options extensively in your local area
- Compare commission split tiers and total income potential
- Make sure the brokerage aligns with your specialties and focus
Taking the time to evaluate brokerages thoroughly will ensure you find the optimal fit. Learn more about Olde Town Brokers at https://oldetownbrokers.com/. We can help position you for many years of success in real estate.