Choosing the right real estate brokerage is as important as choosing the right friends. Sure, anyone could be your friend but at the end of the day, don’t you want to choose friends who are there for you during both the good times and the bad? That’s what it’s like choosing the right real estate brokerage especially in some states that require you to be sponsored by a broker when you go to take your real estate exams.
But how do you choose the right brokerage for you and your new career? We’ve put together 5 top things you should consider when choosing your real estate broker.
1. Broker Commission and Splits
Each Broker offers different commission structures. If this is your first time working on commission, it can be daunting. While some brokers offer salaried positions, they are few and far between. If you’re not selling, you’re not getting paid. When you are selling, commissions are split with your broker. Some are 60/40 while others can be higher or lower depending on the firm. Determining the right commission split is not always about the money. Where you are in your career, the support you need, the type of market you’re in, will determine which brokerage is right for you.
2. Choosing Franchise versus Independent Brokerage
Not all brokerages are created equal. Depending on your personality type and how you see your career will determine if a franchise like ReMaxx is the right brokerage for you or if a local brokerage that has been embedded in a community for generations is a better career path.
The franchise usually has more control over the way you conduct business and covers a wide swath of territory that can eat up gas and make networking referrals difficult. The good part of a franchise is that it compensates with more training and volume sales. This is a great thing if you are a new agent with little sales experience or if you are able to push out high sales and willing to give up more of your commission for volume. A local brokerage is best for the agents that sell with relationships in mind, agents looking for higher commissions per sale, and agents looking for a good work/life balance.
3. Company Reputation
A company’s reputation is just as important as the quality of service delivered. How home buyers find the company you’ve attached your name will play a major role in future sales. Traditionally, customers mostly found businesses either through the phone book or a personal referral to an agent. That is not the case anymore. According to new data by the University of Virginia, millennials (who are the new home and first time home buyers) are moving from the suburbs and into the urban areas of larger cities. Which means that how millennials look for a real estate agent and company to help them is going to be different from traditional marketing methods. Millennials use their phones to look up everything! And now that they’re in new cities and areas from their parents, they won’t have those personal referrals to rely on. Which is why a company’s presence on review sites and mobile searches is vital to the future of a brokerage. If you do choose to go with either a franchise or a local brokerage, take a moment to put a search into your phone for real estate companies and see who pops up. Choose the top three to five results that pop up as options for companies you want to consider. And don’t forget to check their reviews. If they have bad reviews, go with the next brokerage. This little test is a great way to figure out which companies are using modern marketing practices to allow you to be competitive in your market.
There is a difference between how much support you want to ask for and how much you actually need. Nobody likes to ask for support but we all need it. It’s understandable that the reason why you may have chosen to be a real estate agent is for the freedom of being your own boss. It allows you to break away from restrictive corporate environments and find the income or work/life balance you crave. However, freedom does come with a cost. Business is hard, and it makes it way harder if you go it alone. When choosing the right real estate brokerage, take a moment of self-reflection. Are you the type that is always willing to learn and looks for feedback from others or are you the type of person who likes to figure it out while you go along. Both are great ways no matter which one you like. Just make sure that the brokerage you are choosing has a support system for it. Some brokerages are completely devoid of support and merely function as a desk. Others are more hands on and offer a variety of services to help you along the way. If you do choose a brokerage that requires you to do more paperwork than average to complete a deal, make sure the extra work is reflected in the commission split. The last thing you want to do is do more work for less pay.
5. Real Estate Brokerage Culture
Company culture is the most overlooked factor for new agents. In reality, it’s one of the most important building blocks for your success in the long-run. What you expect from the brokerage in terms of support, marketing strategies, lead generation, commission splits, and company reputation all go into shaping how you and your fellow agents feel towards the brokerage you’re working with. And here’s something to point out. At the end of the day, you are working with a brokerage. You are not working for a brokerage. This is the defining reason why so many people choose to go into real estate. You are working for yourself and not for anyone else. So if the brokerage cultivates an environment where you are doing them a favor, stay away! It should be a mutual understanding of dignity and respect between equals in business.
Today, a good real estate brokerage acts as your foundation. Compete in your market with the right help. At UNiQ Realty, a new kind of virtual brokerage, you get the right support, marketing, lead generation and community. We don’t all walk into the profession with a ton of funds to throw towards those little extras that are needed to be successful in business. Like all businesses, it takes time to get our names out there, find the right clientele who are looking for a new home, and then somehow handle all of the paperwork seamlessly to get the job done. The right real estate brokerage is like having the right toolbox. If you don’t have the right tools, the house is going to be built.