Your resume is polished. You've rehearsed your pre-interview questions in the shower, standing in front of the mirror, and pacing around the bedroom. It’s a big day.
You've got two follow-up interviews scheduled with prospective brokers. One of the two, you are confident, will inject fuel into your initial professional success.
If you're just getting into the business, it's important to make sure your first move is the RIGHT move. Research prospective agencies thoroughly. Working with the right broker, along with time and focus, can rocket your sales up the board.
Pick the wrong broker? Your business could crash before it leaves the ground.
The first thing to remember is commission splits aren't the most important metric for successful Realtors. Are they important? Of course.
But take a serious look at all opportunities objectively and from a variety of angles.
For example, compare work-life balances and decide whether you would thrive at a small or large brokerage. Consider the quality of available training programs.
Before qualifying for a brokerage license and earning the privilege to work independently, rookie Realtors must link up with an established broker for a set amount of time, depending on state regulations.
SPOILER ALERT. The first two years are crucial to a Realtor's career. It's a period to learn the trade, build a client base and prove to sales managers — and yourself — that you have what it takes to succeed.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, the opening 24-month salvo into the profession is often an indicator of prolonged achievement. More than 80 percent of first-time realtors quickly decide to alter their career paths. Many, I’m sure, might attribute their exit to choosing the wrong broker.
Agreeing to a sponsorship by the right broker is a seminal moment for all licensed Realtors. The final decision will undoubtedly impact the direction of any real estate agent's career, both positively and negatively.
Finding the RIGHT fit
To discover the right brokerage, it’s important to ask the right questions. Sure, everyone has different needs and unique concerns. But when you're headed into an interview, consider asking the following questions:
- What types of new agents is the broker seeking?
- Is the agency an MLS member?
- Would I be considered an employee of the agency or an independent contractor?
- What does your new hire training program entail?
- What type of benefits package is available?
- What is the agency’s market share and its main goals?
- What are its marketing assets?
- What type of administrative and clerical service is available to your agents?
- Is technology support available?
And, of course:
- What is the commission split?
OK, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, commission splits are vital. Every Realtor wants more money for their efforts. After all, it was their footwork, their pursuit, their attention to detail that laid the foundation for a closed deal.
But, as a new agent, when sales are generally few and far between, it is crucial to gain a market foothold. That’s were a proven broker with more proficient auxiliary opportunities could kickstart your career.
With a greater source of leads and more intense, dedicated training, inexperienced Realtors could benefit down the road.
Other issues to inquire about during broker interviews include:
- Exposure on the brokerage’s website
- Office expenses; some brokerages charge for things like making phone calls and paper copies.
- Confirming possible fees for Errors and Omissions Insurance and other pre- and post-sale transactions.
On-the-job training for things like contacting prospective clients, maximizing leads, negotiating and drawing up contracts, and implementing professional procedures should be paramount.
Often, a mentor will take a portion of the split, charge a sales fee or earn a percentage of the deal. Some new Realtors aren't keen on sharing dividends to those who share ideas. Others consider the funds a valuable investment in knowledge and experience.
If you see yourself as a home-based Realtor, better splits are generally offered by virtual brokerages, but fewer services likely will be offered.
Depending on your personality and professional preferences, you must decide between national or boutique brokers. Much like choosing a major university or small college, the decision mostly lies within individual comfort levels.
National brokers can offer greater early exposure, and quality institutions possess profound training courses. But once the coursework concludes, young pups are often thrown into shark-infested waters. Until you prove yourself, hot leads could be hard to handle.
National brokers are known to bring on more Realtors than they initially need, knowing a number will sink. Floor time is generally reserved for sharks, not bait.
Boutique brokers are considered by many to be more personable, and first-year property dealers could be better positioned to specialize in a niche or local market. While there are fewer leads overall, there are also fewer peers grappling for each opportunity.
The atmosphere could be quieter, but each lead likely will generate competition from national rivals.
No matter what their chosen path, new Realtors should be prepared to work smart and stay focused.
Expireds could be your ticket in the door
After linking up with a new broker, there’s generally a “feeling out process.” While you build your clientele over the first few months, you might want to try tapping into a widely untouched market. Snag a copy of The Ultimate Guide To Dominate Expireds to find out what that market is and how you can slide into success with little competition.
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!