Once you’ve earned your real estate license you’ll be tasked with choosing a broker. This is a crucial business decision. While you are working for yourself, you can’t act completely independently and you’ll need to be sponsored by a real estate broker. You should go to great lengths to ensure that the real estate office that you choose is the perfect fit.
The first step to take when considering brokers is to scout out the area where you’d like to work. Visit an array of local real estate brokers and take a look at their printed materials as if you were a visiting buyer. Consider whether the facility is up to date, if the location is ideal and if there is ample parking, etc.
Be sure to talk with active agents from a number of brokerages to find out their feelings about local offices. You should be able to gauge the agents’ general opinions about each broker’s reputation in the community and across the country. Always lean towards a broker that is well established in your area. Find out how many agents work out of each broker’s office to determine if you’ll have ample space, individualized attention and opportunities. Also, find out if the brokers specialize in a specific area of real estate that aligns with your interests. Check out the local paper and each’s internet site to see if there are substantial ads. Consider the quality of these ads as well. You need a broker who is able to promote both agents and properties successfully.
When you’ve narrowed the field of potential candidates, contact each office and ask if they are currently conducting interviews for new agents. During your interview, you should ask the brokers a number of questions. Find out what their goals are. What types of agents they are looking for? Would you be working as an employee or independent contractor? Is there a clerical support for agents? Is there a training program in place? Also, ask about the commission split, if you’ll receive any benefits and what the office market share is. Other considerations are whether the broker is a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and whether they have unique expectations and obligations required of agents.
Find out how the broker assigns floor duty. Since you are a new agent, you don’t have the same number of contacts as the office’s experienced agents. While floor duty might seem like menial work as it involves the answering of incoming phone calls, it can be quite critical to your success as an agent. This will be your opportunity to obtain new clients. You should also find out if the office’s agents are willing to let you hold open houses for them.
Of crucial importance is the potential relationship with your broker. The broker will act as your mentor and help to establish your career path. You need someone in your corner who knows the industry, has his finger on the pulse of the community and will provide you with the support that you need to be a success. So don’t settle on a prospect until you are sure that you are completely comfortable with him and his office. If you can’t find someone whom you trust, ask your friends about their experiences with local realtors. Sometimes, it is easier to find a reliable broker through your social network instead of cold calling them in an attempt to secure an interview opportunity.
Don’t settle on a broker until you find one that you are completely comfortable with. You are laying the groundwork for what will, hopefully, be a long term business relationship, so choose carefully.