Those of you who are new to real estate careers have a number of important decisions to make, and one of the biggest is choosing the real estate brokerage you’ll be working with. Going solo typically isn’t an option, as by law in Canada an agent must practice under the supervision of a managing broker or brokerage company. Where you choose to hang your hat can be integral to your future successes, or lack of them. You’ll want to choose a brokerage that is the best fit for what you envision for yourself and your brand – the development of which is equally important but another topic of discussion.
Here at Real Estate Leads, new realtors with ANY brokerage can harness the power of the Internet with our online real estate lead generation system for Canada and really hit the ground running with their prospecting efforts. It’s been especially well received over the last 2 years, and no doubt many of those who’ve gotten on board here are new additions to real estate brokerages across the country.
When it comes to brokerages, in addition to helping you create your brand, a brokerage will be the backbone to your business. The people who make up that brokerage will guide you and show you the way. Choosing one is a decision of the upmost importance, so here are some fundamental questions you should be asking both yourself and these respective brokerages.
- What would make up an ‘ideal client’ for you? Try creating a persona for your ideal customer including demographics, psychographics, behavioristics and geographic information. Who are they, what do they want, and how do they want it?
All of this is a legitimate consideration as your client will also be the client of the brokerage, and will this ideal client be open to working with this specific brokerage?
- What is your brand strategy, and how do you see yourself positioned in the marketplace and with what value proposition? When we consider that a discount brokerage which provides real estate services at a discount will have a dramatic effect on your business plan, it may not be as appealing as you originally though. Oppositely, other brokerages may be regarded as being a “high end” provider with equally high commissions.
- You’ll have a current circle of influence – what does it look like? Are you already connected to a number of personal contacts who are looking to buy houses, or are you still in the process of digging those up? If so, you may want to consider working with a brokerage who has lead generation opportunities available for their agents, despite having to pay a hefty commission split on those deals as they are closed.
Oppositely, if you have a large network of individuals looking to invest in real estate, you may be better suited for a brokerage with lower commission splits and fees.
- How extensive is your experience? If you’re a newly registered agent with no sales under your belt then you’re going to need someone to teach you. You’ll be best served by a brokerage that has programs in place for new agents, like a mentorship or training system.
A quick note first – you will be paying the brokerage through fees on your sales, and even sometimes desk fees. You need to be comfortable with the value you receive for the fees!
Alright, questions to be asked;
- What is the commission split, and what desk or licensing fees will need to be paid?
- Is there a cost for leads provided, if they are provided?
- How are these leads shared between the agents? How many can be expected on a monthly basis?
- Will commission splits change when the sale is personal or from my circle of influence?
- Are there any bonus programs that exist in the brokerage?
- Costs of working here. What does the brokerage pay for – licensing, phone and voicemail, signage and lockboxes, insurance etc. – and what am I responsible for on my own?
- What can a typical agent working here expect for annual income?
- What are the working stations like for the agents that work here?
- How many agents currently working out of this location of the brokerage – part-time? full-time? turnover?
- Are there required office hours? If so, how is the scheduling done?
- What is your market share?
- Are there protected areas, or territories for agents?
- Who is your usual client? What kinds of homes are they inclined to buy or sell for the most part?
- Any training programs offered? How many days, and is there a cost associated?
- Do opportunities to join teams within the brokerage exist?
- Does the office have a full-time receptionist? Are they trained to prepare documents such as offers, buyer rep agreements, etc?
- Any office policies regarding commission rates? Flexibility?
- What are the 5-year and 10-year goals for this office?
It’s not an exaggeration to say that choosing the right brokerage can make or break a career in real estate, particularly when you’re new to the game. Do your research before committing to a firm, and figure out what you want before beginning to approach brokerages. If you can, speak with agents to get a better idea of the the big picture of what it’s like to be a part of that brokerage.
Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads to delivered to you exclusively and for your similarly exclusive protected region of any city or town in Canada. You’ll almost certainly see the number of buyer and seller clients increased, making it a decidedly smart investment for a new realtor!