If you’re considering making a move to a new brokerage, here are a handful of questions that’ll help you determine if your team is ready to pack up.

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Are you thinking about moving your team to a new brokerage? Let’s say you have an incredible offer, the promised perks are great, and the comp package is impressive. Let’s say the new brokerage is even offering to throw in a new pony for your daughter. Is it the right time to make the move? Maybe, maybe not.

Here are five things to consider before making the move to another brokerage:

1. Is your team currently identified with your own branding to your clients and consumers?

If your clients and potential customers identify you with your brokerage or franchise brand, it’s not time to move. You need to first establish your team brand as the primary and the brokerage as the secondary in the minds of those you serve. 

If you have questions, give a few of your past clients a call, and ask them their thoughts about your potential move. For the most part, the brokerage brand should be insignificant in their thought process. You might find that you and the brokerage might have become synonymous for the client, especially if you have spent 10 years promoting the brokerage. 

You must establish your own branding with your clients before moving your team.

2. Are you anchored with your own toolset, or do you plan to adopt the new brokerage’s tech platform?

For successful teams, the brokerage is a platform for which to serve their clients. In today’s world, every brokerage has put together its own tech stack. Each of them offers some form of CRM, website, transaction platform, etc. 

They might look and sound different, but they are more or less the same at their core. If you are planning on moving, it’s best to anchor in your own tech stack. 

When moving a team, it’s important to lose as little as possible in the move. For example, moving CRMs is a process with the potential loss of data itself and loss of time in the team’s training. 

When you own your tools, you are in a much more flexible state. Brokers know this, which helps explain why they are so interested in getting you to adopt to what they offer. When moving, you are in a far better place to negotiate a reimbursement for your team’s tech use than to take what they provide off the shelf. 

3. Are you currently comfortable with the strength of your team culture?

Your team culture is your connector and continuity in a transition. If you have cracks in the culture on your team, it will be stress-tested in a move. 

Expect some team members to stay behind at the old brokerage. Expect the old brokerage to try and retain as many of your agents as it can. 

There is no love in the recruiting game. If you choose to leave, expect brokerages to target your team. 

The culture and loyalty you have built is the difference between them taking the recruiting meeting or ignoring it altogether.  

4. Are you prepared with the team transition plan?

You cannot over-prepare for a transition. It’s going to take at least twice as long and cost twice as much as you think it will. Each person on the team needs to have a plan in place. 

New business cards, keys, access and passwords are just the start. Have your team admin put together every detail imaginable, and even then, expect there to be bumps along the way.

5. Are you willing to take a step back to take a step forward?

Even the best moves are going to have some amount of “breakage.” Breakage is the term used to describe the natural business disruption that happens during a move, much like when clients pack up and move, they don’t know what will break. But there is some expectation that a few things will. 

It’s the same thing with moving your team. Even under the best of circumstances, things will be disrupted. The bigger the team, the larger the natural disruption, especially in momentum. Expect it, plan for it, and be ready. To take a leap forward, you have to be willing to take a momentary step back. 

Moving your team to a new brokerage can be done. It can be a great thing. It can also be a disaster. Regardless of what the new brokerage has promised you, consider the impact on your team and business before you leap. Consider the five things above a good starting point for moving your team to a new brokerage.

Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger, LLC is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting, and team building. 

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