Thinking of making a switch and moving your business? As you evaluate the brokerage you’re currently with and consider exploring new horizons, keep these points in mind.

We’re almost a few months into a new year, and if something’s not clicking with your business by now, perhaps it’s time to think about making a change. Sometimes, another brokerage may help you achieve your goals better than your current firm.

But how do you know if the grass is truly greener? As the managing partner of a brokerage, I interview hundreds of agents every year. Here are the first three questions you should ask yourself before making a switch to another firm.

What is more valuable: infrastructure and brand recognition or more personal attention?

I recommend this is the first thing you consider when evaluating a new firm. Large national chains have benefits such as infrastructure and brand recognition. However, you may be one of the thousands of agents at one of many offices.

If you’re looking for more personal attention, you may want to explore a boutique brokerage in your local market. Smaller firms provide the opportunity for personalized mentorship and a sense of community. It’s also easier to stand out as a top performer

A question to ask yourself is: Do I want to be a big fish in a small pond, or do I like to swim in a sea of many? 

Do you understand the total compensation package?

The majority of real estate firms offer a commission-based compensation package. Since your income will likely rely on commission, you will need to understand the splits offered.

Commission rates vary from brokerage to brokerage. While it might seem like the obvious choice to pick the firm with the highest commission rates, be sure to find out what other fees or value-adds you can expect. Do you have to pay for your software subscriptions? Are there desk or transaction fees?

Evaluate based on the full package they offer. Brokers with high splits may receive less attention and support because management may perceive they don’t need as much help or can’t afford to dedicate resources as there isn’t much profitability on the particular agent.

Think about things beyond the commission rate that a brokerage can offer to enhance your career, such as in-house marketing programs, opportunities for leads, and mentoring and training programs. 

Do you want to establish and align yourself with the brokerage’s brand and reputation?

Each brokerage has a unique personality and set of values. Since the brokerage you choose will represent you, and you’ll represent them, it’s essential to find a place that reflects your values and how you want to conduct business.

Also, look at the company’s leadership — from the CEO to managers. Do they have a positive reputation in the industry? Find out what they are known for, and decide if the direction aligns with your values and goals.

As you evaluate the brokerage you’re currently with and consider exploring new horizons, keep these points in mind. Wherever you hang your license, make sure it is where you can grow your real estate career and are proud to be associated with.

Need more help making a decision? Here are a few resources to guide your decision-making process:

Amy Galvin is a managing partner with Luxury Living Chicago Realty in Chicago, Illinois. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter

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