Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.
So, you’ve gotten your licensing requirements finished – Congratulations! Now comes that all-important time when you actually meet with brokers and see which one will be the best fit for you. Considering that you’ll likely be working in real estate 40-60 hours a week (over one-third of your life), it’s crucial that you carefully consider the company you’ll be joining forces with. You should be partnering with a brokerage where you will feel empowered and supported.
In our 30+ years of training new salespeople, we’ve developed the following questions that can help you best determine a brokerage that will allow you to thrive in your real estate career.
Here are the top questions I would recommend asking:
Is there a mentor program?
Getting started can be a little (or a lot) intimidating. Having an experienced mentor that can help guide your first steps and become a sounding board during your early days is a wonderful thing.
What does your training look like?
Things change fast in our business. You’ll want to look for a company that provides a robust and varied training agenda with everything from sales and communication skills to technology tools and solid platforms that provide on-demand training as well, so you can learn as you go.
What kind of administrative support is offered?
Most offices will have an administrator that handles office details. Some brokerages, however, offer additional admin support or a Sales Coordinator for the agents as well – for tasks such as inputting MLS information, placing ads, or paperwork follow-up.
What is the commission split and how is it determined?
There’s no question that this is an important detail to discuss, but it should not be the main factor in your decision-making process. You ultimately have to feel comfortable and motivated to work in your office.
What is the agent mix?
Does the office have a balance of new and experienced agents? Full-time and part-time agents? This breakdown can allow you to find the niche that you might be comfortable with and the mentors that might be a good fit as well.
How are the incoming calls on listings distributed?
When a call comes in on an in-house listing, how are those calls handled? Do they go to the listing agent, or do they go to the general pool of agents? You’ll want it to go to the listing agent.
What is the average production of the active agents in the office?
Just as that saying goes that your income is the average of your five closest friends, if you’re in an office surrounded by other top producers and successful agents, then you are more likely to rise to that level. It rubs off on you.
What are the goals of the brokerage?
What do they want to accomplish over the next 12 months? Beyond goals of market share, what are their goals for agent growth? If they are committed to growing their agent base, then that usually means they are committed to delivering the tools and systems agents need to thrive to attract those agents. That’s a win for everyone.
Is there a comprehensive manual for company policies and procedures?
If there are robust policies and procedures in place, this is a good sign that the company has strong leadership that takes the guesswork out of managing a team.
What technology does your company have?
It’s important to work with a company that has embraced how important technology is in running any business. They don’t have to have the latest and greatest, but at least have a commitment to try to grow with it.
For an even deeper dive, try these three questions you may not have thought of:
Why did you get into real estate and/or management of a brokerage?
This question will enlighten you on many things: the broker’s own level of enthusiasm for real estate, their leadership style, and their personality. Also, they will appreciate this question!
What is the company policy on agents buying/investing in real estate?
I certainly hope you have the desire to invest in real estate yourself. If you should buy or sell anything for your own personal gain, whether it’s a primary residence or an investment property, ask what the company policy is on those transactions. You should explain to the broker right up front that this is not your main focus or why you’re getting into real estate but explain you would like this option in the future.
Are there any restrictions on self-promotion?
For example, can you have your own website? Can you have your picture on your business card and signage? It’s better if a broker encourages and allows you to put your own face on all of your promotional material and that there aren’t any major restrictions. Some companies have limitations that are above and beyond the legal guidelines. You want to find a company that has some flexibility.
These questions should be great fact-finding inquiries when meeting with potential brokers to determine where you’d like to hang your license. Be open, honest, and totally present in these conversations, and encourage the brokers to do the same so you can find the best possible fit for you and your new career.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at www.DarrylSpeaks.com/Online-Training. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.