In life and in our careers, there are so many twists and turns. I’ve been in the real estate industry for more than a decade, and in that time I have experienced all kinds of challenges, incredible successes and surprising learning opportunities.
Today, I’m the director of residential estates at The Agency, and I know I’m exactly where I want to be. But, there was a time I did not feel assured of my place and my path forward.
In the fast-moving world of real estate, it’s important to take time to check in with yourself and assess if changing brokerages is the right move. Here, I’m sharing a few of my tips and things to consider as you navigate staying, leaving or returning to a brokerage.
Remember, the grass isn’t always greener
Every brokerage will offer different tools, technology, culture and service offerings — and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Whether you’re a new agent or a veteran with many years of experience, it’s so important to dig deep and get clear on what tools, services and values align with your brand and your business goals. What works for you may not work for another agent — and that’s alright.
The key factor is to know what you’re about and seek out a brokerage that really speaks to you. I was at The Agency for four years and then decided to move to another brokerage, Douglas Elliman. I stayed there for about three months before deciding to return to The Agency.
Tune in to what’s working for you and your clients
For me, it was clear that The Agency was where I felt most at home, it’s where I feel I belong.
I feel supported, listened to, appreciated and so much more. One of the main reasons I moved back is because I felt that my clients felt more supported and comfortable with The Agency’s services and capabilities as well. They felt supported and confident knowing that I was being supported by the management and leadership teams, as well as our incredible in-house public relations and marketing teams.
Consider the role leadership plays and how it makes you feel
Leadership matters, and how they interact with agents is important. At my current brokerage, I could not be happier as it pertains to leadership and their support. Our founder and CEO, Mauricio Umansky and our President, Rainy Hake Austin are accessible and available. I have even co-listed with some of our leadership team.
I feel truly blessed to say that I can reach out or call any of our incredible leaders at any given time, and I know they will respond with respect and dedication.
I feel genuinely cared for by each and every single one of them.
This feeling extends beyond higher-level leadership to our management team, marketing pros and press team as well as admins and office staff. It translates to feeling truly cared for — and that’s how I think agents should feel at their brokerage.
Note how collaboration comes into play
My ability to genuinely connect and get to know leadership has led to so many amazing career moments, including the opportunity to co-list properties. The fact that I even have the option of co-listing with any of our leaders is a gift in itself. They never hold back any knowledge or experience from their fellow agents and truly want us all to succeed. Our success is their success, and vice versa.
In my opinion, a culture of collaboration positively impacts the bottom line. Since returning, I would estimate that I have received close to $70 million in new business, which is even more significant in today’s shifting marketplace.
Know your brand and how you want to be remembered
My advice to agents thinking of switching brokerages would be to identify and build your brand. Then, decide how you want to operate and how you would want to be perceived and remembered by clients. Once you do that, make sure the brokerage of your choice supports your brand and how you have chosen to operate your business.
At the end of the day, we are in the service industry, and clients will work with whom they feel most supported by and comfortable with. Our brokerages are as representative of us as we are to them. It’s important to feel at home at your brokerage and feel supported. Consider where you feel at home, where your clients can sense your confidence, which is why they will choose you over others in this competitive industry.
We always say, “Who you work with matters,” and it’s so true. Keep this motto in mind as you evaluate what brokerage model and team is best for you. Approach the decision to join, stay or switch brokerages with careful thought and consideration, and you’ll land exactly where you’re meant to be.
Farah Levi is a luxury agent at The Agency and has been featured on notable television shows, news outlets and social media platforms, such as Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Robb Report, and Variety. Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.