Choose the Best Brokerage for New Agents!
When you first get your real estate license, you must prepare for the sea of possibility that awaits! For some, the choices are overwhelming. The best brokerage for new agents isn’t an easy answer.
To avoid analysis paralysis, let’s start with the basic things you should be aware of and work into how to choose the best brokerage for you, and your new business. Like most things, choosing where to hang your license is not a one-size-fits all discussion. You have some choices to make right out of the gate.
First, you must choose whether you want to have your own book of business (clients), and be an entrepreneur real estate agent, or get a position as a real estate agent on a team, and help someone else build their book of business.
A quick myth to bust before we get started is: you do not have to work for another real estate agent when you are newly licensed, but you DO have to have a company (brokerage) that you hang your licensed with. Here’s the options on how to do that:
An entrepreneur real estate agent will choose to stay a single agent and hang their license with a brokerage and be in charge of launching and building a business. You are the leader.
A real estate agent working for a team will simply be required to complete the tasks of buying or selling a home for another entrepreneur agent. You are an independently contracted employee.
In both cases, you will be required to hang your license with a brokerage, with the option to be a part of N.A.R, and be a Realtor®. In some States, in order to have access to your MLS, you will need to become a Realtor®. Here is a link to guide you.
Here are 5 things to know (and ask) the person you meet with when deciding who will lead you down the foggy path of newness into the incredible leader, and real estate agent you intend to be.
Top 5 Things to Know Before You Go
- Is your meeting with Brokerage Leader or a Team Leader?
There are two types of recruiters out there that you will meet with, but they are not the same.
A Brokerage owner, or manager, will be called a “Designate Broker, Broker in Charge, Managing Broker, etc.” depending on the State you are in. They represent the brokerage and manage entire brokerage or offices. Brokerage owners and managers must take courses, pass specific exams AND have met the experience criteria for each individual state to be in this position. Joining a brokerage means that you remain an independent contractor and the entrepreneur of your own business.
A Team Leader runs a team UNDER a brokerage owner. While it may seem like they are a business structure that is the same as a broker owner, or manager, the fact is a team operates as an entity that is a part of the brokerage. Team leads or recruiters are real estate agent entrepreneurs (outlined above) that are looking for help to run their business under the bigger brand. In some States, they will be required to take a test that allows them to manage other real estate agents, but not the same as a managing broker/broker in charge/designated broker.
If you intend to be an entrepreneur agent, you will want to launch your business under a broker owner.
- You are in the driver’s seat.
The day you become a licensed real estate agent you are in control of your business. You get to decide the path forward each day that is best for you, your goals and your business. Perhaps the best kept secret that recruiters keep is, that you are the one interviewing them. Ask questions like:
- How do they support new agents in training?
- Who will answer the phone on a weekend when (not if, when) you have a question?
- Who will meet with you weekly to help you build your craft as a real estate agent?
- What are the fees associated with your relationship with that brokerage, or team lead?
- What technology do they offer?
- In your state, how much are MLS dues and association fees per month?
- Are there any other fees outside of the desk fee (or cap), transaction fees, splits and association fees you need to be aware of?
- Your database is valuable. Do not give it away!
Many new agents often do not understand early on that real estate is a relationship business. Your future business and the homes you sell will hopefully come from the people you know. In the industry call this your “sphere of influence”. If you launch your business properly, you can grow and nurture your sphere of influence into a referral business. It is not customary, or advisable, for you to give your contacts in your phone to another real estate agent or brokerage. Building your own book of business means you must start your own CRM. Your database is valuable! If another agent, manger, or team lead is asking you to give over your database of contacts, that’s a flag you are merely being recruited to pay fees and offer leads.
- Learn the basic practices of how to build a business.
If you have not worked in a corporate job, it’s possible you may be missing the fundamentals of how a business operates. While you are newly licensed, and have now hung your license at a brokerage, the first step is to set up the foundation of a start-up business. You are no different than Google, Nike or the neighborhood printing company. Everyone who runs a business, must construct one from the ground up. You will need to learn prospecting (how to get customers), marketing, business finance, sales skills and administration. There are several programs available to you. 80% of new real estate businesses fail by the second year. You must launch a proper business. Find a brokerage owner or manager who wants to help you build this for yourself, not for them.
- You must learn to fish.
Arguably one of the biggest misunderstandings that new real estate agents have about being a real estate agent is that time is spent mostly on buying homes, or selling homes. The truth is that most of an entrepreneur real estate agent’s time is spent on finding new business. Have a plan on how you intend to attract clients to your service. During your business’s launch this will be a difficult hill to climb. While interviewing broker owners and managers, ask how many single (entrepreneur) experienced and busy agents are in the office. This is the best way to build a business early. By being supportive to other busy agents (not working for them), you may be able to snag some of their overflow prospects, get a chance to do an open house on their listing so you can meet more new prospects and listen to how their business operates. Become a sponge and be a student of the industry.
Remember, every real estate agent’s business is different. As stated, every day we wake up begins with a choice on what direction we want to take our business. That’s the exciting thing about being a small business owner and that is exactly what you are! Choose a brokerage that has similar values you have so that when you begin to market yourself it’s an easy fit. From here on out, the sky is the limit on what you can achieve if you do the work to get there. It starts with a proper business launch and choosing a brokerage that will support you while you learn. That is truly the keys to the castle.