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Does your managing broker compete with you?

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

Does your managing broker sell and list properties?

Your managing broker is in an enviable position, for someone who sells and lists properties.  They often are the one that people call, asking if the manager can give them the name of one of the top agents in the office, who might be good to help sell their property.  Or do they know someone who'd be good to help find lakefront property for a relocating couple, coming in from New York City.

A managing broker who also lists and sells would be in a position to shortstop some of those calls, and accept the leads for themselves... after all, what client could resist the sales pitch (from someone whose opinion they were just soliciting) "Well... I list / sell properties in that area, and I AM the managing broker, here in the office, so I could do an excellent job for you".  And even the most ethical manager might find herself in a difficult position, if a particularly lucrative listing or buyer might cross her desk.

My managing broker does not routinely list or sell properties.  She does not compete with me (or any of the other agents in the office) for listings or buyers.  Managing an office of almost 100 prima-donna agents (and yes, I include myself in the land of primadonnaville) is a full-time job... maybe a job and a half, and she dedicates all of her professional time to that task.

There are managing brokers in our area who do list and sell regularly.  They are in smaller offices, and list and sell in order to supplement their income.  I don't like the idea of my manager competing with me for listings.  Their title gives them a slight edge with the public, and I don't think that's right.

How about yours?  Does your manager compete with you?  Are you okay with that... how do you feel about it?

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Alan, I guess it really depends on the way the office is set up and whether or not the competing broker is working business they have created or whether they are just skimming off the top.

My office is virtual. At this point I only have 2 agents but both pretty much get all of their business from me. i DO cherry pick the buyers and sellers I want to work with and pass the others on. BUT I also keep pushing my agents to generate their own business. I would NEVER solicit someone that called in off of one of their ads or called in asking for them.

If agents generate their own business then having a competing broker makes no difference at all.

Feb 09, 2010 01:37 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Debbie - in my opinion, it does NOT come down to whether the agents are relying on company leads for their business.  It's a more fundamental issue, in my opinion.  Does the managing broker handle "loose" leads fairly?  And do you "trust" your managing broker to do so? 

Bryant - in such a small office (virtual or not), where you only have 2 agents, and they both rely on you for their business (at least for the moment, until they build their own)... they have to "trust" you, that you're handling "loose leads" that come to the office, fairly.  I'd imagine, since the 2 agents are probably related to you... that they have a high level of trust.  That changes things dramatically, don't you think?

Feb 09, 2010 06:04 AM
Martin E. Kalisker, Esq.
Natick, MA
Real Estate Law From A Practical Perspective

I don't compete with my agents and my sales manager is not eligible for company generated lead business.  In fact, we use this as a big recruiting tool with experienced agents who are fed up with their broker and managers taking all the incoming leads. 


Apr 13, 2010 02:44 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

weichert - it sounds like an excellent recruiting tool.

Apr 14, 2010 05:30 AM
Jim Ellis


My wife is a ReMax agent.  She signed an independent contractor agreement back in 2007.  In February of this year she left because it was her opinion that her broker and another employee (this employee's daugher was an agent as well) were hand picking the leads.  The broker was the top selling agent, the "daugher" agent was # 3 and my wife was # 4.  My wife NEVER got a lead.  Anyway, she moved on to another company.  Long story short, her old broker is getting ready to sue because the independent contrat has a clause stating 60 days notice must be given.  My question is, is this enforcable?  To our knowledge, she is the only agent the broker is holding to this clause of the contract.  Others, such as myself, left without this threat.

Thanks in advance.

Aug 18, 2010 05:20 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Jim - I'm not qualified to answer that question.

Aug 19, 2010 01:30 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Alan I see I must have been Miss Chatty Cathy on this one.  Hope I wasn't wrecking your nerves:-).

Jan 03, 2011 02:24 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

This was a big deal when our office found out we were getting a new managing broker.  He was an area top producer, and competing with him for a listing would be impossible.  However, our brokerage informed us that they do not have competing brokers.  Thanks goodness for that.

Jan 03, 2011 03:10 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Charita - I like "cathy".

Chris - sounds like you dodged a bullet.

Jan 03, 2011 11:41 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Alan great topic, our manager is only allowed it seems to bring her own listing in. You post seems to lead to many more such as who is the favorite agent, what's good for one agent is not for the other, does the manager set the mood of the office?. Some further AR posts for the future.....

Jan 04, 2011 06:33 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

David - and clearly many brokers do sell.

Jan 04, 2011 08:13 AM
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

Our company has all non-compete managing brokers in our offices. I don't think it's a good idea for a manager to compete with their agents because I think this could lead to a conflict of interest.

Jan 04, 2011 10:40 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Victor - a popular feeling.

Jan 04, 2011 12:01 PM

My managing broker has been in the business forever.  And for the past few years so has her husband.  That means they take up twice the floor calls and won't relent no matter what. Today she went in for a minor medical procedure when her husband had the floor duty.  He wouldn't give it up even though he wasnt' around.  A client came in at 9:45 and the administrative assistant dutifully left the information for the husband, even though myself and another agent were there.  At 4:45 he finally called the guy! We only have 4 agents that take floor duty and they are two of them!  And.....her percentage of the sale is bigger than ours.  I am sick about it.  This is my full time job.

Apr 11, 2013 07:05 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Steve - I can understand why you'd be concerned about that.

Apr 11, 2013 07:56 AM
Luke Middleton

In my experience, the decision to allow a managing broker to sell or not is directly effected by the cost to acquire them and the tasks associated with their position within the office. For instance, if a managing broker has a transaction coordinator, receptionist, listing coordinator, marketing person, and accountant at their disposal, I'd bet they have plenty of time to manage and sell(not to mention they'd probably be paid much less having to pay all those assistants). On the other hand, if it's just the Managing Broker and his/her agents, if you have a reasonably sized office, it's really not possible to do both. Long story short, hire a good managing broker who knows how to manage, train, and recruit. Pay them low and let them sell. But put strict guidelines behind lead disbursement.

Oct 28, 2014 02:38 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Luke - an interesting perspective... sounds like the perspective of a company owner, though... vs. another agent in the office.

Oct 29, 2014 03:22 AM
Paula Keiper
RE/MAX - Woodbridge, VA

I hope I can get some insight from others on here as well as Alan.   I have a newer Managing Broker that has been great to work with until lately.    This Manager recently became the Managing Broker of our office in the past 6 months.   I had a recent situation where my client (divorced couple that didn't communicate well and hard to deal with) called my Broker as she wasn't getting the answer she wanted and stressing about not paying house payments for 2 months.   I was trying to help them to sell and prepare for short sale if needed.   The one client called the Broker and now my Broker is taking over the listing from me.   Told me not to call either the Husband or Wife and let her handle them.   She took me off MLS on the lisitngs and giving me a % of Commission as a referal.   I wasn't able to talk to my clients that I worked for over 6 months with to get the listings and for her to remove me and take my client from her receiving the call...doesn't seem right.   She makes comments in the office that she wished her lisitngs would sell, etc.   I can't help but feel she wasn't plugging or pulling for me as an agent of the office and earned this listing.    I paid for advertising and now only going to get a percentage when I am very close in getting an offer   3 calls just today and a possible offer.   I have conflicting feelings about working with or for a Managing Broker that would do this.  Seems like she was in it for herself and took it right from me and pulled the rug out from underneith me.   Asking me not to call my own clients.   Thoughs as I'm now out a client and lots of money?

Jan 24, 2015 05:48 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Cicadas are coming! Cicadas are coming!

Paula - sounds like it was intense...

Jan 24, 2015 08:13 AM

How do you feel about competing with the office manager who just recently received her real estate license and now #1 in sells in our office. #screeningcalls #itsbadand obvious

Jan 09, 2019 11:21 AM