When Realtors Make A Move: Understanding the Triggers

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

Most experienced agents have gotten the call.  You know.  The one from a broker from another firm calling or emailing you to come over and check out how green their grass is – much greener than where you are now.


Sometimes the grass is greener.  Just as often, it probably isn’t.


To stay in business and thrive, a brokerage has to be able to attract new agents, and it’s usually more profitable to try to hire good agents from a competitor than to grow your own. 


It may be flattering to know that you are wanted, but it’s not a reason to make a move.


There are some triggers that make agents stop and ask themselves if their current office is and will continue to be the best place for them to work:

  • Their productivity takes a plunge
  • They have a row with their broker or a colleague in the office
  • Rich guys in New Jersey buy the company
  • The owner of the company fires their manager
  • The brokerage is family owned and the owners become embroiled in a family feud
  • The firm fails financially
  • The owner gets sent to jail
  • Some sweet-talking competing broker does a full court press drive to lure you to his office


Before you start packing up your desk, keep in mind that you need to be making a business decision here.  And unless your broker goes to jail or the company goes bankrupt, the other triggers are not necessarily a good reason to move.  Well, maybe the family feud qualifies as a reason to split.  Happened to me once.


If your productivity has tanked you need to look in a mirror before you search out a new company.  Sometimes a move can give you a boost, but you need to be sure the slowdown isn't because you have a slothful work ethic.  And patching up a misunderstanding is a lot easier than disrupting your business - unless maybe it's about your slothful work ethic combined with your disagreeable personality. 


Now, the rich guys from New Jersey just might give your brokerage a shot in the arm.  Or it could be a really awful corporate marriage.  Still, I'd suggest that you give the new owners a chance before you run across town, or even across the street. 


Switching brokerages is a serious step.  Even if you are diligent about contacting your center of influence, you are likely to lose some business.  Moving is distracting and disruptive.


And, yes.  Sometimes it's really necessary and the best thing for your business.


Next:  Interviewing Brokers




Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Hannah Williams 07/19/2010 04:22 PM
  2. Gloria Todor 07/20/2010 03:26 AM
  3. Constantine Isslamow 07/20/2010 03:56 AM
  4. LINDA SABO 07/20/2010 05:05 AM
  5. Paula Raymond 07/20/2010 07:54 AM
  6. Susan Morrison 07/20/2010 12:48 PM
  7. Geoff Wilkinson 07/20/2010 01:02 PM
  8. Sybil Campbell 07/29/2010 01:09 AM
  9. Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent 07/29/2010 01:15 AM
ActiveRain Community
changing brokerage firms

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Wendy Hayden
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO - Richmond, VA
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan

I am an agent with Long and Foster and they are offering new compensation packages to the agents to make the company more competitive with the competition.

Jul 20, 2010 08:32 AM #115
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Recruiting conversation awhile back:

Broker) so... what would make you consider making a move.

Me) well... I would enjoy being in an office with a small group of highly motivated and successful people

Broker) we could offer you a better split

Me) and... its very important to me to have an office in downtown Madison

Broker) and our national website generates lots of leads

Me) my practice is focused on land and farm properties - can you generate leads for that?

Broker) so are you ready to come on board?


First rule of sales - listen to your potential customer's wants and needs.

Needless to say, there was no sale that day

Jul 20, 2010 08:48 AM #116
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I am very fortunate to be with a family owned 5th generation broker that is NOT in a family feud!  I agree that often the agent has a poor work ethic and as they say, the broker can lead you to water, but they cannot force you to drink out of the company water cooler!  Or something like that!  lol

Jul 20, 2010 09:42 AM #117
Jodie Carpine
OurHouse - Spokane, WA
Owner/Designated Broker, ABR, AHWD, ePro, GRI, MRP

Great post!  I am looking forward to the next one.  I interviewed 9 Brokers before choosing the office I am in.  I did not take the "best deal".  After 30 years of "corporate", I knew there is more than money and that no one was giving me a total picture. 

I made my choice based on the broker's personality.  I went for the one with the lowest BS factor, a sense of humor and generally laid back personality.  I did good!  I have not found anywhere else I want to be!

Jul 20, 2010 10:05 AM #118
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I agree that this is a pretty big step and mustn't be taken lightly.

Jul 20, 2010 10:14 AM #119
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Pat, I have escaped managers a couple times...... other than that, more often than not, the company left me.  They all died!!!  Mortgage companies are sometimes a short lived species.

Jul 20, 2010 10:25 AM #120
Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL

Wow! What a great and timely blog! I am in the mist of making a move now. You have given me some great things to think about.

Jul 20, 2010 10:56 AM #121
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy

it's amazing how many of those triggers make people jump ship. Then the triggers leave and everything goes back to normal.

Jul 20, 2010 12:01 PM #122
Rick Fifer
Vintage Homes Realty - Tampa, FL
Broker/Owner, Vintage Homes Realty


I've only been at this for 5 years. I've made 1 change after 18 months and unfortunately it was 18months over due.  I must have doing something right considering there were folks trying to recruit me after being at it for less than a year.

I wrestled over making a move for months and then the former broker made it easy by trying to sabbotage one of my deals.

I have been with my current broker for 3.5 years.  The market has been tough and once again I find I am receiving recruitment materials (I guess my numbers aren't too shabby). Offering better splits, etc.   I sat down with my broker (a great broker to work with) and made some changes to our arrangement.

There are times to change but just because the grass looks greener, there is a lot to be said for loving your office.  You might even find your broker may be more receptive to your needs than you gave them credit.

Jul 20, 2010 12:11 PM #123
Angela Bond
Keller Williams Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Real Estate | 310 666 5052

I've seen a lot of agents over the years make a move, thinking this is the magic answer to their business and of course, it never is.  A move should always be considered carefully and thoughtfully and the bigger picture taken into consideration.  I made a move from my old office because we got a call one day that they were closing us down.  I'd been asked to move to another brokerage for months beforehand and so I finally took this as a sign to go and try something different.  I've never been happier but I often wonder if I ever would have made the move had I not been forced into it.

Jul 20, 2010 01:17 PM #124
Dana Voelzke
loanDepot (203) 733-9408 - Bethel, CT
Loan Officer/ First time home buyer specialist

Recently I met with a colleage to ask for advice on the very same topic as this blog! I guess the problem is there are so many ways to "do" real estate and you have to find a good fit FOR YOU. I look forward to reading the whole series. Thanks for bringing this up!

Jul 20, 2010 03:45 PM #125
Rosalinda Morgan
Brookville, NY
"The Rose Lady"

Pat - I only moved once in my real estate career.  I stayed for two years with my first brokerage since I did not know any better.  I thought I had to stay till my license expired.  I was unhappy there since Day 1.  I have been with my present office for 8 years and have been through 8 managers during those 8 years.  I have the longest tenure in my office right now.  A lot of the oldtimers have moved to another company.  Some more than twice.  I guess it's not always greener on the other side.  Since I will be moving out of state soon, there is no sense in taking a leap to another company.  I missed my first boss here.  She was terrific, knew real estate very well and when you asked her something, you got the correct answer right away.  Why didn't I move to her new office?  Silly enough but I hate black which all her agents dress uniformly. 

Jul 20, 2010 03:57 PM #126
Sergio DePinto
Royal LePage Maximum Realty.,Brokerage - Greater Toronto Area - Vaughan, ON


Suburb post and great advise. I've been in the business for over 25 years and I'm acutely aware of the recruitment angles some brokerage use. I've been in situations where not to move would have been catastrophic to by future...I was lucky to see the warning signs. Actually, 4 out of 8 on your list were present.

You're correct in pointing out that it's flattering to be wanted but prudence should be practiced.

Thanks again for your insight.


Jul 20, 2010 06:23 PM #127
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

  If you do the same old...wait for the phone to ring...it doesn't matter where you park your license..park being the operative word. For us...if you wanted more than your broker was able to...knew how to...had ever heard of giving in technology and education...the arrival of Keller Williams was the answer...not for everyone...but evaluation of the model made it the best choice for us.

Jul 20, 2010 11:54 PM #128
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Slothful, how wonderfully delicate!  Yep, look in the mirror first if you are having business problems which is hard to do because it's never your fault!  There is an owner in my area that hires X-remax agents and hangs them all over the office like trophies giving them tons of perks.  You really have to watch your ego & keep it in check or you could do further damage to your own livelihood.

Jul 21, 2010 02:07 AM #129
Gary Steuernagel ASSOC. BROKER, ABR, CRB
Keller Williams Southwest - Sugar Land, TX

Excellent post, as many have said, poor production could be due to the need for the agent to change themselves and not the brokerage. 

If a change is needed don't change to KW, Weichert, Coldwell, Edina or any other franchise brokerage because of the corporate/franchise name solely, speak to the broker/manager that will be interacting with you and implementing the offering of the benefits of the franchise to you (if they choose to offer them).  Thats why people may move from one franchise to another franchise of the same corporation (C21 to C21 for instance).

The grass may look greener but it could be because of the crab grass in it).


Jul 21, 2010 12:10 PM #130
Durrell Thomas
San Marcos Real Estate Company 760-576-4357 www.SMRECO.com - San Marcos, CA
San Marcos Real Estate Company | 760-576-4357

The grass my be greener, however you still have to mow, water and weed it. 

Jul 21, 2010 02:30 PM #131
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I made my last move because my previous broker was retiring and I decided I didn't want to buy the business !

Jul 22, 2010 12:40 AM #133
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

All good reasons to consider making a move.  Once the decision to move has been made, the "fun" part is doing the due diligence to determine where to move to!

Jul 22, 2010 04:02 AM #134
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I receive the calls and the emails. I know that I am my business - not some broker. If the signals you point out arise I can easily move on as I have all my marketing pointing to me not some broker.

Jul 29, 2010 01:14 AM #135
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Patricia Kennedy

Home in the Capital
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information