Patricia Kennedy gave such a great check list for New Agents to use when choosing their First Broker.It is a very important decision as it sets the course for your future. I would use this checklist and make sure I was Interviewing the Broker and not just applying for a job.
It seems like we have a lot of people who are new to real estate discovering ActiveRain. And some of them are finding us before they get out of their pre-licensing programs.
And their participation here is giving them lots of advice, especially about the how important it is to find the perfect real estate office to hang their newly minted license.
But you're brand new! Pea green! You don't have a clue about what a good brokerage looks like.
Well, here are some clues for the clueless.
A few managing brokers are picky about who they take on, but most will hire anyone with a pulse and a paper saying they passed the licensing exam. And if you don't have a pulse, they will do CPR until you do and then hire you.
This means that you are interviewing brokers - not the other way around. So go in with your questions for each broker, and take notes for a spreadsheet. Here are the questions that I would want answered:
- What kind of post-licensing training do you offer? It needs to be a formal program, not "Here's a desk and here's a phone." In most cases, larger brokerages are better at training than the boutique firms.
- Is there any sort of internship or mentoring program for newly licensed agents? Some brokers will arrange for you to start as a sort of paid assistant to a top agent. Others will have you pay another agent to mentor you. Get details!
- Does the managing broker or company owner also list and sell real estate? If the answer is yes, you are sitting across the table from your biggest competitor.
- What is your commission split for new agents? If it's low, like in the 50% range, there should be serious services the broker provides - photography, printing, postage for a farm. It's often negotiable.
- What was the office's total dollar volume for homes sold last year, and what was the average settled price. This will give you an idea of what you'll need to sell to meet your income goals.
- How does that number break down in the average and median annual sales volume per agent in the office? This is a very important number. It might be lower for a company that is known for taking on newbies, but there should be experienced agents to bring the average up. Very low? Something is off.
- May I have a complete list of your office and desk fees? There are many companies that nickel and dime you to death. Some charge fees for parking, coffee, desk rental, franchise fees, and administration fees. Fees can quickly add up.
- How many brand new agents did you take on last year? And how many have earned commissions since joining the office? How many left the business? You need to know the track record!
Before committing yourself to join an office, I'd suggest you talk to some of the agents, especially the newer ones, to get a feel for the place.
And speaking of agents, there are many companies that pay associates a generous finders fee if they bring you in to their company. Some agents are heavy prosletizers for their firms, and if you start to feel like you are being pulled into a cult, that could be the case!
And when you do make your choice, remember that it is your first choice, and by no means your final one. Some offices are great places to start a career, and there are others that might be better for growing your business.