My journey into real estate was on a rocky road. Thankfully I learned from each situation, and now I'm willing to share my experiences. You see I belonged to four offices before I was even in business for two years. What I didn't do was make good decisions about which offices to join.
It's not always about the money and commission splits. If only I had known then what I know now. Yes...hind sight is 20/20.
I let the cost of joining an office sway my decision. There were managing brokers that also made a lot of promises they never kept. So that's why you want to be very careful in your first office selection. It can be difficult when you don't know the different personalities that are involved. But trust your intuition and weight your choices carefully.
I've preached about this before. Here's a post I wrote a few years ago about this situation. If you are new to this business, or considering getting your real estate license, you should click on the link and read the post.
Make a list of the offices you think you might want to join. Then setup appointments with the managing broker or owner. The broker will want to interview you, but you should also interview the broker. This is your future you are dealing with. So don't be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you are clear on what the office expects from you, and what the office will do for you.
You need to find out if the office is going to be a good fit. You also need to know if there is a training program or a mentor-ship program. Unless you were born into a real estate family, you are going to need training. A lot of broker/owners I know don't have the time to train new agents. A good solid training program will help you move forward with your new career and hopefully keep you out of trouble. We all want to stay out of trouble.
Moving from office to office is no fun, and very counterproductive to your success. Make the right decision in the beginning to get a good start. I spent a lot of time moving my stuff around, when I could have been farming a neighborhood or doing a mailing. There are also local and state fees involved with changing where your license is hanging. So frequent moves can get expensive.
I didn't expect to stay at the fourth office I joined. I needed to clear my head from bad experiences at the last offices. It's turns out the fourth time is a charm for me. I just started my eighth year at Cedaredge Land Company.
Even with a rocky start, and the market going bad, I didn't look back. I was very determined to succeed in my new career. In the 11 years I've been in business, I've received my board's REALTOR® of the Year award twice. I serve on the local board of directors, and I currently have a leadership position at the state level. I'm glad I stayed with it. My own stubbornness had a lot to do with that.
So what have I learned over the years (besides selecting a good office):
1) Get to know other members of your board. You will likely form some lasting friendships, and a good support network for those occasional bad days when you need someone to vent to. Sometimes it's nice to talk to someone that's been there and done that.
2) Don't be afraid to get involved with your local board. You don't have to assume a leadership position, but you can volunteer to serve on committees. When you get involved at that level, you tend to be more focused on the world of real estate. Leadership didn't take away from my business...it added to it.
3) Know when to cut a buyer or seller loose. Some people are not worth the time it takes to deal with them and their own drama. You want to work with positive people that respect what you do, and what you can do for them. The time a difficult client takes away from you could be better used to work on your business or with another client.
To all new agents reading this post...good luck. Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more about a career in real estate. I look forward to hearing from you.