OREA Real Estate College

Choosing a Brokerage


You’re a student at OREA Real Estate College and you’re nearing completion of the pre-registration segment of the Salesperson Registration Education Program. You know you have up to 12 months upon completing that segment to obtain employment with a brokerage and apply for registration as a salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario. But, how and where do you find the ‘right’ brokerage? Some tips follow.

What’s your type?

Determine the type of brokerage for which you want to work. Your choices include franchise or independent, full service or limited service, and listing or selling. Which type of brokerage will depend on your professional aspirations. Make certain they match.

Do your research 

Research the various brokerages in your area and review their websites. Select at least three brokerages to interview even if you already have an idea for which brokerage you would like to work.

Talk is golden 

Set up interviews with the brokerages you have selected. You will most likely be interviewed by the brokerage’s broker of record or manager. The interview process is the opportune time to ask questions about the brokerage to help you determine if the brokerage is the right fit for you (i.e., you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you).

Ask the following questions:

  • Do you offer training? If yes, what kind? Is there a cost?
  • Do you offer mentoring for new salespeople?
  • How many new salespeople do you train on average each year?
  • Can I speak to some of your salespeople?
  • What special services do you provide that are unique from other brokerages?
  • What market share do you have? What are your market strengths?
  • Which expenses do you pay? Which expenses do I pay? (the more specific the list, the better)
  • Will I have an office, a desk in a common area, or a shared desk?
  • Do you have an office policy manual I can review?
  • What is your commission plan? (Please note, commission plans will vary depending on the brokerage.)


Consider the atmosphere of the brokerage. Would you be comfortable working in that environment? Is it professional? Does the pace of business suit your style?

Additional questions 

Brokerages may provide orientation sessions where you can ask questions. Following are suggested questions designed to ensure there are no surprises. Some of these questions may have been addressed during the interview process.

1. Staff Services What specific services are available during normal business hours?
Who is responsible for these services?
2. Office Equipment/ Supplies What office equipment/supplies are provided?
Are there any additional costs? If yes, what are they?
How are long-distance calls handled?
3. Computer Equipment What computer equipment is provided?
What hardware/software is provided?
4. Email Do I set up a separate email account or is it centrally administered by the brokerage?
5. Postage/Courier: Who covers postage costs for single or bulk mailings?
Who covers the costs of documents that must be couriered?
6. Security What guidelines are in place regarding personal safety when listing and showing a property?
7. Marketing/Advertising Are business cards/promotional items supplied? If not, how can these be obtained and what are the costs?
What advertising formats are used? What are the costs?
8. Signage What type of signage is provided (e.g., ‘For Sale’, ‘Open House’)?
What costs are involved for sign installation?
9. Listings How are listings processed? What assistance is provided?
What approval process is in place?
What administrative fees apply, if any?
10. Agreements How are agreements prepared? (e.g., what software program is used)
11. Negotiations How are multiple offer situations handled?
What steps are taken when processing deposits?
12. Transactions How are accepted agreements of purchase and sale processed?
What administrative fees apply, if any?
13. Referrals Are there office procedures regarding making referrals? What are they?



Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2016). Real estate as a professional career. Don Mills, Ontario: MediaLinx Printing Group.

Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc. (2016). The residential real estate transaction. Don Mills, Ontario: MediaLinx Printing Group.


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