Real estate professionals in Ontario must work for a brokerage. Choosing a brokerage that’s right for you is the key to your success, and it requires homework.
Dianne Usher, a former OREA president, shares some tips on how to find the ‘right’ brokerage.
“It’s really, really important to shop around,” she says. “My recommendation is to interview a minimum of three brokerages, but check their websites first. Most brokerages will have career development and will say if they are looking for salespeople. Websites will tell you volumes about the nature of the company.”
Therefore, the interview should be a two-way proposition. While the brokerage is interviewing you, you should also be interviewing the brokerage to ensure it fits into your income needs and long-term plans. Dianne recommends interviewing independent and franchise brokerages, and those that are dominant in the area in which you want to practise.
Second, the commission split should not be your first priority.
“The most important factor is the level of support the brokerage offers. Regardless of your background, a new salesperson will need support on two levels – professional development and sales training level, and the administrative day-to-day support,” says Dianne.
The professional support must be ongoing. As it is a dynamic and quickly evolving profession, staying current is crucial. Brokerages in smaller communities may not offer training due to cost. Dianne recommends seeking professional programs with other providers, such as local real estate boards.
Finally, Dianne suggests you ask the brokerage for permission to speak to two salespersons – a recently hired salesperson, and an ‘old-timer’. This request may meet some resistance, but the information would be invaluable.
Questions To Ask
In a nutshell, here are some of the questions you may want to ask in a brokerage interview:
• What training programs/support is available for new salespeople? Is there a cost?
• How many new salespeople do you train on average each year?
• Does your training include mentoring?
• Can I speak to some of your salespeople?
• What is the commission split?
• Which expenses do you pay? Which expenses do I pay?
• Do you offer speciality services? What are they?
• Do you have an office policy manual I can review?
Do you have any additional tips/advice on choosing a brokerage? Let us know.