OREA Real Estate College

How to Choose a Brokerage


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.

Here are some tips on how to choose the ‘right’ brokerage.

1.     What’s my type?

•  Determine the type of brokerage you want to work for and match the type of brokerage to your income needs, professional aspirations, and long-term plans

•  Consider:

–  franchise vs. independent

–  full service vs. limited service

–  listing vs. selling

2.     Research, research, research

•  Research the various brokerages in your area and review their websites, which will tell you about the nature of the brokerage

•  Consider if the following services and features are being offered: (this is not an exhaustive list)

–  sales and management training programs

–  technology training (e.g., internet marketing)

–  dynamic websites and salesperson branding (i.e., custom personal websites)

–  desktop publishing

–  new salesperson support systems

–  mentoring/coaching

–  profit sharing and residuals

3.     What do you mean by “support”?

•  Determine not only that support is being offered but what level and type of support

•  Consider if the support is…

–  professional development

–  sales training

–  administrative day-to-day support

–  a combination of the above

•  Consider if the support is ongoing (and how is “ongoing” defined)

4.     Interviewing – a two-way proposition

•  Interview a minimum of three brokerages that interest you

•  While the brokerage (usually the broker of record or manager) is interviewing you, you should also be interviewing the brokerage

•  Do not commit to a brokerage until you know all your options

Questions to ask:

•  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?

•  What is your commission plan?

5.     “Show me the money” (but not so fast)

•  Money is important but do not make commission plans your first priority

•  Commission plans will vary depending on the brokerage (e.g., some brokerages pay a high percentage of the total commission but the salesperson must pay monthly fees to the brokerage regardless of whether commissions are earned)

•  Amendments to REBBA 2002 in December 2013 gave brokerages more options and flexibility on how real estate services are paid

•  Amendments permit brokerages to charge commission based on a percentage of the sale price, a flat fee, or a combination of both

6.     The ‘air’ that you breathe

•  Consider the atmosphere of the brokerage, namely:

–  Would you be comfortable working in that environment?

–  Is it professional?

–  Does the pace of business suit your style?



Real Estate as a Professional Career. (2015). Don Mills, Ontario: Ontario Real Estate Association and Acronamic Learning Systems Inc.

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