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
– 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
– 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.