Whether you have already completed your pre-registration courses or are about to do so, you are ready for the next step — finding a brokerage.
Choosing a brokerage is a difficult decision and it can be hard to see what the best option is for you. In the following article I will touch on a few things to keep in mind, questions to ask and what to look out for.
Where do you want to work?
Building a career in real estate takes time. In order to be successful you have to commit yourself to a specific area for an extended period of time. Choosing where you will start your career is also a choice of where you will live for the foreseeable future. Do your best to look into your future and decide where you see yourself in ten years and start your career there. It is counterproductive to work on building up your business in one location only to have to start from scratch in another area two years down the road. Remember, being successful in real estate means being active in your community, and building long-lasting relationships.
What do you want in a brokerage?
Once you have decided on the area or community where you want to work, you should look at what is important to you in a brokerage. Some offer high commission splits yet have expensive desk fees, others charge you to advertise the brand while some leave all of the advertising to you. What training do you think you need? Some brokerages may offer in-house training sessions at little or no cost, while others may offer no training at all. As a young salesperson, you should view training as your top priority, not only in terms of classes but also day-to-day training and support from your broker and fellow salespeople.
Questions to ask
Once you choose a few brokerages, schedule a meeting with the broker of record to talk about their office. One of the hardest things to wrap your head around is that most brokerages will want you to work for them. In a sense, you are interviewing them. Make the broker explain why you should bring business to them and what support they will offer you. Below are a few key questions to ask:
- What training programs are available to new salespeople?
- Will I have an office, a desk, or a shared desk, and at what cost?
- What internet presence does your brokerage have?
- What is the commission split?
- How many salespeople work at your brokerage?
- What makes your brokerage unique?
- Why should I work here?
As I said earlier, most brokers will encourage you to work at their brokerage. Try not to accept a job at the first brokerage you see! Really shop around and find the best fit for you.
Solo versus team
Becoming a successful salesperson requires patience, persistence, and… money. Although working on your own can be lucrative, it is very costly when starting your career. Remember that when you first become licensed you must pay initiation fees to join your real estate board. You will also incur other expenses for such things as desk fees, business cards, website etc.
The alternative is joining an established team. A team generally has one person as the face of the team with other salespeople behind the scenes. The head of the team supplies leads to the salespeople in exchange for a cut of their commission. Most teams will cover marketing costs and desk fees for their salespeople. So even though you may be giving up a large chunk of your commission, you don’t have to risk so much when starting your career. You want to put yourself in a situation where the phone is always ringing. Teams also provide a good learning environment. Since the team is investing in you with marketing, fees and leads, they expect you to perform and therefore will provide support to get you on your way. Even if you know you want to eventually be on your own, joining a team can be a safe way to learn and grow at the beginning of your career.
In conclusion, be yourself. I know it’s a cliché but it’s true. Your personality is your greatest asset and it is why you are here today. After reading this article, decide what is truly important to you. Choose a brokerage that is there to support your needs and don’t settle until you are satisfied that the choice is right for you.
Gord Gair, YPN Member and Guest Blogger