One of the most common questions students in the Pre-registration segment of the Salesperson Registration Education Program is, how do I find a job with a brokerage? The second most common question is, how do I know which brokerage is right for me?
To trade in real estate in Ontario, you must be employed by a brokerage. Finding the right brokerage will entail a little investigation on your part.
First, determine the type of brokerage you want to work for. For example, franchise or independent, full service or limited service? This choice would depend on your professional aspirations.
Second, do your research. Specifically, research the various brokerages in your area and review their websites.
Third, set up interviews with the brokerages you selected. You will most likely interview with the broker of record or manager. Remember, you will be interviewing the brokerage just as the brokerage will be interviewing you. Even if you already know which brokerage you would like to work for, interview at least two others. You may discover that these other brokerages may offer services you had not considered. Do not commit to a brokerage until you know all your options.
A brokerage will want to know that you have done your homework and are ready to talk specifics. What you ask during the interview will help you determine if the brokerage is the right fit. What should you 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?
The question relating to the commission plans is noted last for a reason – it should not be your first priority. However, it is still important. Compensation plans will vary depending on the brokerage. For example, 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.
In December 2013, the provincial government amended the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, giving brokerages more options and flexibility on how real estate services are paid. The amendment permitted brokerages to charge commission based on a percentage of the sale price, a flat fee, or a combination of both.
Fourth, 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?
Do you have any additional tips/advice on choosing a brokerage?
Real Estate Council of Ontario (2014). Real state as a Professional Career. Don Mills, Ontario.