This is it. You’re almost ready to get your license. You’ve done your homework and considered different office options. Now, it’s time to actually meet with brokers and see which one will be the best fit for you. If they’re a good leader, they’ll share their value propositions as a company and have lots of questions for you! You’ll have some as well. In the end, hopefully between the two, you’ll have the kind of information you need to determine which company feels like you could call it your business “home.”
Here are the top ten questions I would recommend asking:
- What kind of administrative support do you offer? Most offices have an admin that handles office details. Some, however, offer admin support or a Sales Coordinator for their agents as well for tasks such as inputting MLS information, placing ads or contract follow-up.
- What is the agent mix? Full-time, part-time, new and experienced? What does the agent breakdown look like?
- What are the goals of the company? What do they want to accomplish over the next 12 months? What you want to hear from the broker is not just what their goals are regarding marketshare, but also what their goals look like for agent growth. If they are committed to growing their agent base, then that usually means they are committed to delivering the tools and systems agents need to thrive in order to attract those agents. That’s a win for everyone.
- Do you have a company policies and procedures manual? If they have a policies and procedures manual, this is a good sign the company has strong leadership that takes the guesswork out of managing a team.
- How is the commission paid to the sales agents? How you get paid is always an important part of the equation!
- Is there mandatory floor duty? While you can make money from floor duty leads, it’s not always the best use of an agent’s time. Know the policy.
- What technology solutions do you offer? Technology is becoming more and more of a force and necessity in our industry. You want to know what kind the company has invested in for their own practices as well as what they can offer to you.
- Do you have a mentor program? Getting started can be a little intimidating. Sometimes, a lot intimidating. Having a mentor that can help guide your first steps is a wonderful thing.
- What is the company policy on agents investing in real estate? I certainly hope you have the desire to start investing in real estate. Here is what you want: If you should buy or sell anything for your own personal gain, whether it’s for you to live in the house or for you to own and rent it, or flip it, the company would get no commission. Now, it’s unlikely that’s what their policy is. The common policy is when you buy something, the commission that is part of the buying side would go back to you. But when you list and sell it, you actually pay a listing fee. There may be some kind of reduced format for you if you’re buying and selling for investment purposes.
Let me just clarify this. If you work at Bob Smith’s Realty and you’re buying a listing from XYZ Realty, well XYZ Realty has to get their percent of the listing side, whatever that is. So, you don’t have any control over that portion of the commission. But on the buyer’s side, you would hope that the broker would not take their portion of it. So, you would get 100-percent of the broker side and the salesperson side.
The reason why? You can use this commission to help offset some of your expenses in buying the property. Same thing if you’re on the listing side. You don’t want to pay anything to your broker/owner when you’re buying or selling real estate. It’s unlikely that the broker will agree to this, but you want to shoot for that. You should explain to the broker right up front that you don’t have any desire of buying and selling a lot of real estate. That’s not why you’re getting into real estate. Tell them you would like the option for your own personal gain.
- Are there any restrictions on self-promotion? For example, can you have your own website? Can you have your picture on your business card and signage? It’s better if a broker encourages and allows you to put your own face on all of your promotional material and that there aren’t any major restrictions. Some companies have restrictions. You want to find a company that has some flexibility.
- How are the incoming calls on listings distributed? When a call comes in on an in-house listing, how are those calls handled? Do they go to the listing agent or do they go to the general pool of agents? You want it to go to the listing agent.
- What is the average income of the active agents working in your office? The reason why this is a great question? There’s a rule of thumb that your income is the average of your five closest friends. If you’re in an office surrounded by other top successful agents, then you are more likely to rise to that level—it rubs off on you. Get to the honest answer based on the number of active agents they have in the company.
These questions should be a great fact-finder when meeting with potential brokers to determine where you’d like to hang your license. Be open and honest and totally present in the conversations and encourage the brokers to do the same so you can find the best possible fit for you and your new career!
You’ve got this. I’m here to help, with a passionate community of Power Agents® that can be there for you as well. Learn more at www.ThePowerProgram.com/NewAgentSuccess.
Darryl Davis, bestselling author of “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” and owner of Darryl Davis Seminars, has trained and coached over 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe for more than 27 years. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system, The Power Program®, which has helped agents double their production over their previous year. For more information, and the new agent tools that can help take you to your Next Level®, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ThePowerProgram.com/NewAgentSuccess.