Our students at The Real Estate Education Center often ask us for advice and tips on selecting a real estate broker to work for. This is one of the most important early career decisions for many agents.
Becoming a real estate agent can be difficult, but can also be a great way to make a living. Getting a real estate license is only part of becoming a real estate agent; before you sell any houses you will have to find a broker to work with.
Here are fifteen tips for selecting a real estate broker to work for.
1. Obtain a full list of real estate brokers. When selecting a real estate broker to work for start with an online search or check your local community directory. This will be the beginning from where you will sharpen your broker search.
Learn which ones are recruiting new agents by calling, going into the office or reviewing their websites. Usually most brokers are looking for new agents and will be eager speak with you.
2. Investigate the real estate brokers in your area from a consumer point of view. Look at the companies you would notice if you were looking for a broker as a seller or a buyer. Try to imagine you are from out of town and searching for a home.
Notice yard signs, advertisements, open houses and social media presence. Evaluate the level of professionalism in each form of advertising.
For some practical tips on getting started, please go to:
3. Driving or walking by the brokerage’s office is also important when selecting a real estate broker to work for. See if the office is conveniently located and has plenty of parking available for your clients. Check that the outside is nice enough that you would want to bring clients there.
4. Perform an online search of different brokers in your area. Things to look for include an attractive website, activity on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and well written reviews and testimonials on sites such as Yelp and Google Plus.
An online real estate listings site will help you identify which brokers in your area handle the most listings (and do the most business). You can look for this at sites like http://zillow.com, http://realtor.com and http://trulia.com. An advantage of joining a larger brokerage at the beginning of of your career is that you can immediately leverage the reputation and trustworthiness of the brokerage.
5. Meet and speak with real estate agents in your area when selecting a real estate broker to work for. Ask what the most desirable companies are, and why. If you completed your real estate education locally, you might also be able to ask the professionals at your school for broker recommendations.
6. Discuss different brokers with other professionals when selecting a real estate broker to work for. These can include mortgage lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, and attorneys, among others. If feasible, get an idea of which brokers they prefer to work with.
7. Check out the National Association of Realtors at http://realtor.org. Their website contains resources for new agents and valuable information and statistics on real estate brokers around the country.
8. Set up some informational interviews with brokers you are interested in. Most brokers will want to talk to a potential new agent.
9. Find out what mentoring programs, if any, are available with different brokers. You will benefit from a broker who helps you establish your career. A good mentor can give you area-specific tips that you won’t learn in the licensing process.
10. Search for training programs or seminars that are offered or encouraged. Some brokers will help you pass your real estate exam for licensure if you sign on with them while you are training to be an agent.
11. Determine how many agents are with each broker, how long they stay and what their experience levels and areas of expertise are. If many agents have been with a broker for long periods of time, this suggests that the broker treats their agents fairly. You can typically obtain this information on the broker’s website.
12. Ask brokers about their scheduling. You might be required to put in a specific number of hours at the office or attending open houses and other events. Knowing what the broker expects will help you align your expectations and preferred working style with those of the broker.
13. Ask about commissions. Most brokers divide the commission 50-50 with their agents. You will also want to know which party pays for licensing, marketing materials and benefits such as health insurance. The degree of control a broker usually has over these things will often be similar to the amount of control they have over your selling process.
14. Ascertain how referrals and leads are handled. Find out if agents are assigned potential clients in a specific way, or if it will be up to you to bring in your own clients. Some brokers, particularly larger ones, offer leads and other lead-generation services to agents. This can be helpful if you are in a new area or are just beginning.
15. Evaluate the available technology. Some brokers require their agents to provide their own laptops, cell phones and other devices. Other brokers might provide computer access, copiers, fax machines and even iPads or tablets. Build this in to the cost of getting started in your real estate career.
For some excellent tips on what to ask and look for:
To learn about eleven steps for starting a real estate career, please visit:
Selecting a real estate broker to work for is a vitally important career decision. For more information on training and resources in New York City, please visit: