Congratulations! Now that You obtained your real estate license, it’s time to find a sponsoring real estate broker to work for. Being a real estate agent is all about building relationships – relationships with clients, inspectors, fellow agents, brokers, and whoever is involved in your business. The most rewarding relationship, however, will be the one with your real estate broker – a valuable ally.
Selecting a brokerage firm to join is a critical decision for newly licensed agents. It is worth spending time and interviewing as many different brokerages as possible to see which one fits your needs best. Here are 6 questions to ask a real estate broker during the interview.
What to Ask from a Real Estate Broker?
How Do You Split Commissions?
Many newly licensed agents choose their real estate broker based on commission splits. Income is undeniably the most important reason many try to enter the real estate industry. Your commission split is directly related to your potential income so it is important to negotiate it with a broker before making the final decision. However, you shouldn’t expect to get 100% commission when you have never sold anything before.
Different brokerages offer different commission structures. For example, a traditional brokerage may pay you a little bit more than 50% commission on every sale but it pays most of the overhead expenses. You may find a brokerage that gives you a 100% commission but it will collect you in other ways. Anyway, you can shop around for a real estate broker that gives you the best split, but it shouldn’t be your top priority to select a broker.
What Fees Will Be Applied?
Real estate brokers charge various types of fees for various reasons – desk fee, paper fee, transaction fee, insurance fee, internet fees, training course fees, and so forth. When interviewing a real estate broker, ask them about the fees that are specific to their firm and the ones that are not. Make a list of the fees applied at each brokerage. This helps you to find a platform that has low fees.
What Do You Offer?
Do you want to work with the big boys or prefer a smaller brokerage with a more comfortable and cohesive atmosphere? Don’t get carried away by the reputation or size of a brokerage, after all, you are going to work with people, not the name or the size of the company.
By joining a large brokerage, you will be able to expose yourself to many experienced, successful agents. Besides, large real estate brokerages usually offer training courses for new agents. Moreover, you can lean on their great brand recognition until you start to build your own brand.
Working for a high-profile real estate broker can be challenging too. Since there are a large number of agents already in place, despite a high commission split, leads, especially big ones, are scooped up quickly. As a newly licensed agent, you may get little, if any, chance to get a big deal in competition with more experienced agents. Besides, despite their big names, some large brokerages have a cookie-cutter style which means there is little room for new ideas or objectives.
If you are an out-of-the-box thinker, you’d be better to consider joining a local real estate brokerage where creative ideas are welcomed. Though fewer leads will walk through the door, there will be fewer agents around. So you are more likely to get good leads. Working for a local real estate broker, however, does not give you the name recognition of well-known brands.
How Do You Train New Agents?
A real estate brokerage is where newly licensed agents are trained on how to evaluate a property, list a house for sale, and put together contracts. Before joining a brokerage, you need to know the background of the trainers as well as the structure in which they will train you.
Real estate is an ever-changing market. As a real estate agent, you need to keep up with new technology as well as different market expectations and demands. On-going training should be a top priority when selecting a real estate broker to work for. When interviewing brokers, ask them if you can attend their training courses as an observer. This is an opportunity for you to see what they have to offer. If your request was denied, take it as a clue then.
Who Will Be Mentoring Me?
When deciding on your brokerage, it is extremely important to meet and talk to the one who will mentor you. You need somebody you can rely on for personal one-on-one guidance. Ask your future mentor how available they will be, what their compensation is, what their plan to help you is, and more importantly if you can get along with them. A good mentor is one who has a very nurturing personality. Make sure that your mentor is not just out for the money.
How Are Leads Distributed?
Experienced agents usually attract new customers through lead generation, past clients, and referrals while new agents often need leads to work. Real estate brokerages usually have a lead generation system in place. Some real estate brokers adopt a floor-time policy to help agents increase their business while others leave it up to the individual. Before selecting a real estate broker, ask them who gets the leads, how it is decided, and how much the potential cost of the leads provided by the brokerage is.
In conclusion, finding the right real estate broker entails doing enough research. Keep the above considerations in mind when interviewing a broker. Even if you didn’t find a brokerage a good fit, don’t be shy to ask them what offices they will suggest you work with.
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