How to Choose a Broker
About a third of soon-to-be agents in our pre-license course have already selected their broker before taking the class. In fact, nearly all of them say it was that broker’s recruiting efforts that encouraged them to get their real estate license in the first place.
After being an agent for a while, you’ve probably asked yourself whether you made the right choice. Is your brokerage a good fit for you? What initially drew you to make that decision? What keeps you there? What makes you want to leave?
I’ve interviewed several agents leaving the business. These agents range in age, life experience and come from both large and small brokerages. Here are the top 3 reasons agents leave – in order:
1, Recruiter oversold them on training.
2. Recruiter oversold them on support.
3. Recruiter misinformed them about the nature of this business.
If you’re new to this business, just know recruiters might attempt to oversell (read: lie a little to convince you) to join their ranks. Puffing is the norm. Expect it. Experienced agents are more skeptical of broker’s claims. But, we all can agree there are a few qualities we all need when choosing a broker.
Even the most experienced agents run into problems and need help occasionally. When you need a question answered, you need it now. When you’re sitting at a client’s table, it’s horrible to get your broker’s voicemail saying she’ll give you a callback by early next week. When interviewing a broker, ask who is the company’s “go to” person when questions arise. How accessible are they?
EXPERIENCE The last thing you want to hear from a broker is “I don’t understand the process, law or problem. You should call MAR’s legal hotline.” There is no substitute for having a knowledgeable and experienced broker who can guide you through any situation.
Recruiters will promise all kinds of training. It’s important to ask specifically about the type and cost of any training provided. Training can be defined as anything between: “Call me if you have a problem… Come with me on a listing appointment and watch what I do… Here’s a book/video/website that will teach you… Pay 25% of your commissions to another agent who will serve as your mentor… Subscribe to our expensive training class.” Know what’s available, its cost, and its effectiveness as judged by others who have participated in it.
Branding is critical. Linking an agent with a strong brokerage brand is an important step in building upon the reputation of the company. What services and products does the company provide and which ones are expected to be developed and paid for by the agent. This includes advertising, yard signs, business cards, notecards, brochures, presentation folders, etc.
COST VS VALUE PROPOSITION
All brokerages earn income from the labor of their agents. That’s a given. The real question that needs answering is this: Is the value I receive from my broker/agent relationship commensurate with the amount of money I provide for it. It’s OK to pay a broker – even a lot – as long as the relationship equally invests in you.
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