Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Part of becoming a real estate salesperson, the law requires that you work for a broker. In case you are new to the real estate industry, examples of brokers are Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker and Century 21. It’s important to company to work for - and making the right decision to that end - can absolutely turn into something of an existential question for any new salesperson.
But at the same time, all hope is certainly not lost. By asking yourself a few key questions at the beginning of this process, and by understanding the potential pitfalls you could fall into if you make this decision haphazardly, you'll go a long way towards making the best possible choice in terms of both your career and your future.
Obviously, the most important question you want to ask yourself before you choose a real estate broker to work for is, in many ways, the most immediate. Does the option you have in front of you line up with your own values? Meaning, is this the type of company you would feel good about working for to begin with?
If you're the type of agent who likes to take a more personal and intimate approach to what you do, obviously you wouldn't want to work for a "real estate mill" who is simply trying to turn over agents as quickly as possible. Likewise, do the social values of the company and its leadership line up with your own?
Making the wrong choice here could get you into some hot water. Don’t fall prey to the broker who claims to give you all the support in the world but then disappears when you actually need help. Make sure that you talk to some other agents at the company who have been there for at least a year and get the scoop on what it’s really like to work there.
Another important question to consider before you choose a real estate broker to work with has to do not with the position you'll be starting at, but what that job might grow and evolve into over time.
Obviously, the "right answer" here is going to vary in large part depending on the career trajectory you see yourself in. Some people aspire to be a part-time real estate agent - that's it - and they're totally fine sticking with those basic responsibilities for the duration of their career. But others want the opportunity to find a mentor and maybe even start their own team or have ownership in a brokerage. This will likely require that you get in touch with someone who will teach you the "tricks of the trade" and who can help mold you into a far more sophisticated agent than you could ever be on their own.
Which of these two camps you fall into depends on what type of real estate broker you should look for. Again, some leave very little room for growth in the long-term and you may hit your ceiling pretty fast as far as advancement is concerned. Depending on your perspective, that may be okay - but if it isn't, you'll want to find the type of brokerage that actually offers those opportunities.
Again, all of this matters so much in large part because picking the right broker can absolutely set the tone for the rest of your career. This is especially true if you're a new agent, as you don't really have a standard definition of what "normal" is supposed to look like yet. You don't want to find yourself short-changed right away, or worse yet forced to accept that this is all there is to your career. You want to pick a company with a vision that aligns with your own to help bring that vision into reality. Likewise, being around a group of productive, like-minded people can definitely help put your career on the right track.
But most importantly, starting with what might seem like a better offer initially - and then having to restart with a whole new firm later when you realize that wasn't true - may very well set you back. It's nothing if not costly to switch brokerages, mostly because the broker often makes the agent pay for things like their own business cards, "For Sale" signs and other collateral material.
Therefore, picking the right broker today can help you avoid a lot of major issues and potential career setbacks tomorrow.
Need help picking a broker? Reach out to me and I would be happy to talk through it with you.
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