How to Interview a Broker
Getting started as a real estate agent, you learn that all agents must be supervised by a broker. So how do you decide what broker and brokerage is going to be right for you?
The first mistake many new agents make, is thinking that it’s like a job interview. That’s only half true. The main fallacy there, is that as a real estate agent, you are working for yourself. Your business is you! Not the brokerage you work for, not your broker, you are your own boss. You are not trying to convince the broker why you should are good enough for them, you are interviewing them, to find out if they are good enough for you! You are in charge of your own career, and you need to have the right tools at your disposal to build your business. They are not hiring you, you are hiring them.
The first question that always comes up is the commission split, but don’t get too hung up on that. Yes, you need to know the split, and you need to make sure it’s fair for the work that you do. But an agent who is working hard and closing deals will be successful no matter what the commission split is. The commission is money, and I get it, it’s important, but many people let the emotions around money cloud their judgement. You need to balance the amount that you are splitting to the brokerage against the value that the brokerage gives you. Any successful business owner knows when to pay others to do work for them, and that precisely what you need to think about with the commission split. Don’t look at how much you are getting, look at how much you are paying and see how they justify that price with the services that they provide.
Training is the number 1 concern you should be looking at in a brokerage, especially new agents. You come out of the pre-license course with a strong understanding of the laws and rules regarding real estate transactions and agency, and you need that foundation in order to succeed as an agent. The next step, is how to sell yourself, and how to provide the right service to your clients, so that they come back again and again.
- How long is the training provided?
- What are the goals of the training?
- Is there a mentoring program?
- Can you shadow another agent?
- Is there continual training for experienced agents?
The difference between an average agent, and a rock star is that the high producing agents are constantly learning, improving their craft, shoring up their weaknesses so that they can perform at a higher level every day. Find out what your broker is willing to do to help you achieve that level of success.
Find out what support services they provide:
- Do they have a transaction coordinator?
- Do they have photography services for listings?
- Do they have a staging crew that can prepare a listing for showings?
- Do they offer meeting rooms to meet with clients? Do you need office space?
- Do they provide business cards?
- Do they provide any additional marketing opportunities?
- Do they collect leads that they disburse to the agents?
- How do they ensure the quality of those leads?
And finally, get a feel for the culture. Every office has a different feel, and you want to have a workplace and colleagues that you get along with, and work well with, so that you feel great going to work each day, and supporting each other. We recommend interviewing at least 3 or 4 different brokerages so that you can see the differences In their style, and the services that they provide, so that you can find the right fit for you and your business.
If you surround yourself with the right people, and work hard, you will find that success will come looking for you.