Questions to ask when vetting brokerages to join

3 Replies

Hey all - After talking to several people on BP and considering my future in real estate investing I decided to take a leap of faith, and today I'm completing the 60-hour prerequisite course to obtain my real estate license in DC. I intend to begin my new career as an agent before the end of 2014.

Below I am going to post a draft of the question list I have prepared for myself. If any of these questions are inappropriate, please tell me. Please feel free to share your thoughts on what impression these questions would leave upon you if you were interviewing me and I asked them. Is it too much? Or do they just make me look serious and prepared? I do not intend to read these as is, but make it conversational and use this list to keep me on track.


What kind of training do you provide?:

-how many days or hours? Is there a limit?

-is there a cost?

-who will be available to help me after training

-is there any kind of “shadow” program?

Commission:

-what is the beginning split?

-does it graduate as my production increases?

-does that graduation schedule reset after a period of time?

-average commission this brokerage charges?

Costs:

-initial, and ongoing

-do I need specific liability insurance on automobile?

Referrals:

-when might I get my first?

-how many per quarter can I expect once I prove my ability?

-source of them?

Listings:

-how many listings does the office have?

-aprox. average amount of listings agents in the office have?

Does the office have a focus on teamwork, or each agent operating pretty much on their own?:

-is there opportunity for teams? Or a working partner?

-I may need to work part-time for my first 3 months, is this possible and what systems are in place for this?

Do you have weekly sales meetings?

-day/time?

-do you have property tours?

Are there extra rewards to be a top producer in the brokerage?

Office goals

Dress code

What kind of marketing and technology assistance/tools I get, and if they come at extra cost?

How many full and part time agents do you have?

Is there a full-time receptionist/secretary, and do they provide me with clerical assistance?

Many thanks to anyone who is willing to critique my list.

Also, if anyone has recommendations for good brokerages to join in the Washington DC area I would be grateful. I'm currently aiming toward somewhere that can give a new agent the needed support base to succeed. I currently intend to interview with Long & Foster, Keller Williams Capital Properties, and a few smaller ones.

I think interviewing the brokerage is a great idea.  Finding the right company to work with is extremely important and I'm sure you'll look more professional by asking them about the company.

A couple questions I might ask is to have them show you a firm market share report (unless you already have access to one) to find out where they rank in regards to number of listings, buyers, and overall share of the market.  I'd personally look for a company that is at the top of the list, or one that is growing month-after-month.  Working with a stagnating or declining office usually wouldn't go well.

A "closing" question I would ask also is: "If I was unable to work with your company for [insert hypothetical reason here] reason, what is the first other firm you would suggest I look into?" - Always a good question to see what people think about their competition and if a lot of people suggest the same place... you might want to consider looking into that one a bit further.

Its always fun when you get to interview companies for your employment, rather than the traditional way.  Good luck with finding the right fit to you!

-Matt Lefebvre

Matt Lefebvre, Real Estate Agent in NH (#070207)
603-554-2309

Seems like a great list.

You're going to get all types of answers depending on the broker you go to.

If you're looking to learn the business how about going directly to the source... top producing agents?!  You can learn the ropes and, hopefully, get paid for it!

That's a really comprehensive list of questions.  My only suggestion is that you really focus on "Referrals" part.  The quantity and quality of referrals you receive from your brokerage are going to make or break you as a new agent.  Along those lines I would ask for the track records of other new agents that have joined the company recently.  How many deals did they close in their first six months?  How many did they close in their first year with the brokerage?  Make sure they don't just give you the numbers for the most successful new agent, but all of them so you can get a feel for their track record.

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