Small broker vs Big broker

8 Replies

I just passed my real estate exam and I am debating on where to hang my license. I have talked with a few of the big, national, name brand brokers and I had narrowed them down to 2. 

Today, I met with the principle broker from a new company that just started 3 months ago. The 2 brokers that started the company have 25+ years of combined experience and are well known in my market. It is the 2 of them and only one affiliate broker at the moment.

I need some advise, would it be better to go with a big broker with set training and name recognition or small broker with direct hands on learning with the start-up broker? Keep in mind, I do plan on moving into investing in the near future. 

@Ryan Ilardi I have had my license for about 7 months now and I'm with a small broker but I am now looking to move to a bigger company. The training and support just isn't what I was looking for. I also invest and work for a full time investor on the side but I still want to build a successful business as an agent and in my situation I can't do it where I'm at. I know people who've had success at smaller companies but right now my experience with a small company has been brutal. Good luck !

Congratulations Ryan on getting your license!  As a licensed Broker in IL since 2006, I have worked in three different offices over the years.  Everything from the small guy in town to the Red/White /Blue balloon guys (ReMax), back to a smaller office.  Here's my take on it.

Small office:  The pressure to sell is not there like in the big offices; the monthly dues are less (ALOT less); there is more of a family feel there.

Large office: You can pull from the brand recognition; established training is in place; more office space/private office availability.  

At the end of the day, I felt like the smaller office was the way to go for me.  The Broker is always happy to answer any questions you have, and the internet can get you all the training you need!  I've never had a client ask why I wasn't with the bigger offices in town.  All they care about is that I know how to sell their home...quickly! :)

Good luck!

Brokerages that recruit brokers/agent want to INCUBATE them to make it hard to leave. Have you ever heard of free website, business cards, etc.??

They want you to become heavily connected in their company. They also have in IC agreements that listings you have are theirs and not transferable etc.

The reality is the company doesn't make your business- YOU DO. Your success alone depends on your daily actions. Don't expect a brokerage to feed you. Got rid of all my agents years ago. Best move I ever made. Some of my friends with other companies love to amass large numbers of agents to baby sit rather than sell. It's not my thing and never will be. Just make sure the company you are going to has to same focus as you do. For example if they sell high end homes but you work with investors then that really isn't a good fit. The brokers focus and knowledge to train you will be on something you are not focused on or have interest in.       

@Ryan Ilardi

It depends on what you're looking for really. If you want to work with investors, you should be looking to join the office that has the most foreclosures/HUDs. They will generate the most investor leads. 

If you want to sell high end homes, you need to go with a high end home seller. 

Regarding training, for me personally, I learn best as I go. Learning in a cold classroom in fake scenarios doesn't do much for me. I'd rather learn how to swim in the pool than learn how to swim on the pool deck. 

When I started out I looked for the place with the best training and mentors. I went to several offices and talked with brokers. I found some that wanted 50/50 splits forever and would help me with some leads. I found some that would let me work from home and pay them $300 a deal I put through and keep 100% of my commissions. At the end of the day I had no real estate experience. I needed a place that would help me out with both mentors and training and everything else I could find to learn what I was doing. I ended up going with Keller Williams (which was just named #1 training organization in the world)

Without the training I would not have known what I was doing but after getting the hang of it I was able to make over $100,000 my second year which was awesome for being 26 and not much college.

My next favorite thing!? Profit share. We actually get paid (out of the company profits) for agents who do well that we bring into the company! We actually get an ownership stake for growing the company. After 3 years here you get that money for life (as long as those agents are in business) So that really pulled me in. I mean heck I can make $2k+ per year for bringing an agent who does well (there is some incentive to help train and push new agents) That's like cash flow equivalent to a new rental that can't lose me money or have a furnace go out ever! 

So clearly I chose the big broker and that was my experience. I'm sure someone here has chosen a smaller one and can share their experience? 

Feel free to shoot me a pm if you have a question, I don't mean to vomit red everywhere. Big broker or small broker just make sure your needs are being met. Some % of something is better than the full % of nothing regardless of where you hang your license. 

I guess I should have also mentioned the principle broker from the new company specialized in rehabilitation properties in the past. That may be a better person to get aligned with due to my eventual investment goals.

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