Where to hang my license?

10 Replies

Hey guys. I'm somewhat new to the forums although I've listened to almost all of the podcasts :). 

I've decided to make a full-time career out of real estate and I've chosen to start as an agent. I'm going through exam prep for Colorado and National exams and am interviewing brokerages at this point. So far I've been to RE/MAX and KW. My thoughts on RE/MAX was that they were by far the most sophisticated in consideration of who is managing the franchise. I thought KW was the most innovative company when you look at the corporate model but I wasn't blown away by the management at my local branch. 

My Initial Goals: I want to work at a brokerage where I will get the absolute best support, training, and assistance with a sales process. I don't need to make tons of money my first year because my wife has a solid job but I do need to bring in something. My first goal is to figure out what niche I want to be in and then grow from there (BP has opened my eyes to the whole world of RE from Commercial to Residential and it's a little overwhelming when looking at wholesaling, flipping, being an investors agent, etc etc etc...).

My dominate buying motives (decision points): 1) I want exposure to the market. 2) Stellar support and training. 3) Legit mentorship opportunities. 4) A managing broker who is investor friendly. 5) Affordability since I don't have much cash to throw at monthly fees or marketing.

Companies I'm considering hanging my license with: RE/MAX, Keller Williams, The Platinum, Group (local to COS).

Should I also consider looking at Redfin or any other operation? I have my eyes wide open and I'm trying to narrow my options so I can focus and apply myself somewhere. 

Redfin from what I know usually wants people with some good background.

As for who to go with. If you want low cost then you'll need to pick a place that has transaction fees and commission splits instead of desk fees. KW usually has pretty good training from what I've heard, but of course different offices are going to be run in their own ways. Generally with the larger companies they give you training in exchange for commission splits and fees. There are a ton of new agents out there so make sure you choose a place that really can commit time to you. Most companies don't really know what investor friendly means so if it's something you actually want to do then ask them specific questions about investments. Most agencies look at rentals the same way newbies do (Rent-PITI = Income) which being on here you will know is incorrect.

Keep searching around. It's not an easy decision, but you can always switch if you need to. Good luck.

Dan Mackin, Real Estate Agent in CO (#FA.100056958)
7209717139

@Josh Rowland I think your approach is an excellent way to get into real estate. I started my real estate career with fix and resell (I hate the word "flip"). I had a lot of success without my license but there were also a lot of frustrations with the agents I was using. I needed to be able to do some intensive data-gathering but it was extremely difficult to find an agent that understood what I was looking for and could provide the data. Part of that problem was my fault because I didn't know what to ask for because I'd never seen the inside of the MLS. The other major problem was that I wanted to be part of the negotiations during the sale of my houses but that's almost never allowed. Without that, you're at the mercy of your agent's ability to close the deal. I finally put the necessary time and effort into getting my license in 2014 and have been extremely happy that I did!  You'll have access to people and information that you can't get any other way. It's been an enormous benefit to me.

The way I chose my agency was a combination of things.  The first thing I did was search the local real estate board website for agents that consistently won the top sales awards.  Then I searched all the listings in my local area to see which agency had the most listings. If you find an agency with a lot more agents and listings than the rest, there's a pretty good chance that you've found the best one.....but that's not always a guarantee.  Sometimes you'll find that a smaller office actually has more sales than the larger firm.  

My advice is to call as many agents from each firm as you feel comfortable and just ask them how they feel about the office they work for.  I wouldn't talk to the head broker first though because they're always trying to recruit new agents and might not give you an unbiased response.  Hope this helps!  Good luck!

@Michael Woodward  Thanks for the encouragement. 

Out of curiosity, anyone in Colorado Springs had experience with RE/MAX Properties or Keller Williams in Briargate?

I am an agent in Colorado Springs and I would highly encourage you to check out Cherry Creek Properties. I went through this same thing last year and went with them because I only pay $199 per transaction and get to keep the rest of my commission. Then its only $25 a month for their fees. On top of that, the managing broker here in Colorado Springs is really helpful, is very good at training new agents, and is always available if you need help. His name is Chuck Woodard and I would highly encourage you to talk to him. Just tell him I sent you.

Colin Smith, Real Estate Agent in CO (#ER.100052152)
719-232-6709

I started my career with two very well known brokerages. My first 2 years were with Coldwell Banker and my third year was with RE/Max. I will be forever grateful for the valuable training I received and amazing friendships/mentors I made while there. 

The latter part of my career I have spent with "Smaller" brokerages. I have now been with Equity Real Estate in Salt Lake City since 2008 and have LOVED it. The biggest reason I left was because I felt I was paying WAY too much in commission splits for the name brand. I now only pay a small transaction fee and that is it. When I first joined Equity it was up in coming and ONLY Utah specific and they now have several branches in a few different States Including Colorado. I believe their model is an awesome one and one which will let them to keep growing.

Having said that, My personal advise to New Agents, is to start your career at a Huge Brokerage for the awesome training.....BUT ONCE you feel like you are ready to fly...go to a brokerage that only charges a transaction fee...If I worked hard for the commission why the HELL should I pay the brokerage half my Earnings??? Another thing you'll hear from the "Bigger" named brokerages is "well Our Agents average selling X amount of units" my response to this is "Well I only have to sell HALF that to make just as much $ :) Having spent time in Big and "Small" brokerages ...this is just my personal opinion. Good luck on wherever you end up and wish you Success!!! :)

Originally posted by @Michael Woodward :

@Josh Rowland I think your approach is an excellent way to get into real estate. I started my real estate career with fix and resell (I hate the word "flip"). I had a lot of success without my license but there were also a lot of frustrations with the agents I was using. I needed to be able to do some intensive data-gathering but it was extremely difficult to find an agent that understood what I was looking for and could provide the data. Part of that problem was my fault because I didn't know what to ask for because I'd never seen the inside of the MLS. The other major problem was that I wanted to be part of the negotiations during the sale of my houses but that's almost never allowed. Without that, you're at the mercy of your agent's ability to close the deal. I finally put the necessary time and effort into getting my license in 2014 and have been extremely happy that I did!  You'll have access to people and information that you can't get any other way. It's been an enormous benefit to me.

The way I chose my agency was a combination of things.  The first thing I did was search the local real estate board website for agents that consistently won the top sales awards.  Then I searched all the listings in my local area to see which agency had the most listings. If you find an agency with a lot more agents and listings than the rest, there's a pretty good chance that you've found the best one.....but that's not always a guarantee.  Sometimes you'll find that a smaller office actually has more sales than the larger firm.  

How do you find a list of listings with the listing companies if you dont have your access to the MLS?

@Robert Klisak you can view the public MLS such as realtor.com

@Josh Rowland I would find the agency that turned out the most successful agents in the past 2-5 years. Ask to talk to those agents and make sure your mentors/trainers are the same ones that trained them. Find out what they found to be most important about their training and what they wished they had been taught. To me it wouldn't mater the brand or what the commission breaks are but how successful they are in helping newbies succeed. 

Hi Everyone,


I am also a licensed agent.  I have not placed my license with a broker as yet but am looking to do so. I want to find an agency that offers robust training and mentorship.

I am an experienced investor but it seems that having a license and being with a  brokerage will only further enhance my business of rentals and flips.

I appreciate reading the posts here and the suggestions, very helpful, thanks. :)

Best,
Nancy