Keller Williams Vs. EXP realty Vs. Small brokerage

34 Replies

I just got my sales license in NYC, my main purpose to have it is to use it as a support for my investing, and my architecture practice. 

My hope is to have MLS access in different states as NJ & OH what I'm still not sure if its possible. it would be just to analyze comps in those states

When I took my 75 hs course, the trainer told us we were crazy to go with the big ones referring as sharks to learn the trade.

talking with a successful real state agent friend she suggested the big companies are the best if I have the chance to be part of a team.

After some meetings these are the 3 options I'm considering;

  1. I had a great interview in a boutique office with a broker who I really like and respect (6/7 persons office) She does investment with foreigners and know about investing
  2. I went to a career night in Keller Williams, where the trainer fell short in selling me into it, but the REIANYC leader who I really respect, told me she loves it and its a great company.
  3. Many people talk wonders about EXP, my only concern is as new in the field, I'm not sure if the on line platform would be enough to learn the trade and make it work, it seems it works wonders for experienced people. and also their presence in NYC market is not that big yet. what I'm not sure how would work for me.

Any tips or ideas experienced agents?

I'm at lost

Im a big believer in branding, so for someone who actually wants to sell a lot of homes, a big brokerage I think is the way to go.  However if you are not going to do a lot of business, your best bang for your buck on just a couple deals a year is a smaller brokerage. However you really do need to learn what you are doing. In my market, some of these people at small no name brokerages have a tendency to have no clue what they are doing.

Fit and comfort level are really important too.

Hi Carlos,

I've been an agent in Manhattan for about 10 years. You didn't mention how much time you can commit to working as an agent. The amount of time you can spend on it will also somewhat limit your options. You could get a lot of experience and be kept busy by working on a team at a big firm but as a newbie you'd probably be expected to do a lot of showings on rentals and hold open houses. This would be tough on your schedule if you're already working full-time as an architect and perhaps not the most rewarding aspects of being an agent. As you suspect, online only would probably be sink or swim. No one's going to hold your hand and I would only recommend it to those with experience who want the independence and potential flexibility. If I were you, I'd go with the boutique office where you can get mentored and have more flexibility. Someplace you can set your own schedule and get hand holding if needed.

To get MLS access in different states you have to be licensed in different states. I'm also licensed in NJ. There's no true reciprocity but if you have the NY license then you can have the education requirement waived and you just have to pass the NJ tests. You'd then have to have your licensed sponsored by an NJ broker as well.

Anyways, PM me if you'd like to discuss further.

You have to go with what you feel comfortable. Remember you are paying them 30 percent commission and to hang license there. You are the brand at the end of the day so it doesn’t matter what name you go with if you cannot well yourslef. Look at training available and is the broker easy to talk to, because as a newbie you will have a lot of questions. I was with KW and then left for La Rosa Realty which is not big name brokerage but not boutique but has similar training as KW with less fees. They are also in New York but I’m not sure how far they are from you. Best of luck. 

I know @Darren Sager recently went from KW to EXP maybe he can provide some insight

@Carlos Pelegrina Hey Carlos, I've been a realtor with eXp now for a few weeks located in Southern Indiana and I have nothing but great things to say about the company. My managing broker, mentor, and the other agents have been so supportive and willing to help me expand my knowledge and business. I feel that their online training is very accommodating and extensive. I have recently been dabbling in eXp World and Kunversion and learning about everything eXp has to offer. Out of all the brokerages I interviewed with, eXp had the lowest startup costs and the best benefits. All of that aside, It looks like that boutique office could have a lot of potential since it seems like they are very familiar with investing and could help you out in that aspect. Just keep interviewing and get all of the information that you can and compare and contrast the different brokerages and pick the one that best fits your style! Good luck as you continue your search and if you want any more information on my experience so far at eXp just message me and i'll be glad to share!

I am completely biased as I am a vested agent partner with KW going on 21 years now.

Having said that, I still think I can provide you with some good feedback.

I am surprised to hear that your meeting with KW was underwhelming.  However, I would suggest that you ask the team leader to sit in on a training module.  Try IGNITE or the KW LAUNCH program training modules.  See what you think after attending one of those.

I think that the eXp business model is FANTASTIC....in theory.  However, in practical applications, I remain skeptical.  As a new agent there are obvious issues about being motivated, finding the right guidance and support, and so on.  But fast forward to your first deal...now what?  This is where you would normally walk into a broker or coach's office and sit down to discuss your questions or to help you complete the necessary paperwork.  Then fast forward to a BIG problem like a missed deadline or the other side is in breach of contract.  Who is going to act as your muscle when you need it?  Local brokers all know eachother and network together.  They can simply and easily iron out any agent issues with a simple phone call or face to face discussion.  You bring in an unknown virtual broker, and you won't have anyone in your corner.  I think the best application for a brokerage like this would be if you were already an experienced agent trying to add licenses in different states and just needed a broker to hang your license in that state so you could do your own deals remotely.

BTW, the answer to your MLS question is no. You get MLS access as an agent in the states/areas you are licensed. Being licensed in 1 state does not give you Realtor access to MLS in other states.

A small brokerage can be okay.  In fact, many of them work like a big team, helping each other out and watching each other's backs.  They may not have alot of training resources, but on the flip side, you may be able to shadow another agent and get some old fashion OJT!  You will have some struggles with name recognition, and validation.  However, if you are confident in your abilities and have a prepared answer for that objection, you can overcome that when faced with it.  In my experience, small boutiques come and go.  So, be prepared when the owner/broker comes to you and says either A) We are closing up shop, so find another home by XX date, or B) Coldwell Banker (or fill in the blank brokerage firm) is buying me out.  So, effective immediately, you now work for them, and by the way, I am retiring.

Anyway, that is my take on it.  I'd be happy to continue the conversation if you'd like.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

Im a big believer in branding, so for someone who actually wants to sell a lot of homes, a big brokerage I think is the way to go.  However if you are not going to do a lot of business, your best bang for your buck on just a couple deals a year is a smaller brokerage. However you really do need to learn what you are doing. In my market, some of these people at small no name brokerages have a tendency to have no clue what they are doing.

Fit and comfort level are really important too.

 Thank you Russell for your input, I have to define how I will use my license.

the small company in NYC is a good one, she was one of the trainers in my 75 hours, and I feel more pressure to work harder for her than for a large company, & I'm thinking branding is the way to go as well.

Originally posted by @Jason Lee :

Hi Carlos,

I've been an agent in Manhattan for about 10 years. You didn't mention how much time you can commit to working as an agent. The amount of time you can spend on it will also somewhat limit your options. You could get a lot of experience and be kept busy by working on a team at a big firm but as a newbie you'd probably be expected to do a lot of showings on rentals and hold open houses. This would be tough on your schedule if you're already working full-time as an architect and perhaps not the most rewarding aspects of being an agent. As you suspect, online only would probably be sink or swim. No one's going to hold your hand and I would only recommend it to those with experience who want the independence and potential flexibility. If I were you, I'd go with the boutique office where you can get mentored and have more flexibility. Someplace you can set your own schedule and get hand holding if needed.

To get MLS access in different states you have to be licensed in different states. I'm also licensed in NJ. There's no true reciprocity but if you have the NY license then you can have the education requirement waived and you just have to pass the NJ tests. You'd then have to have your licensed sponsored by an NJ broker as well.

Anyways, PM me if you'd like to discuss further.

Thank you Jason..you are spot on

I see architecture pretty related, I work with clients remodeling and giving value to apartments in the city, adding bedrooms bathrooms etc; I know when a place has potential and probably sell it. I think it could be a fun thing to do mix the two aspects.

 I don't think I'm interested in doing rentals mostly because of time, I'll do if I have to but the small company got that I could be more valuable on sales or trying to get international investors due to my background. The owner is great.

I thought in getting the NJ license as well.

Originally posted by @Nicole H. :

You have to go with what you feel comfortable. Remember you are paying them 30 percent commission and to hang license there. You are the brand at the end of the day so it doesn’t matter what name you go with if you cannot well yourslef. Look at training available and is the broker easy to talk to, because as a newbie you will have a lot of questions. I was with KW and then left for La Rosa Realty which is not big name brokerage but not boutique but has similar training as KW with less fees. They are also in New York but I’m not sure how far they are from you. Best of luck. 

Hi Nicole.

I will check with La Rosa, I found KW pretty expensive, I know EXP is cheaper but as a newbie as you say will need to bother a lot of people in the beginning, and on line I think there are more chances to fail.

Originally posted by @Odie Ayaga :

I know @Darren Sager recently went from KW to EXP maybe he can provide some insight

 Hi Odie.

I spoke with Darren a couple of weeks ago, he likes EXP but he is very experienced and doesn't need the training I will need in the beginning.

also he is in NJ where EXP has a good presence but I can not figure out how EXP works in NYC. 

Is not big in the city yet.

Originally posted by @Travis Konermann :

@Carlos Pelegrina Hey Carlos, I've been a realtor with eXp now for a few weeks located in Southern Indiana and I have nothing but great things to say about the company. My managing broker, mentor, and the other agents have been so supportive and willing to help me expand my knowledge and business. I feel that their online training is very accommodating and extensive. I have recently been dabbling in eXp World and Kunversion and learning about everything eXp has to offer. Out of all the brokerages I interviewed with, eXp had the lowest startup costs and the best benefits. All of that aside, It looks like that boutique office could have a lot of potential since it seems like they are very familiar with investing and could help you out in that aspect. Just keep interviewing and get all of the information that you can and compare and contrast the different brokerages and pick the one that best fits your style! Good luck as you continue your search and if you want any more information on my experience so far at eXp just message me and i'll be glad to share!

Hi Travis

its good to know from someone with the direct EXP experience.

good to know you have a mentor and you can connect with other agents and you are happy with them. I'm afraid of joing a company where everything is on line with nobody to talk and help you when you need.

I have been trying for someone from EXP to contact me, I sent two emails through their page with not luck yet, They are not big in NYC.

The boutique office is pretty good, I like them a lot.

Thank you for your input.

Originally posted by @Cara Lonsdale :

I am completely biased as I am a vested agent partner with KW going on 21 years now.

Having said that, I still think I can provide you with some good feedback.

I am surprised to hear that your meeting with KW was underwhelming.  However, I would suggest that you ask the team leader to sit in on a training module.  Try IGNITE or the KW LAUNCH program training modules.  See what you think after attending one of those.

I think that the eXp business model is FANTASTIC....in theory.  However, in practical applications, I remain skeptical.  As a new agent there are obvious issues about being motivated, finding the right guidance and support, and so on.  But fast forward to your first deal...now what?  This is where you would normally walk into a broker or coach's office and sit down to discuss your questions or to help you complete the necessary paperwork.  Then fast forward to a BIG problem like a missed deadline or the other side is in breach of contract.  Who is going to act as your muscle when you need it?  Local brokers all know eachother and network together.  They can simply and easily iron out any agent issues with a simple phone call or face to face discussion.  You bring in an unknown virtual broker, and you won't have anyone in your corner.  I think the best application for a brokerage like this would be if you were already an experienced agent trying to add licenses in different states and just needed a broker to hang your license in that state so you could do your own deals remotely.

BTW, the answer to your MLS question is no. You get MLS access as an agent in the states/areas you are licensed. Being licensed in 1 state does not give you Realtor access to MLS in other states.

A small brokerage can be okay.  In fact, many of them work like a big team, helping each other out and watching each other's backs.  They may not have alot of training resources, but on the flip side, you may be able to shadow another agent and get some old fashion OJT!  You will have some struggles with name recognition, and validation.  However, if you are confident in your abilities and have a prepared answer for that objection, you can overcome that when faced with it.  In my experience, small boutiques come and go.  So, be prepared when the owner/broker comes to you and says either A) We are closing up shop, so find another home by XX date, or B) Coldwell Banker (or fill in the blank brokerage firm) is buying me out.  So, effective immediately, you now work for them, and by the way, I am retiring.

Anyway, that is my take on it.  I'd be happy to continue the conversation if you'd like.

Hi Cara, thank you for your great input.

I should attend one of the KW modules you suggest, they offered and I think I will do.

I see EXP great for when you have the experience but I'm old fashion and like to seat with someone I respect to discuss and learn, I think it makes it easier to keep motivated, hard thing to do by yourself in front of the screen. I should check if some team would be interested in including me, I have the experience to see the potential in properties Know remodeling cost and know how to add forced appreciation through my work.

also I think EXP is just stating getting into the NYC market what I don't know if its good or bad join them in the beginnings.

for sure EXP is cheaper than KW and most people who changed are very happy 

the small office works a lot with foreigner investors buying in NYC, I'm not interested personally to invest in the NYC, not do I have the cash needed  but for sure its interesting.

I might get NJ license when I start working in NY

Thank you for taking your time o answer my thread 

I really appreciate your input.

If you are wanting for investment purposes only, you probably want to go to a brokerage with the least amount of fees... no monthly fees, if you don't make a commission, you don't pay... EXP and KW are great, depending on your goals...

It should also be said that KW has an annual cap.  So, you may be on a 70/30 or 80/20 split with them, but after you sell $2mm in sales, you are capped and receive 100% commissions for the remainder of the year.  In a town where the sales prices are $50K, that may be a challenge, but places like LA or NYC, I see that as an easily accomplished goal.  

That doesn't even bring into account the profit share model they have at KW.  My profit share, most years, covers my cap.  So, I get 100% from day 1.  So, in order to really evaluate KW and the expense, you should know ALL of the facts first and decide.

I know eXp Realty has some type of revenue sharing as well and a 80/20% split, but I don't know any of the details.  I would assume their fees are less.  I would expect them to be since they don't have any brick and mortar overhead.  Everything is virtual.  Although funny story.....there is an eXp Realty office in Peoria, AZ.  So, that tells me that the virtual thing isn't ALL it's cracked up to be.  When it comes down to it, people like to interface with other people in this industry.  There are just so many instances where you need a sit down with a live person.

Interesting take @Cara Lonsdale the first year in KW the split is 70/30 I don't know the cap in NYC.

but you are right the medium price for an studio in the city is $500,000

I should probably set an appointment with an agent to get all the facts, specially the profit share system that I don't have that clear yet.

specially in NYC where are many foreigner investors I think is good to have a place where to seat face to face.

Originally posted by @Carlos Pelegrina :

Interesting take @Cara Lonsdale the first year in KW the split is 70/30 I don't know the cap in NYC.

but you are right the medium price for an studio in the city is $500,000

I should probably set an appointment with an agent to get all the facts, specially the profit share system that I don't have that clear yet.

specially in NYC where are many foreigner investors I think is good to have a place where to seat face to face.

 The cap should be the same anywhere you go.  It is only adjusted in team structures.  So, with a $500K price point, that is 4 sales and you are capped!  Sounds easy to me.

If you need a good contact within leadership to have a sit down with, just PM me.  I am happy to get you in touch with the right people in NYC.

@Cara Lonsdale as a fully vested agent partner (as I am) for 20 plus years at KW I'm actually surprised by your view of how KW's business model actually works.  Saying that the cap for an agent in AZ is the same as the cap for an agent in Manhattan, or anywhere else for that matter shows you don't understand their business model.

KW is a franchise.  In fact there are two levels of franchise operations in KW outside of the corporate level from what I understand.  And of course you can look this up.  KW has regional owners and then local owners, which are known as Market Centers.  These are your brick and mortar locations which the agents "work" out of.

Every Market Center sets their own cap.  For those who don't know most KW agents have the opportunity to pay up to a certain amount in commissions on an annual basis and then basically move to 100% commission less a transaction fee on all sales and rentals.  Most KW agent will tell you they work on a 70/30 split and but they in most cases fail to mention the regional franchise owner's 6% they have to give so they really start off at a 64/36 split every year.  I was with KW for around 8 years I believe.  Anyway my cap at my office at $35,000.  The cap at the KW office in Hoboken NJ is I believe is around $47,000.  The cap from what I was told in Manhattan, is well over $100,000 (someone recently told me it was $145,000!) and no where near doing just $2M in sales to get to 100% commission.  My GCI, or Gross Commission Income was $4.2M to be able to cap based upon a 2.5% split on one side of a transaction.  In Manhattan, it would equate to around $20M in sales, 10X the sales volume you're promoting, just to be able to get to work at the 100% level less the transaction fee.  Every KW office is different.  EXP on the other hand has one cap nation wide set at $16,000 with an actual 80/20 split.  I will say because I've been told that NYC will be basically an island within EXP. The cap number is expected to go up, because of the additional costs of doing business  there.  So I wouldn't count on their being a $16k cap however I'd be sure to bet that it won't be anywhere near KW's.  And again no regional fees.  

Funny story, although EXP has an office in Peoria, AZ, they are (in most cases) required to have a physical office in the state they operate in, according to the local state laws.  In NJ, we have an office of which I'll never use just like I didn't use my KW office in NJ.  In NY EXP has an office but most likely every EXP agent will never go there.  The broker of record for that state needs to have an office in that state, and hence why it's there. 

Now let's talk about KW profit share and how that works.  Every Market Center has expenses which are different and the profit share you receive can vary dramatically from Market Center to Market Center (as well as change monthly). There is no set guidelines as to how much profit they need to set out to those agents that brought in that agent into that office.  I have 2 direct agents in my downline at KW that have worked in different market centers in different states.  In one of my monthly KW statements, one generated $2,375 in "profits" and the other $2,358 in profits.  One would think that since the "profit" on these two was only a $17 difference to each office that I would receive almost an identical payout from each one, yet that was not the case.  One I received $163.83 and the other $1.23.  Yes, $1.23.  On a first line direct that I brought in!   To say I wasn't happy about this was an understatement.  When you have a physical location you need to support that location, and all the people who are employed by that market center.  They get paid first, before any "profits" are shared along with the Market Center owner.  Every Market Center is allowed to share whatever they want.  There's no set guidelines and to me not knowing what and how they calculate it is unfair to those agents who help build the business up.   EXP revenue share model is set and calculated out of top line revenue to the company.  When an agent enters in the details of their transaction into the system (kind of like KW's Greensheet system) you automatically get a detailed update as the agent who brought them in what your revenue share will be.  There's no guessing, or hoping that the Market Center had a good month so that they'll give you a bigger share.  It is what it is.  

And then EXP offers ownership to every agent in multitudes of ways to earn company stock as well as purchase it at a discounted rate.  KW is privately held, doesn't report it's numbers to anyone so you just have to take someone else's word that all is happy and well in the KW universe.  KW has no plans to offer agents true ownership of the national company from what I was told.   Also EXP, since they have no franchises, allows you to expand into any area you want to and not have to join another Market Center with an additional cap and regional fee like KW requires.  Those who operate a team will truly understand the magnitude of this.  This post cannot go into enough detail on just how big that is for agents.  

Now one might think that I don't like KW based upon this post and nothing can be further from that.  I enjoyed my time there tremendously and would still be there if EXP didn't exist.  Moving to EXP from KW was not an easy decision.  It was simple though.  Anyone who is in this business and is a true business person can easily determine that EXP's business model is more streamlined and set up for the future.  KW agents who comment on it not having any real understanding as to how it functions different to is to me a disservice to all BP members.  Cara I'm in no way trying to be mean spirited towards you either by me posting this.  I do think you need to do more homework on how things work over there.

Originally posted by @Darren Sager :

@Cara Lonsdale as a fully vested agent partner (as I am) for 20 plus years at KW I'm actually surprised by your view of how KW's business model actually works.  Saying that the cap for an agent in AZ is the same as the cap for an agent in Manhattan, or anywhere else for that matter shows you don't understand their business model.

KW is a franchise.  In fact there are two levels of franchise operations in KW outside of the corporate level from what I understand.  And of course you can look this up.  KW has regional owners and then local owners, which are known as Market Centers.  These are your brick and mortar locations which the agents "work" out of.

Every Market Center sets their own cap.  For those who don't know most KW agents have the opportunity to pay up to a certain amount in commissions on an annual basis and then basically move to 100% commission less a transaction fee on all sales and rentals.  Most KW agent will tell you they work on a 70/30 split and but they in most cases fail to mention the regional franchise owner's 6% they have to give so they really start off at a 64/36 split every year.  I was with KW for around 8 years I believe.  Anyway my cap at my office at $35,000.  The cap at the KW office in Hoboken NJ is I believe is around $47,000.  The cap from what I was told in Manhattan, is well over $100,000 (someone recently told me it was $145,000!) and no where near doing just $2M in sales to get to 100% commission.  My GCI, or Gross Commission Income was $4.2M to be able to cap based upon a 2.5% split on one side of a transaction.  In Manhattan, it would equate to around $20M in sales, 10X the sales volume you're promoting, just to be able to get to work at the 100% level less the transaction fee.  Every KW office is different.  EXP on the other hand has one cap nation wide set at $16,000 with an actual 80/20 split.  I will say because I've been told that NYC will be basically an island within EXP. The cap number is expected to go up, because of the additional costs of doing business  there.  So I wouldn't count on their being a $16k cap however I'd be sure to bet that it won't be anywhere near KW's.  And again no regional fees.  

Funny story, although EXP has an office in Peoria, AZ, they are (in most cases) required to have a physical office in the state they operate in, according to the local state laws.  In NJ, we have an office of which I'll never use just like I didn't use my KW office in NJ.  In NY EXP has an office but most likely every EXP agent will never go there.  The broker of record for that state needs to have an office in that state, and hence why it's there. 

Now let's talk about KW profit share and how that works.  Every Market Center has expenses which are different and the profit share you receive can vary dramatically from Market Center to Market Center (as well as change monthly). There is no set guidelines as to how much profit they need to set out to those agents that brought in that agent into that office.  I have 2 direct agents in my downline at KW that have worked in different market centers in different states.  In one of my monthly KW statements, one generated $2,375 in "profits" and the other $2,358 in profits.  One would think that since the "profit" on these two was only a $17 difference to each office that I would receive almost an identical payout from each one, yet that was not the case.  One I received $163.83 and the other $1.23.  Yes, $1.23.  On a first line direct that I brought in!   To say I wasn't happy about this was an understatement.  When you have a physical location you need to support that location, and all the people who are employed by that market center.  They get paid first, before any "profits" are shared along with the Market Center owner.  Every Market Center is allowed to share whatever they want.  There's no set guidelines and to me not knowing what and how they calculate it is unfair to those agents who help build the business up.   EXP revenue share model is set and calculated out of top line revenue to the company.  When an agent enters in the details of their transaction into the system (kind of like KW's Greensheet system) you automatically get a detailed update as the agent who brought them in what your revenue share will be.  There's no guessing, or hoping that the Market Center had a good month so that they'll give you a bigger share.  It is what it is.  

And then EXP offers ownership to every agent in multitudes of ways to earn company stock as well as purchase it at a discounted rate.  KW is privately held, doesn't report it's numbers to anyone so you just have to take someone else's word that all is happy and well in the KW universe.  KW has no plans to offer agents true ownership of the national company from what I was told.   Also EXP, since they have no franchises, allows you to expand into any area you want to and not have to join another Market Center with an additional cap and regional fee like KW requires.  Those who operate a team will truly understand the magnitude of this.  This post cannot go into enough detail on just how big that is for agents.  

Now one might think that I don't like KW based upon this post and nothing can be further from that.  I enjoyed my time there tremendously and would still be there if EXP didn't exist.  Moving to EXP from KW was not an easy decision.  It was simple though.  Anyone who is in this business and is a true business person can easily determine that EXP's business model is more streamlined and set up for the future.  KW agents who comment on it not having any real understanding as to how it functions different to is to me a disservice to all BP members.  Cara I'm in no way trying to be mean spirited towards you either by me posting this.  I do think you need to do more homework on how things work over there.

 I understand the KW business model.  I further understand the profit share model.  As mentioned, I will celebrate my 21st year in business with KW this year.  And while you mentioned your 2 agents in your profit share tree, I have over 400 and counting, including a team leader or two, spread across multiple states.  I feel confident that I can speak intelligently on the topic.

And just as a side bar to you personally, if you don't want to come across as mean spirited, then don't put the poster on the defensive by making comments like ..."shows you don't know their business model."

However, I am happy to engage you in a conversation as long as it remains respectful, and I will try and answer to some of the items that I believe to be a little off.

You are right in 1 thing that I sometimes forget about when speaking in a national forum, and not my local one.  While there is a company wide cap of $2mm, it can be adjusted at the office level to compensate for the market area.  The cap in all of AZ is $2mm, so I was speaking to my cap.  What you failed to mention is that it can also be adjusted DOWN.  This is commonly done in a team setting when you have a rainmaker who is at a full cap, and their team members are at half and quarter caps.

I am surprised that you didn't understand how your profit share could be different with agents located in different offices.  Offices, like any business, operate with their own set of expenses.  Profit, by definition, is AFTER expenses.  If the office as a whole doesn't bring in enough to pay the bills, there is no profit to split.  Clearly in the example you gave, the 1 agent's office as a whole did not bring in enough to cover as much of the overhead as the other agent's office did.  It wasn't that the other office was stingy about how much they would share in profit.  The bills have to be paid first.  You get that, right?

Also incorrect is the transaction fee after capping (at least in my neck of the woods). If you were charged that, it may have been specific to your office. In my state, once I am capped, I pay nothing for each transaction. Even my E&O gets capped. The only fees I pay monthly are for my technology, e-egde and consortium fee, which equates to $35. In exchange, I have a fully functioning website, access to a green room to record youtube videos and so forth, access to dotloop for full transaction coordination AND e-sign capabilities for my clients to e-sign contracts. Well worth the $35 per month in my book as I would pay more if paying on my own.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the appeal of a business model like eXp realty, and have said as much in my post.  However, when a new agent (or soon to be agent) posts on a forum that they are considering a fully virtual office brokerage, I fear for their ability to succeed because whether you will admit it, or not, learning how to practice RE is a hands on activity.  

Now at 20+ years, I don't go into the office every day, and do most of my business from my home.  HOWEVER, if I have something needing attention, I walk right into my broker's office and have a face to face with him to resolve whatever is needing attention.  There is a value to that that the eXp model will never be able to compensate for.  So, while I appreciate that you may know more of what eXp offers being on the inside, and behind the curtain (because their website interface is EXTREMELY veiled without giving personal info), I wasn't wanting to engage in a debate to pit the two against each other, or feel the need to defend KW for that matter.  However, it is undeniable that eXp has shortcomings when it comes to new agents.  Anyone who has experience in RE as an agent can attest to the fact that a face to face brokerage with hands on training is the only way to ensure the success of a new agent.  Business models with a VR platform are better suited for experienced agents.  So to recap, potentially GOOD for experienced agents, BAD for new agents.  My research into eXp didn't have to be deep to come to that conclusion.

It's funny @Cara Lonsdale , when I joined KW many years ago the very same argument you're putting up was the same one that other companies used against KW.  It was good for experienced agents but BAD for newer ones.   My KW office at that time offered little to no support.  They would tout their virtual training online of where there's a lot of just like EXP.  I know over the past couple years they have gotten better, but their main business model was not about attracting the newer agent.  I was a newer agent with Weichert, and really thought that Weichert had their ducks in a row until I came across KW.  I was generally impressed with KW's model, how they supposedly gave the same commission split to all agents (later found out that the Market Centers make deals just like any other agency) and there was an opportunity for me to make money more than from just selling through profit share.

I was able to flourish there based upon my own desire to be good at what I was doing.  No training from the office.  The agent who brought me in answered more questions for me than my broker of record did.  I used outside resources as best I could to build my business. Nothing I did in building that business was reliant upon the KW brand.  This is where I differ in belief with Russell who thinks you need a big named company to do well in a market. People would let me know they never heard of KW when I joined.  I think successful agents will be successful no matter where you put them. And this is the reason why most agents don't stay with the same firm during their careers.  Most are constantly shifting going to the company that will give them the best split.  I was at a KW event with Gene Rivers this past fall 2017, someone you probably know well in the KW world.  And even he said at that event that any agent's success in the business is not built upon the company they choose to hang their shingle with, but that agent's own efforts directly.  I have brought new agents into the KW office I was at and I can let you know that they had to leave because the support wasn't there as much as it was promised to them.  And then then went to other well known companies where again they were promised hand holding and success.  It just didn't happen.  Some people will not be successful in this business even if you have a place for them to come sit with you.  Which again, EXP offers but most likely will never be used.  

As for KW's profit share model of which I mentioned, both agents did within $17 of PROFIT as listed in my report. Not revenue like EXP's model, again profit. One market center just decided to keep the majority of it for themselves because of reasons why my team leader could not explain to me.  And KW's national cap of $2M doesn't mean anything as each Market Center does adjust.  But here's the thing:  when KW first opened up in Manhattan the cap was $45K, the highest in the country.  When the Hoboken office opened they went up to $47K.  When KW moved their Manhattan office the amount went up to over six figures (more than doubling the old number). No one can say that's because the inflation on that market when up that much.  My local KW office never adjusted their Cap number in all the years I was there.  Again with KW if you want into another market center's area, you need to pay an additional cap.  Not so with EXP.  Remember no franchises.  One cap nationwide, outside of NYC proper (again the # hasn't been announced yet. 

And as for getting attention quickly, I've never experience getting questions answered so fast with EXP with the virtual office.  Unlike each KW office, there's not one person who you get answers from but multitudes of people.  Its really been incredible.  

EXP's access to tech is better than KW's in my opinion. eEdge is so antiquated and they keep telling the agents that Gary is investing Billions on it's replacement. They've been saying it for years now. I don't know of a single successful KW agent doing any volume using eEdge or touting how good it is. Most are using well known platforms such as Kunversion, Boomtown, Commissions Inc, Real Estate Webmasters, etc. anything but eEdge. My monthly rate at KW was just under $100 per month which included E&O. EXP does E&O at $30 per transaction with a cap at $500 per year no matter how many transactions, which isn't the case with KW from what I understand on those who pay E&O per transaction. And yes my former office and other KW offices are subject to a transaction fee after you cap. Maybe not yours in AZ, but it happens for sure. And let's talk about DotLoop since you brought up e-signing. Dotloop, the provider KW uses for e-signing is owned by Zillow. Zillow is able to see every bit of data on every single listing and offer made on every KW agent nationwide. Not sure how that helps agents giving that company access to such information, especially when it seems they're trying to replace real estate agents. EXP uses a non Zillow owned e-sign company to facilitate transactions.

Now I will say this on both companies.  Both have a very similar culture but KW's has changed over the past few years going much more corporate in my opinion.   Things like your listing your leads was so refreshing when KW was growing.  Weichert would take calls from leads that came into their website on my listings and then want to charge me a 35% referral fee on my own leads!  No desk duty or desk fees which means that if a call on your listing comes into the office, it goes to the listing agent and not the agent sitting there.   Maybe because EXP's leadership came out of KW those things and more are shared I'm not sure but the feel of what I thought was KW is also very much alive and well in EXP.   There are benefits to both companies.  Again if EXP didn't exist I would still be at KW and happy to be there.  But so far so good.  I have equity in the national company.  I know agents who've accumulated over $150K in company stock in about 6 months since they joined.  That's extra compensation that they never would have received at KW of which is outside of their higher split.  I'm friendly with my leadership still at my old office.  I'd never burn the bridge as I fully expect to do business with them and many there I consider my friends.  They are the 800 pound gorilla in the room and most know that.

I think history will repeat itself though.  No company has withstood getting replaced as Number 1 in agent count.  KW is emitting all the signs that a company that is fighting a better business model does.  Just like all the other companies did when KW was on the rise.  I really think KW had the best business model until I truly understood EXP's.   It was a lot of fun to be with KW when they were growing.  You were a part of something.  I think EXP is the same way and time will tell.   Will both companies be around in 10 years?  Sure, but I think that based upon EXP's growth (numbers of which KW has never been able to put up) we'll see a new leader much sooner than most think.  

Originally posted by @Darren Sager :

It's funny @Cara Lonsdale, when I joined KW many years ago the very same argument you're putting up was the same one that other companies used against KW.  It was good for experienced agents but BAD for newer ones.   My KW office at that time offered little to no support.  They would tout their virtual training online of where there's a lot of just like EXP.  I know over the past couple years they have gotten better, but their main business model was not about attracting the newer agent.  I was a newer agent with Weichert, and really thought that Weichert had their ducks in a row until I came across KW.  I was generally impressed with KW's model, how they supposedly gave the same commission split to all agents (later found out that the Market Centers make deals just like any other agency) and there was an opportunity for me to make money more than from just selling through profit share.

I was able to flourish there based upon my own desire to be good at what I was doing.  No training from the office.  The agent who brought me in answered more questions for me than my broker of record did.  I used outside resources as best I could to build my business. Nothing I did in building that business was reliant upon the KW brand.  This is where I differ in belief with Russell who thinks you need a big named company to do well in a market. People would let me now they never heard of KW when I joined.  I think successful agents will be successful no matter where you put them. And this is the reason why most agents don't stay with the same firm during their careers.  Most are constantly shifting going to the company that will give them the best split.  I was at a KW event with Gene Rivers this past fall 2017, someone you probably know well in the KW world.  And even he said at that event that any agent's success in the business is not built upon the company they choose to hang their shingle with, but that agent's own efforts directly.  I have brought new agents into the KW office I was at and I can let you know that they had to leave because the support wasn't there as much as it was promised to them.  And then then went to other well known companies where again they were promised hand holding and success.  It just didn't happen.  Some people will not be successful in this business even if you have a place for them to come sit with you.  Which again, EXP offers but most likely will never be used.  

As for KW's profit share model of which I mentioned, both agents did within $17 of PROFIT as listed in my report. Not revenue like EXP's model, again profit. One market center just decided to keep the majority of it for themselves because of reasons why my team leader could not explain to me.  And KW's national cap of $2M doesn't mean anything as each Market Center does adjust.  But here's the thing:  when KW first opened up in Manhattan the cap was $45K, the highest in the country.  When the Hoboken office opened they went up to $47K.  When KW moved their Manhattan office the amount went up to over six figures (more than doubling the old number). No one can say that's because the inflation on that market when up that much.  My local KW office never adjusted their Cap number in all the years I was there.  Again with KW if you want into another market center's area, you need to pay an additional cap.  Not so with EXP.  Remember no franchises.  One cap nationwide, outside of NYC proper (again the # hasn't been announced yet. 

And as for getting attention quickly, I've never experience getting questions answered so fast with EXP with the virtual office.  Unlike each KW office, there's not one person who you get answers from but multitudes of people.  Its really been incredible.  

EXP's access to tech is better than KW's in my opinion. eEdge is so antiquated and they keep telling the agents that Gary is investing Billions on it's replacement. They've been saying it for years now. I don't know of a single successful KW agent doing any volume using eEdge or touting how good it is. Most are using well known platforms such as Kunversion, Boomtown, Commissions Inc, Real Estate Webmasters, etc. anything but eEdge. My monthly rate at KW was just under $100 per month which included E&O. EXP does E&O at $30 per transaction with a cap at $500 per year no matter how many transactions, which isn't the case with KW from what I understand on those who pay E&O per transaction. And yes my former office and other KW offices are subject to a transaction fee after you cap. Maybe not yours in AZ, but it happens for sure. And let's talk about DotLoop since you brought up e-signing. Dotloop, the provider KW uses for e-signing is owned by Zillow. Zillow is able to see every bit of data on every single listing and offer made on every KW agent nationwide. Not sure how that helps agents giving that company access to such information, especially when it seems they're trying to replace real estate agents. EXP uses a non Zillow owned e-sign company to facilitate transactions.

Now I will say this on both companies.  Both have a very similar culture but KW's has changed over the past few years going much more corporate in my opinion.   Things like your listing your leads was so refreshing when KW was growing.  Weichert would take calls from leads that came into their website on my listings and then want to charge me a 35% referral fee on my own leads!  No desk duty or desk fees which means that if a call on your listing comes into the office, it goes to the listing agent and not the agent sitting there.   Maybe because EXP's leadership came out of KW those things and more are shared I'm not sure but the feel of what I thought was KW is also very much alive and well in EXP.   There are benefits to both companies.  Again if EXP didn't exist I would still be at KW and happy to be there.  But so far so good.  I have equity in the national company.  I know agents who've accumulated over $150K in company stock in about 6 months since they joined.  That's extra compensation that they never would have received at KW of which is outside of their higher split.  I'm friendly with my leadership still at my old office.  I'd never burn the bridge as I fully expect to do business with them and many there I consider my friends.  They are the 800 pound gorilla in the room and most know that.

I think history will repeat itself though.  No company has withstood getting replaced as Number 1 in agent count.  KW is emitting all the signs that a company that is fighting a better business model does.  Just like all the other companies did when KW was on the rise.  I really think KW had the best business model until I truly understood EXP's.   It was a lot of fun to be with KW when they were growing.  You were a part of something.  I think EXP is the same way and time will tell.   Will both companies be around in 10 years?  Sure, but I think that based upon EXP's growth (numbers of which KW has never been able to put up) we'll see a new leader much sooner than most think.  

 I don't relate to most of what you wrote.  I am not sure what KW office you were at, but most, if not all of what you speak about made no sense to me.

My experience is that KW has the most cutting edge training there is.  Training like IGNITE or LAUNCH or BOLD.  These training modules help take a brand new agent and prepare them for first steps, to next steps, to growing their business at each level.  So, your comments about KW being for experienced agents just doesn't ring true.  They have sculpted their training JUST for new agents.  Even theNAMES fo the training modules speak to what I am saying, and contradict what you say.

Honestly, Darren, I don't want to call you a liar, but let's just peacefully agree to disagree.  It seems you have some type of agenda for bashing KW, and that's fine.  Afterall, it isn't my company personally, so you aren't bashing me per se.  However, I don't wish to continue a conversation with someone who doesn't speak in truth, and has a clear agenda, that goes against what the original question was for this forum.  So, best of luck to you (and I say that very sincerely).  Have a great day.

lol, talk about passive agressive 

KW is the top training org in the world and is #1 in the country... I joined a KW team (Hergenrother Realty Group) and have the leverage to have gotten 8 listings in my first two months in real estate. If you want training as a new agent, go KW. Hands down. And I can't speak to the culture everywhere, but the culture in the KW Vermont office is amazing. Better place to work than the B Corps solar company I worked for previously. Stronger culture, nicer people, more training.

@Cara Lonsdale just because your experience with KW is different than mine doesn't in any way mean that anything I said about my experience is not true.  Remember KW is a franchise system. Each office is independently owned and operated. The experiences one can have from one office to another can vary greatly (just like the commission cap you pay each year).

As for training, Ignite didn't exist when I joined (I remember when it started though), neither did Launch. TheNames?  Don't recall it.   I'm a BOLD graduate.  When I did it wasn't a KW exclusive from what I recall (and it's still open to other agents I believe).  These programs like Bold and Ignite aren't free though.  They generally cost extra money (I believe I paid $350 at the time to take BOLD) and are not part of your monthly fees (rightfully so). Notably most of them try to sell you on coaching programs after you're done to keep you on track (MAPS Coaching).  Personally I think that there are many other respectable training and coaching programs that an agent can take advantage of (Tom Ferry for example) that can be paid for more easily by working at a higher commission split if their goals are to become a great real estate agent. But that's my opinion.  Training for agents to be successful is out there no matter what company you decide to work with. 

What I do know is that you misrepresented to @Carlos Pelegrina and others here on BP that KW's cap to get to 100% is the same nationwide.  $2M in sales.  You said this:

The cap should be the same anywhere you go. It is only adjusted in team structures. So, with a $500K price point, that is 4 sales and you are capped! Sounds easy to me.

My opinion, this really made it seem to people here that if Carlos sold 4 apartments at $500K and a 2.5% commission split suddenly he'd be working at 100% commission after that. You later retracted this statement saying each Market Center(Franchise Owner) can adjust up or down.  That is true and every Market Center's cap can vary dramatically (again the reason why I posted the numbers on the Market Centers that I'm aware of or heard from others on what they are).  But it has nothing to do with a $2M sales number but a commission dollar amount that must get paid to the office and to the regional owner (Why do KW agents frequently seem to leave out the 6% they have to pay to the regional owners?). I didn't come on thread to bash KW and I don't think I did.  I stated what I know to be differences between KW & EXP from my direct experience actually being in both organizations, and said that I would still be at KW if it wasn't for what I believed to be a better opportunity for me at EXP.  You don't have such experience in both organizations and have resorted now to name calling,  trying to defame my character instead of actually sticking to the topic at hand.  

@Darren Sager....Every large brokerage has their adherents to that company or loyalty to the owner/founder/personality like Jim Weichert, Wes Foster.....but for whatever reason KW can be almost cult like. I often joke with KW agents I know that they are part of The Cult of Gary Keller.  

Not only are the caps different from franchise to franchise, just like any other brokerage what an individual is getting is going to be subject to what they negotiated.  I was made an offer by a KW franchise here, and thr cap I was offered was much more in line with our areas advertised remax cap, which is less than half what KW advertises as their cap.  Like any brokerage, they want the top producers in their local market even if they make less on a per agent basis from them because they want signs in the yards. They want market share.  

As a believer in big brokerage branding, I would consider them even though Im not a member of the Cult of Gary Keller. I think KW just broke the top 5 brokerages in the DC area, but they capture something like 1% of all business. L&F where I am at captures 1 out if every 6 sides in the metro area, and 1 out of every 8 sides in the midatlantic. I joined them because I got tired of losing business to them. Once I joined, combined with other factors such as my BP presence, took my business to another level.

I think the only places in my market Id consider are L&F, KW, Remax, and Compass. The latter of which is just throwing stupid money around. Forget caps, if you are a producer, they are going to pay you to join if it is in a market they are looking to get a foothold in, which is just about everywhere outside of NY.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.