Looking for advice on getting started as a real estate agent

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Currently working a full time job in the afternoon. I aspire to be a top agent in NYC. I’ve done lots of research online and have connected with an agent who says I have a strong chance at being an agent with his brokerage. It’s a pretty small brokerage. Should I start there and work my way up? Or should I try to work for free for a huge agent and then work my way into his/her team?

Thank you so much!!!

Bird in hand? Is the big brokerage you want to work on not hiring? Maybe call them and ask the career paths of their agents- do they only hire proven people, or do they have new people, too?

In my honest opinion, I would go after the number one agent in your market. I would try to be an assistant and offer as much help as possible while simultaneously having the intention of being a sponge and try to soak as much knowledge as you can from said person. Yeah, you may get a family-like atmosphere and one on one time with the small brokerage but don't you want to be the top agent in your market? Obviously, having a top producing agent will allow you to see what he/she is doing and try to apply it to your business. That's exactly what I did, and hell they may even give you leads that he/she doesn't want to deal with. It may not be an ideal client but it will help to get your feet wet and give you momentum.