For those of you who have your gotten your license, who did you pick to work under and why? Keller Williams, Century 21, smaller local brokerage? I have reached out to a handful recently and plan on interviewing with them to ask about resources and mentoring and commission splits, etc., but I thought I'd reach out to those of you who have personal experiences as you were starting out. My goals are to eventually get into commercial real estate, but starting out in residential as a buyer's agent for a few new investors that I know back in California and we all need to build up our capital and experience before investing in commercial deals.
@Katherine Earle The most critical thing in my opinion is how much support you'll get. In the beginning, you need a lot of hand holding. There are forms and procedures to learn, challenging negotiations to wrap your head around and situations you've never come across before.
At first blush, you might think that the commission split is everything. I promise you, it's not.
I've been with three big name brokerages and had an astonishing lack of support at all three. Weichert, Century 21 and Keller Williams. Not every office will be like that, but these three were. One of the keys to look for is whether your managing broker is a high-producing agent. If he is, you'll probably struggle to get help when you need it.
Next, look at tech. I recently interviewed with a small, boutique brokerage in Maine (we're moving there next week). Really nice people, but when I asked what they used for a CRM, I got a blank stare. They didn't even have a website!
You might not generate a lot of business from your website, but it's one of the places potential clients will go to check you out. It needs to be *polished*, because it's going to help to establish your credibility.
There are a ton of CRMs out there. When you're starting out, use the one your broker provides instead of spending money on another one. Right now, you really need to keep your overhead DOWN. Avoid taking on expenses that you can avoid, because that will bleed you dry faster than you can believe.
As part of my move to Maine, I recently signed on with eXp Realty. The tech is extraordinary and my broker is very much available. If I were to continue to practice in Mass., I'd transfer my license to eXp in Mass too. My broker here is a really nice person, but I didn't find out until recently that she has a completely separate side business running training programs for other agencies all over the state and even around the country. That explains why it takes anywhere from hours to days to get questions answered!
Go into your interviews knowing two things.
1. You're the hot commodity. It's very hard for brokerages to recruit producing agents. Most stay put as they've built a brand where they are. That leaves new agents - and brokerages will be clamoring for you. You're interviewing them, not the other way around.
2. 87% of new agents fail within 5 years. So pay attention to the basics. Again, keep those expenses down. Take advantage of every bit of training and apply it.
Good luck - and PM me if you want to chat further.
@Charlie MacPherson Thank you so much for your input! I definitely agree that the commission split is much less important than support that first year or 2. As far as bootstrapping it, I've had the amazing expensive education of building a business to 6 figures and closing the doors a year later because the expenses were too high instead of focusing on the system for growth first. Since I am going into this eyes wide open, I am definitely happy to work for support over commission. Once I can prove to the broker that I won't be one of the Agents giving up within 5 years, we can talk about commission splits.
I have a good impression of some key questions to ask. So what I'm hearing from you that it's mostly dependent on the individual brokerage more than the company association? Does that seem to be accurate?