I'm currently looking at taking my agent licensing class this month or in May of next year, and to work in the Fort Myers, Fl area. This will mostly be for my own use and for working with local investors. However, I am also interested in working with non-investor clients as well. This will only be a side job for me, so its not likely that I would be able to fulfill any kind of hour requirements for open houses or other events. With that being said, I'm looking for a broker that will allow me the freedom to work the amount of hours that will best fit my schedule, in the manner that will best suit my own clients. Because I won't be working to the extent that a full time agent would, I am not expecting to have a designated office space and will be perfectly fine working from home. [Edited by Moderators]
There's something you should know about real estate brokers. They don't care when or how often you work. There is no quota of allotted time for open houses. You do one thing and one thing only for a broker/brokerage...make money. Your hanging your license with them doesn't cost them a dollar which is why there is no quota for open house hours or number of sales in a year.
Can you fog a mirror? Then you're hired. What you really need to look for is a brokerage that is going to provide the education you are looking for and the freedom to operate your business as you see fit. There are brokerages out there that would rather you not be involved with investing/investors because of the liability that comes with it but of course, there are others that are more inclined to do this type of work. Remember, YOU are interviewing them (the broker/brokerage) not the other way around.
@Brad Bellstedt The only reason I mention it is because I have heard that some of the bigger chair brokerages do require that you spend a certain number of hours at open houses, but that may or may not be true. Thank you for the advice!
Updated about 1 year ago
@Stetson Miller Im an investor and broker myself and chose eXp Realty. I find their balance of reputation, tools, and entrepreneurial environment to suit my needs as someone that splits my time about 50/50 between personal investments and sales. [Solicitation Removed by Moderators]
I have to disagree with @Brad Bellstedt as many Brokers will only take on full-time Realtors and do have minimum production requirements. Some also require commitment/expectations of you working 'floor-time', 'desk-duty' or other similar requirements for answering calls or addressing walk-in clients. Many also have the expectation that you attend regular (weekly) sales meetings, attend trainings, etc. (at least the better Brokerages will expect this!) . It's to your advantage to learn how to buy & sell traditional deals before working with investors as it will better protect you and your Broker from potential liability. That will also better protect your clients you are serving! Working part-time from home is convenient, however, not sure it's the best 'recipe for success'. After a 16+ years working full-time with a traditional Broker, I'm now with eXp Realty which offers flexibility in that it's cloud-based, however, as a new Agent, you would be assigned a Mentor to ensure you get started off on the right foot. Research and interview several Brokerages as there are many different business models out there @Stetson Miller .. and best of luck!
Stay away from the agents on here trying to get you to join their brokerage so they can make a fee off of you.
You really have 2 options. Go with a brokerage that takes a split 70/30 or similar or go with a brokerage that lets you keep 100% of the commission but youre required to pay a monthly fee.
It depends how many properties you're going to invest in. If its a small amount, then going with a split with no monthly fee is better.
Also, succeeding as a part time realtor is not going to work. You might be able to sell a few here or there but its too difficult to succeed long term. 90% of realtors quit within 5 years.
Since you would only be dealing with a few properties, then avoiding monthly fees and just going with a split brokerage is probably the way to go. You would still be required to pay realtor fees + insurance which might be upwards of $2,000/year unless you find a brokerage that pays for insurance.
Research them all. RE Max, EXP, West usa realty, realty one group and local brokerages. You can email them or find info online.
EXP realtors are all over biggerpockets trying to bank on agents because they get a fee for you joining them lol
@Patrick J. Thank you! Luckily I will not be relying on this as my primary source of income, but I've definitely been leaning towards the commission split because I'm not sure sales will cover all of the fees associated with EXP and those similar.
One sale of $200,000 would cover all of your fees and marketing for 100% brokerages and leave you with 2 or 3 thousand in spare money but each brokerage charges different monthly fees. Some only charge $25/month which is nothing.
Commission on a 200k property is $6,000.
@Patrick J. The only firm I looked at closely was EXP and I just wasn't a fan of their ongoing and pre-sale fees. In the case that I didn't make a sale one month due to time constraints, I wouldn't want to be stuck paying those fees without anything in return. At least going on a commission split I know I wouldn't be paying without also being paid as well.
@Stetson Miller , be aware that you are going to pay monthly fees for most, if not all, brokers. If $85 a month is an issue for you, you might consider not getting licensed at all. Many brokers will require you to join an MLS as well, which is going to cost hundreds a year, especially if it includes REALTOR association. However, with a single decent transaction you'll cover all those costs.
Another note on costs: most brokerages have both a commission split AND monthly fees (can anyone name one that doesn't?). Some have you pay for insurance (E&O) with an annual or up front fee. I like it as a by-transaction fee instead because then you don't have to worry about how many deals you have to do to make up the cost.
For me, the choice was simple because I needed the flexibility to train and get support outside of normal work hours, since I still have a day job. I just do sales to build cash to purchase more apartments.
Please be aware that the knowledge you learn from your licensing course is to pass the exam. It doesn't contain the street smarts. That you get from mentorship and the brokerage you choose. Thinking you'll just do some deals as a brand new agent with a low-support 100% broker isn't going to pan out well. Keep in mind you'll also have work to do to generate leads - or you'll never have any business.
And @Patrick J. is incorrect on agents getting fees for you joining. It is far less simplistic, but also beneficial because we have the opportunity to build passive income over time just by interacting with other agents. Can't fault us for wanting passive income, isn't that the reason we are ALL here?
Would you go to a Ford dealer to ask questions about a Tesla? Of course not, you'd go to the source for accurate information. Be aware of comments on brokerages from folks that have never actually seen the model.
One size does not fit all. Go check out multiple brokers and decide for yourself. Best of luck!
@Charlie Cameron Thank you very much! Obviously some monthly fees are unavoidable, it's just the ongoing fee structure solely associated with being part of a brokerage that I wasn't a fan of
@Stetson Miller - yeah that's fair. Actually the part that really gets new agents is when they go to join an MLS. Most are totally unaware until after getting licensed. My total cost of doing business, before any paid lead generation, is $193/month. This includes broker fee (which includes all training, website/lead gen CRM, etc.), MLS monthly fees, annual REALTOR local/state/national membership, and supra ekey access. But one decent transaction in my neighborhood covers that cost for more than a year and a half.