Investors wanting to get their RE license should read...

69 Replies

I've been licensed for about a year now and had been working under a broker for about 8 months.

I just did my 5th yellow letter campaign in my area and an agent received one and they called and complained to their area president who in tern called my broker. Even though though I broke no rules, the threat and unwanted attention alone was enough for my broker to drop me. I followed his advice about how to disclose and how to stay compliant with my mailings, yet some uptight ignorant agent got all worked up for nothing and has caused me problems.

So once licensed, find a broker that's fully on board with what you do and keep them well informed so they can fight for you in case this happens too. 

Good luck to everyone.

What was the actual complaint they were bringing up?

I am a agent in California and I use to sell my own deals.One time I had a tight deal and offered a flat fee to the selling agent One day I get a call from an agent complaining that I am lowering commissions for other agents .I told the agent she has the option to not sell this home but there are plenty of agents who don't mind a $4000 fee. I never heard from my broker or this agent again

@Dan Mackin, no idea, can't get any info from my broker anymore. I'm guessing it's a baseless claim of me trying to take a listing or something. 

@Steven Picker, sounds fair to me. When you say you never heard from your broker after that, does that mean he dropped you or stopped bothering you?

Welcome to BP.

Did you use the famous tag line "this letter / flyer is NOT for the purpose soliciting the properties that are already listed. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, kindly disregards it".

Hope it helps.

Hi James,
I used a variation of that, yes.
Allen

Originally posted by @James Syed:

Welcome to BP.

Did you use the famous tag line "this letter / flyer is NOT for the purpose soliciting the properties that are already listed. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, kindly disregards it".

Hope it helps.

@Allen Maris

Well,

That is just rude of that managing broker to drop you.

Thanks for the post. I learned something new today.

Thanks, James. That was my intent, hopefully prevent the same thing from happening to someone else. Time to find a different broker, I guess.

Originally posted by @James Syed:

@Allen Maris

Well,

That is just rude of that managing broker to drop you.

Thanks for the post. I learned something new today.

The obvious solution is to get your broker's license.  You will of course have to defend your own actions, but this shouldn't be a problem for someone that has been licensed for an incredible 8 months.

David, my intent when mentioning my license history wasn't to somehow say I know all since I have such vast experience. It was purely for background.

Originally posted by @David C.

The obvious solution is to get your broker's license.  You will of course have to defend your own actions, but this shouldn't be a problem for someone that has been licensed for an incredible 8 months.

Sorry I wasn't clear.  To be clear, I was being sarcastic. 8 mo experience is nothing.  Unless there is more to your experience than your original post, you are a beginner.  Why exactly should your broker keep you?  Are you paying him?  If so how much?  If so, I doubt it's enough to put up with the problems beginners bring.

I see you are in CA.  In addition to education and tests, the broker's license requires a minimum of 2 years full time experience ... hmmmm, I wonder why, well, I'll tell you, it's because you don't know what your are doing for at least that period of time and can get yourself in trouble, maybe longer, maybe never.

As a broker myself, with no agents at this time, I understand the difficulties.  I once for a short period had two agents working for me, nothing but problems, telephone calls from other brokers telling me to get my agents under control because they were saying things that were just wrong.  These agents were not bringing me any income so I had to ask myself, why am I putting up with this, well, there was no good answer, I sent them the required release papers without explanation.  It makes absolutely no sense for me, or any other broker to put up with this.

As a hml, I once had a borrower flipper that told me how he as a broker had his own office with bunches of agents.  He finally left it all, totally without regret.  He told me how they stole from him, they acted like a bunch of children, everybody was doing something to everybody else ... absolutely not worth the brain damage.

I mentored my sister from knowing nothing about re to being a successful broker working for herself, done well over 50 deals at this point, successful by any standard.  It took me well over a year to bring here to that point and we still collaborate on deals to this day.  Point is, this is a long haul, you don't get a salesperson license, jump in and become a success, it takes a lot of time and a lot of experience.  Being a successful investor takes just as long as being a successful agent.

Be happy for the experience and push on, don't be a crybaby.

You may not deserve my rant @Allen Maris , but that's how your original post struck me.

@David C. I've been an investor a lot longer than agent and my point was to maybe help out any investors thinking of getting their license that it's not just that simple and something to watch out for.  I'm not mad at my broker, I don't blame him at all. I would have done the same thing if anyone complained about my agent, regardless if it was unfounded or not. 

I couldn't tell from your response, which made you come across as an ***, by the way, if you were being sarcastic or not. And since your profile is hidden, I wasn't able to look to see how much experience you actually have.

@Allen Maris

Thank you for the insight! Although I am not an agent,it's helpful to know that I would need to be careful and detailed on how I go about building my business. I would hate to break any rules or upset someone due to my lack of experience.

You said that your broker was aware of your yellow letter campaign so I wonder why he reacted so strongly. If you don't mind my asking, was this the first time there had been a complaint? Had you done very many deals with that broker?

Perhaps your old broker was as bitter as David C in which case you are probably better off seeking someone else. Just my opinion. And I still believe everything happens for a reason so hopefully you have learned something that will make you better or more determined. Wish you luck!

@Allen Maris I took your post as a heads-up, agent beware type of posting. Not sure what prompted the scolding, but either way you are a better man because it. 

I think many BP'ers appreciate you sharing your less-than-fortunate experience, because it is in our mistakes where we learn the most. 

Sounds like @David C. and your old broker are of the same mindset, eh.  Maybe it's all brokers.  No wonder I don't use any of ya.

@Jeanie H. - He was called by the president of a neighboring realtor region. Since I'm pretty confident I didn't break any rules, I'm going to guess he just didn't want any negative associations. I had only done 1 deal with him, so maybe that's the other issue, I wasn't a big money maker for him so I wasn't worth the hassle to him. Thanks for the positive thoughts! I'm not really sure being licensed has helped me in anyway yet, so time will tell.

@Paul S. - Thanks for the comment, I appreciate that. 

@Steve Vaughan - My sister is an agent and she warned me going in that it's a bit of high school mentality with a lot of agents/brokers. I have a few friends that are brokers (just not in my area) and there are some great ones on here, so of course I wouldn't generalize and say ALL agents and brokers are that way. 

In my opinion, being licensed and seeing how things are going with Zillow and other internet services, the days of realtors are changing. Who knows if we'll even have them in 10 years.

@Allen Maris - thanks for pointing that out.  All brokers isn't what I meant at all.  I know some very good ones as well!  I can't see quality brokers like Mark Ferguson or Joe Evangelisti pulling this scared schoolyard stunt, either.   Heat of the moment retaliation from the unwarranted scolding you received. Apologies to the quality brokers out there. Cheers!

@Allen Maris

 If your only using RE to foster your own investing interest you should be able to find a pay to play monthly broker.. something like 200 a month plus a transaction fee.. those guys will be far less sympathetic to back biting from agents.

I grew up in the industry... my dad had multiple brokerages and I have had 3 myself.

unless you get to 300 to 500 agents as a broker there is not a lot of money in it and any agent that cause issues if they are not a top producer and bringing you income they are let go without cause or loss of sleep.. So with 1 transaction I can see where this broker probably just did not want to have the exposure that direct mail can cause.. IE did he have a fiduciary did he steal my listing... did he take unconscionable  advantage of a seller. What said agent acting as an agent and a undisclosed principal.. all those types of issue that can get a broker into hot water.

So your probably right your broker given your experience  lack of generating revenue for the firm did not like the Risk = reward component of your hanging your license with him.

Originally posted by @Allen Maris :

@David C. I've been an investor a lot longer than agent and my point was to maybe help out any investors thinking of getting their license that it's not just that simple and something to watch out for.  I'm not mad at my broker, I don't blame him at all. I would have done the same thing if anyone complained about my agent, regardless if it was unfounded or not. 

I couldn't tell from your response, which made you come across as an ***, by the way, if you were being sarcastic or not. And since your profile is hidden, I wasn't able to look to see how much experience you actually have.

Indeed it's not simple.  I'm confused when people say that being an agent solves wholesaling problems and/or doesn't conflict with your own deals. I work with two agents who formed their own agency after their broker couldn't handle what he perceived as conflicts.  They weren't marketing, but were buying at trustee's sale with investor money and partnering and managing the rehabs. I get why the broker dropped them.  Now that one of them is a supervising broker, they won't take anyone like them.  They won't take me, and they love me.  :)

Regardless of your disclosure, what's your plan when the seller can't/won't sell for a price that works for you, but likes and trusts you so they want you to list it?  Are you going to turn them down?  Do a referral?  This is why the broker dropped you.  There is no clear line about how to keep listing solicitations and your own discount deals separate. It IS a conflict. It's hard to disclose away your responsibility to protect sellers and get them the best price possible. IMO it's easy to understand why brokers do not need agents who are working their own deals.  You'd need to find a broker who sits very loose on this, and is likely also an active investor.

K. marie P.

  there are E and O issues as well depends on your policy... many of the bigger firms definitely frown on too much personal buying and selling.. Right now my wife and I are with a little boutique firm here in Lake Oswego called Soldera.. and the owners are all like minded and all do investment's and develop and build.. so there is no conflict with them and the managing broker is an attorney as well so she keeps us well grounded...Of course they won't let me deal with the public at all !!!

@David C.

A great broker is going to empower you with training and knowledge so that you can grow your business.

If you have bad agents maybe your a bad broker....Food for thought

I think for investors that are going to get their license, they should consider working at least part time for a well branded brokerage that has good training. In addition to being legally compliant, the NAR and your local associations will have certain rules that need to be followed that go above and beyond the law. Also you will be able to learn what is customary in your region. Maybe what you did was legal, but you broke an NAR or local association rule...or perhaps even did something that is bad form. I see bad form happen all the time.

A simple example of this is that in the DC metro area it is customary to leave a business card at every showing.  It is bad form not to leave one, and not leaving one could get a complaint to your broker.  However even beyond that there is one county in Maryland in the area where it is actually against the law to leave your business card at a showing. This is why the training of a large brokerage can be invaluable even if you want to just use your license to invest.

Originally posted by @Allen Maris :

@David C. I've been an investor a lot longer than agent and my point was to maybe help out any investors thinking of getting their license that it's not just that simple and something to watch out for.  I'm not mad at my broker, I don't blame him at all. I would have done the same thing if anyone complained about my agent, regardless if it was unfounded or not. 

I couldn't tell from your response, which made you come across as an ***, by the way, if you were being sarcastic or not. And since your profile is hidden, I wasn't able to look to see how much experience you actually have.

 Well, I guess my last statement applies, you didn't deserve the rant.  That's the problem with this online stuff, you can't always tell what people are thinking.

A possible solution, as Jay pointed out, you can always get a rent-a-broker, they cost but will put up with a lot more.

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

A simple example of this is that in the DC metro area it is customary to leave a business card at every showing.  It is bad form not to leave one, and not leaving one could get a complaint to your broker.  However even beyond that there is one county in Maryland in the area where it is actually against the law to leave your business card at a showing. This is why the training of a large brokerage can be invaluable even if you want to just use your license to invest.

 Being as though I am within the DC metropolitan area and am in the prelicensing course now, this information is very valuable.

@Russell Brazil

  in our market with the new lock box's you see less and less brokers leaving cards most do.. but I rarely carry cards... so I dont' but the lock box knows who's key opened it.

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