Zero experience in RE just got my license, KW or EXP?

21 Replies

So I Zero experience in the RE field I’m in Tampa Fl. and I’m debating on joining either Keller Williams or EXP. I would really appreciate it if anyone can give me some feedback on these companies. Thank you in advance!

I have zero experience with any of the larger brokerages as I went the opposite direction and started my own.  That said, I think there is tremendous value in putting in time at a larger company.  While a lot of people would focus on money and the split I would focus more on the process, systems and training.  

Doesn't matter if you are paying out X% or Y% per deal when you are starting.  Yes, I get it, it does make a difference but only in the short term.  In the long run as you gain experience what will more than likely separate you and determine your success (besides your own ability/effort) is the training.  Leaning how to do things from people who have done it for decades.  Along the way you will find ways that work better for you.  Kind of like making a recipe.  I hear a lot of people say make it according to the recipe the first time, then modify it next.  

This applies to people too.  Who are you working with at each?  Meet with them, talk to them, ask them about mentoring you, how you will learn.  Do you get along with them or do they not have time for a newbie?  

If this is your full time gig you eventually will have your own team.  You want to learn how others manage their teams so you can take what you like from each one and then apply it to your own along with your own twist.  

My advice, make it about the people, the systems, the training, the process to help you learn and grow and if you do the money will follow.  

In a nutshell:

KW - more in-person and required training so good for new agents who can go full-time, split is fake (it's not 70-30, it's 54-46 because they take 6 off the top and then 10 for mentor for 7 transactions) but experience level inside of brokerage offices is high so chances to do Open Houses might be higher in some markets. I think only one personal deal free a year.

eXp - tons of training all online, but drawback for high I personalities who want office culture, straight 80-20 split (70-30 with mentor for 3 transactions), more hands-off culture. Three personal deals a year with lowered numbers even after so better for investors who are licensed.

Both have downline options and eXp has stock options.

I've worked for both. I currently work for eXp, but am not an evangelist of either model.

EXP seems to be the cheaper KW. They offer better slightly better splits, for some reason that does not appeal to me. While it is true that you pay for a mentor (I think in my market center it's only 5% not 10%) I would not call that fake, also you are getting some very close hand holding in return.

I don't care that much about splits, because I cap after 8 weeks and then it's 100% for me. The technology plattform is amazing and well worth the money alone. Not to mention training.

Here is what I would say, trust your gut, interview with both. A lot comes down to how things are done on a local level. If the local market center sucks where you are then go the other way!

I see massive pressure on stand alone small brokers, they don't have the horsepower to keep up. We have a local brokerage with 900 people that is in steady decline, shares go all to KW, they don't have tech budget of a 180,000 agent company. 

I think those are the only two to choose from (in my opinion).  I tend to prefer KW because I like the mindset and culture.  I'm a big fan of the vision and direction for where KW is going and its privately owned vs public.  I also believe, although I haven't investigated this in detail, the technology offering you get for KW will save you a lot of costs in the long run.

Ill Suggest First define the type of niche you want to specialize and check if it really align with you personal goals. THen Fine a BROKER (NOT a brokerage) that helps you accomplish those goals. IF it is with KW cool and if is with EXP also cool, Just make sure it aligns with your goals and define specialty..

I used to be at EXP and LOVED it and still Love it is Great in all aspects in my opinion but had to be honest with myself and make the tough call and switched to a smaller local brokerage..   Reasons: it was creating a lot of conflicts of interest in some acquisitions I was making for myself and for another company I was getting deals and second I could not find anybody that specializes on my niche ( not saying they aren't, but I just could not find any in my proximity) . 

My broker Is one of the top buyers in the local area. Is more involved  and hands on  with investments , listing, rental,  flipping, wholesale, Management, section 8 .   So the type Of knowledge im getting here  tops any short term benefits. and PLUS Have great freedom to take on deal directly  for myself , flip them or do whatever.. So this really align with what I want to create myself.  and just the fact of been surrounded by the type of people I aspire to be..   

@Damon Silva it all come down to you. I am former KW agent I switched to EXP.  Both companies can get you to where you want to go.  From a numbers stand point EXP is far better for agents, from an education stand point EXP in my opinion is far superior as well.  You will get your mentor at both but the fact of the matter is information is free, how to be  realtor is no longer an office secret.  You can find a thousand different ways to be successful in this business over YouTube alone. For me it comes down to a math equation and empowering agents to believe in them selves.  If you want it bad enough you will succeed no matter where you go. You make your business, not your broker or a brand name.  

Honestly, like a seller choosing an agent, it comes down to specific offices and people, not the franchise.  Most of my clients know who I work for after they hired me.  


It's going to be the people you work with daily that drive you to succeed or allow you to fail.   That's tempered by the fact that YOU have to be willing to work, but it is very true that the people you surround yourself with determine who you become.  Is the office full of 20 million dollar producers, or do they celebrate a 2 million dollar year?  


The initial split is less important than who you work with and how much experience you can get in a year.  Knowing what I know now, I would have joined a high producing team that gave me a 30% split but gave me the tools to sell 10 million in my first year over keeping a great split but learning everything on my own and selling 3 houses.  My partner has had her license for 6 months and has learned more and done more production in that time than most agents do in their first 3 years.  

And as far as splits, they do vary.  My OP (office owner) dropped our split to 80/20 (really 74/26 after franchise fees) and the "cap" is still the same.  I'm not sure if that's just because she owns the South Florida Region and 3 offices or if every broker in the company is allowed to.  I think they are allowed to do what they want as long as the "company dollar" comes in the same.  Our NW Tampa office has 12 agents and one husband/wife team that have personally made over 6 figures in Q1.  


Ask the people you talk to about what their top performers look like and how many there are.  That matters more than the "training" and the "culture."  The culture you want to be in is a high performing culture and the training you want is hands-on working with clients.  

Good Luck!

Originally posted by @Marcus Auerbach :

EXP seems to be the cheaper KW. They offer better slightly better splits, for some reason that does not appeal to me. While it is true that you pay for a mentor (I think in my market center it's only 5% not 10%) I would not call that fake, also you are getting some very close hand holding in return.

I don't care that much about splits, because I cap after 8 weeks and then it's 100% for me. The technology plattform is amazing and well worth the money alone. Not to mention training.

Here is what I would say, trust your gut, interview with both. A lot comes down to how things are done on a local level. If the local market center sucks where you are then go the other way!

I see massive pressure on stand alone small brokers, they don't have the horsepower to keep up. We have a local brokerage with 900 people that is in steady decline, shares go all to KW, they don't have tech budget of a 180,000 agent company.

What I like about what I call big box Brokerages for starting agents and most of you guys / gals responding are veterans.  From what I have seen over the decades is those starting out if they get on a team that will really jump start them  does not matter KW EXP Remax C 21 etc.. I have seen many agents start as team members grow their business but as much as anything they get paid to learn as your team leader is driving in the business and delegating to you the team member.  There are all sorts of discount brokerages out there and for experienced veterans those can be a good choice..  Like my wife ( who does 100% of her business by referral) no longer needs brand recognition to be successful   She has worked / and managed C 21 offices  top producer at remax etc.. 

Now she is at a local company called MORE real estate . and pays 130.00 a month period 100% commission . This brokerage makes money when you use other tools they have ( which she does not need).. More important to her is her VERY good transaction coordinator who is self employed does not work for any brokerage. More realty provides transaction coordination but you pay for it.. Lori pays 400.00 a file and its worth every cent. I believe though she has to pay her own MLS dues and NAR dues.. on top of the 130.00 a month but EO is included. so that is one way to go if you have a huge warm market and think you can hit the ground running .. IF not I think team approach for someone like the OP is appropriate for sure.

ON a side note as one who has owned a few brokerages over the years NOT franchise one but mom and pop.. Trying to recruit top agents from bigger companies that charge far more  IS VERY difficult.. top producing agents dont care that your going to save them 20k a year in fee's when they are making 500k  or more a year its just not worth the hassle.. So you will see top agents stay with their brokerages for years on end.. who wants to change all your signs all your marketing  let all your clients know you have changed etc etc.. 

 


@Jay Hinrichs I don't think there is much value in the brokerage brand, peole know you by your name, not by your brokerage. I thought about getting my brokers license, but my brokerage gives me a package "done for you" from compliance to EM to training, to weekly market updates, both formal and informal, I am plugged in, can focus on my biz. Well worth the money. I also have hired a full time transaction coordinator who makes a base salary and a bonus on every closing - his job is to make me obsolete for most of the time after AO - best thing I ever did! We are on track to sell almost 100 homes this year! 

Originally posted by @Marcus Auerbach :

@Jay Hinrichs I don't think there is much value in the brokerage brand, peole know you by your name, not by your brokerage. I thought about getting my brokers license, but my brokerage gives me a package "done for you" from compliance to EM to training, to weekly market updates, both formal and informal, I am plugged in, can focus on my biz. Well worth the money. I also have hired a full time transaction coordinator who makes a base salary and a bonus on every closing - his job is to make me obsolete for most of the time after AO - best thing I ever did! We are on track to sell almost 100 homes this year!

I suspect your brokerage is the same you cannot get your check unless your paper work is 100% compliant..  When I had my brokerages you should have seen the whining over that one.. Agents trying to chase after documents disclosures etc after the fact..  With My wifes transaction Coordinator her earnings are ready day after they hit the brokers account.   Thats my job  I go pick up her checks make photos of them take them to the bank deposit them. Sometimes I forget and the checks sit there for a week  :)  which is rare as most agents are on it.. She can have them ACH but I like to make photo copies so its clear what check went with what closing.

Its like I said were a lot of folks focus on cost to the top producer cost of that the broker charges is far down the list, they choose brokers for the reasons you described then when in trenched in a company its just too hard and cumbersome to make the move.  I know my wife moved a few years ago from one broker as she did not care for management and we still have about 75 signs on the side yard.. Open house signs and for sale signs etc. I finally convinced her when we are listing one of our subdivisions she does not need a sign on each house.  WE just do a big one at the entrance with a map on it and then small placards with lot number.

Of course Hangman ( our sign post guys) have a good selection of her signs for when she does list others properties.

 

Originally posted by @Marcus Auerbach :

@Jay Hinrichs I don't think there is much value in the brokerage brand, peole know you by your name, not by your brokerage. I thought about getting my brokers license, but my brokerage gives me a package "done for you" from compliance to EM to training, to weekly market updates, both formal and informal, I am plugged in, can focus on my biz. Well worth the money. I also have hired a full time transaction coordinator who makes a base salary and a bonus on every closing - his job is to make me obsolete for most of the time after AO - best thing I ever did! We are on track to sell almost 100 homes this year! 

PS I think transaction coordinating is an excellent way for those who want to break into the business and need to actually earn a living day one.  I suspect my wifes transaction coordinator who is an independent contractor.  Easily makes over a 100k a year and never leaves her house.   All you need is a great computer learn some basic real estate contract rules and regs and Answer the phone .. have a great scanner know how to use drop box etc. 

 

@Damon Silva You already from both sides and I like the fact that you already narrow down your search to only EXP and KW.

Interview both EXP and KW and decide based on your personality and goals.

@Jay Hinrichs - right on, I never looked at it this way, but you are right, especially for someone young who wants to get into the biz, it's hard to get clients in your early 20s. I came across a TC recently who does this as a freelancer, and represents multiple agents from different brokerages. We have a number of TC's at KW who work for solo agents and are W2 by the brokerage, charge a flat fee per transaction. Absolute no brainer for an agent IMO. And they handle 30-40 deals at any given time. That's good money! My Admin does a bit more than TC, he also goes to photo shoots and inspections, does the marketing for my listings. He is very deatil orientated and really likes his job, making sure everything is buttoned up gives him great satisfaction. Great way to get started for sure!

Originally posted by @Marcus Auerbach :

@Jay Hinrichs - right on, I never looked at it this way, but you are right, especially for someone young who wants to get into the biz, it's hard to get clients in your early 20s. I came across a TC recently who does this as a freelancer, and represents multiple agents from different brokerages. We have a number of TC's at KW who work for solo agents and are W2 by the brokerage, charge a flat fee per transaction. Absolute no brainer for an agent IMO. And they handle 30-40 deals at any given time. That's good money! My Admin does a bit more than TC, he also goes to photo shoots and inspections, does the marketing for my listings. He is very deatil orientated and really likes his job, making sure everything is buttoned up gives him great satisfaction. Great way to get started for sure!

I think of all these folks that pop on BP  with the line    "  I want to wholesale so I can earn enough money to buy rentals"

they take a course blow thousands have no idea how hard wholesaling really is especially these days. 

I just See Transaction Coordinator ( which is frankly not well known out in the world)  and you cant sell guru class's about it. 

But what better way to come into the business.. You learn how transactions go together you become an expert at contracts. You get to immerse yourself in the top producers business  ..  meet their peer groups and all the while getting paid.. And if your good at it and create a little spark and build up a portfolio of agents its easily a 6 figure income ..  My wife has NEVER personally meet her TC.. But would never do deals without her.. in My Wifes market were her average commissions are 10 to 15k per side and she double sides quite a few yearly  400.00 per transaction is really cost effective and the brokerage fee that she has to pay again is less than 5k  a year so for the established agent its great way to go.. For someone wanting to bust in if they can get on a top producer team either as an agent or a TC.. this is a nice way to enter the business without going broke and taking all the risks of the HEY i want to wholesale group out there.

 

Originally posted by @Patrick Hancock :

@Wale Lawal this is perhaps the single greatest mistake new agents make. Asking for brokerage recommendations. Instead of looking for a brokerage look for a mentor regardless of what brokerage it is.

 Yes mentorship is great and asking for recommendation is also not a bad idea or mistake.

I started with KW and loved the culture, the training was great and only a few minor issues over all. I moved to EXP because I love Tech, saw them on the cutting edge there, they have better splits, lower caps, and the same great culture. It is easier to get training online and the community is HUGE. Which can be a downside if you want someone to hold your hand you'll need to find a mentor or someone to do it. You can get lost if you are not an A type go get it done personality. EXP was my choice and I'm glad I made the switch.