Once an aspiring agent completed the required real estate education and passes the exam, it’s time to think about the future. While agents are independent contractors, they must work on behalf of a licensed real estate broker. Is an agent getting a real estate license soon? Learn how to choose the right agency for a successful future.
Examine the Environment
An agent needs to feel comfortable to be productive. Some agents want a hip atmosphere while others prefer a casual or professional one. Visit local brokerages to determine the corporate culture. Consider the seating arrangement, location, and overall vibe. Is the office attractive and welcoming or off-putting? From the receptionist’s greeting to the broker’s philosophy, make sure the environment feels right.
View the Online Presence
Every broker has an online presence. Check out the company website, blog, and social media accounts to see if they are modern, fresh, and optimized. Look for comments and other signs of interactive behavior between the brokerage and prospective clients. And read online reviews to determine what people think of the brokerage before deciding to work there. Search for reviews at leading sites consumers read before taking action, such as Google and Yelp.
Consider Brand Reputation
Working for a brokerage with a recognized brand makes it easier for new agents to get noticed. A respected brand means people will trust the agency when they are ready to buy, sell, or rent properties. Well-established agencies have a memorable name, eye-catching logo, and a slogan that defines the mission of the business. Choose a brand that resonates with local buyers and sellers, so they instantly appreciate an agent who works for the company.
Boutique Agency vs. Franchise
Agents may think a boutique agency is smaller and offers more individualized attention to new agents. While boutique agencies have unique benefits, they also quite limited. Franchise agencies provide a myriad of benefits to keep agents connected and help them reach out to more clients. For example, multiple agency locations mean more leads. And if the sites are across the region or country, there are opportunities for agents to relocate to another city or state seamlessly. Plus, franchise agencies have access to exclusive savings on technology and other essential tools to jump-start an agent’s career.
New agents are sure to have a learning curve as they apply classroom knowledge in the field. With so much to learn and do, it helps to work for a brokerage with support staff. Find out if the agency provides a receptionist and secretary to take care of answering phones, filing, and routine paperwork. If not, the agent will be responsible for these tasks as well as performing their jobs or pay to hire a secretary.
Agent Training Opportunities
The best agencies provide ongoing training opportunities for agents to broaden their horizons and grow their careers. Agents are required to fulfill a certain number of continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. Beyond this requirement, brokers should offer training to ensure agents understand how to use the latest technologies and marketing strategies. Advanced training may be provided in-person, online, or on-the-job.
Accessing Tools of the Trade
The best brokers have access to all the tools of the trade, including the MLS, software applications, and professional photography. Agents should inquire about the tools provided by the broker to help them establish and maintain a thriving career. For example, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agents have access to a full range of marketing materials, including sleek photos and more.
Commission Splits and Desk Fees
The bottom line is what matters to most agents. They want to make money, and that means working for a broker that offers the best possible commission splits. Shop around to find out what the local brokers offer their agents. Find out if agents are required to pay desk fees and other expenses or if they broker cover them. A large commission split might add up to less than expected when these costs are deducted. Do the math to find the right agency.
Awards and Professional Memberships
While awards are not the only indicator, they show if a broker excels in a particular area. Agents working for an award-winning agency are likely to generate more leads. People know they can trust an agency that wins awards for its excellent performance. Consider if the broker is a member of well-known professional organizations, such as the NAR.
Lead Generation Protocols
Leads are a lifeline for agents to earn an income. Agents are expected to generate their own leads by tapping into their personal and professional network of contacts. Smart marketing, attending community events, and referrals are other ways to get more leads. Some agencies also provide leads to their agents, which sweetens the deal for newbies. Inquire about the lead generation protocols to ensure there will be opportunities to connect with more potential clients. Have a frank discussion about commissions and leads to get aligned with the right broker. Completing the necessary real estate education and getting a real estate license is just the first step to success. Choosing the right agency can make or break an agent’s career. Craft a compelling resume, visit different brokers in the area and choose the one that helps agents soar to their successful destinies.