Picking the right real estate office is a significant decision for a new agent to support your success. Here is a summary of the top things to look for:
The Biggest mistake: Looking for the cheapest office. If you do your homework…you get what you pay for. Look for fruit on the tree, not the price tag. Finally, your success is up to you.
Hi, there. It’s Kevin Ward, the founder of YESMasters Real Estate Success Training, helping you to get more yes’s and more successes in your business and in your life. Today, I want to talk about how to choose the right real estate office, especially if you’re a new real estate agent. Choosing the right real estate office is a big deal and it does matter.
First, I want to address if you’re already with a real estate company and you’re thinking, “When should I switch companies or should I change companies?” Here’s what I want to tell you on that. If you are already with a real estate company and you’re not getting the results you want, you’re not having the success you want, switching real estate companies is almost never the answer. I’m very reluctant to ever recommend or suggest that you switch companies. I suggest you get a great coach. I suggest you figure out what you need to do to make your business grow. If you’re not liking it where you are, the grass is not always greener on the other side. First, wherever you are, bloom where you are planted.
Now, are there circumstances where you should switch companies? Yes. If you are in an office where the culture is extremely negative, where there is a lack of integrity, or an absolute lack of leadership, or negative leadership and so forth. Maybe there are times to switch companies but this video is not really on when it’s on when it’s time to switch companies. This is on how to choose the right real estate company if you’re not with a real estate company right now for new agents.
How do you make the decision of what is the right company? There’s five criteria, five things that I think you should look at and really in this order. I’m going to talk about the five most important things to look for in the right real estate company, and then I’m going to talk about the biggest mistake that new real estate agents make in choosing the right company.
Now, first, let me just address: what about becoming a broker and opening my own shop? Well, in most states, you can’t just become a licensed agent, and then get your broker’s license, and open your open shop. In most states, you’re going to be required to serve under a broker for a period of time. That actually happens to be extremely intelligent. This is a business. It is a profession and there’s a lot of stuff. Having a good broker to support you is very, very important.
Let’s talk about how do you choose the right real estate office for you in this order of what is most important to least important.
The most important thing to look for in a strong real estate office is leadership. That is bar none the most important thing. I’m looking for a company that has strong leadership. Strong leadership makes companies grow. It makes companies grow. If there is no leadership or absentee leadership and so forth, what will end up happening is you’ll have an office full of agents who don’t make any money, who don’t do deals.
For example, virtual offices. Now, I’m not against virtual offices. What I am against is an office that has no leadership. What I see in a lot of virtual offices, which means you sign up, you get a flat fee and they may have a space for you to work or maybe not, but there’s really not any true on site leadership. You end up with companies that are full of agents where the average agent production is one or two deals a year per person. If there’s not a lot of top producing agents in a company, my first question is why not?
Leadership. Somebody says, “Well, which company is the best company?” Well, here’s what I’m going to say. There’s a lot of great companies out there. There’s a lot of big brands. There’s the big traditional real estate companies that you’ve heard their names of and they’re big and well-known. A big brand office with a poor leader, that doesn’t have a great broker, sales manager, team leader, whatever it’s called in that company, if they got poor leadership, it is a bad place to be. Don’t be there.
I’m looking for an office that has great leadership. Now, how do you know if it’s got great leadership? Here’s how you know. Go to their office meetings, go to their sales meetings, go to their team meetings. When the leader, the broker or the sales manager, whoever is leading the company, whoever is running the show, when they’re up there talking, watch all the other agents. Watch the other agents. Are the other agents … You can tell if they respect the leader. You can tell if they believe the leader by their body language, by their attentiveness and so forth. If you go to a sales meeting and there’s a 150 agents on the roster and seven agents show up, probably a little bit of a reflection of either you don’t have great leadership or you don’t have the kind of chemistry in that office that causes people to produce at a high level. That’s something you always want to pay attention to. Number one is leadership.
#2. BROKER SUPPORT.
This is kind of related to that but a little bit separate. What do I mean by broker support? What I mean by broker support is I want a broker that, number one, knows how to help me do transactions, real estate contracts, real estate forms, listing agreements, all the addenda, all of the stuff that are the legal side of real estate requires a broker that knows what’s going on. You don’t want to have to be the one responsible that every time that the state, or your bureau, or department of real estate, or whoever it is that creates the contracts and agreements in your state, every time they update a form, you don’t want to have to be the one figuring that out and staying in compliance. You want a broker that takes care of all that, and will keep you up to date, and educate you, and update you on what’s happening in the business, what’s happening in the contracts, and forms, and so forth.
Here are some of the things that I’m looking for in a broker. One, how much experience do they have? Do they actively sell real estate or have they sold real estate? Now, here’s another thing. Do you want a competing broker or a noncompeting broker? What I mean by that is if the broker is a full-time agent, and they actually sell, and they run the company? What if you get a listing appointment with an expired listing and then you find out you’re actually going up against your broker because they also got that lead? Now, you got a competing broker, which means you may end up actually competing against them for deals, or do you want to be with a noncompeting broker which means that the person that’s going to be helping you, advising you in your business and so forth is somebody that is not ever going to be in the situation where there’s a conflict of interest? That will be a noncompeting broker. It also means that they’re full-time. Hopefully, I would look for full-time leadership and full-time broker support. Their full-time job is helping real estate agents be more successful.
Now, they may or may not be a great coach. They may or may not be a great mentor, but they can guide you on the contracts, on the forms on how to not make mistakes. Real estate has ways you can make mistakes. You’re dealing with typically people’s most valuable asset. If you make a mistake, it’s a big deal. I’m not looking for a company that has great E&O insurance. I’m looking for a company that can help me never need to use E&O insurance. E&O insurance stands for errors and omissions insurance. What it means, when you make mistake, you’re going to need insurance. Well, I want to be with a company where that I have leadership and broker support that helps me not make a mistake.
Other thing I’m looking for in broker support is in-person availability. Are they there when I need help? If I’m getting ready for a listing appointment and I ran into a question about the listing agreement or I have something that comes up, a situation with a piece of property. It’s like, well, if this property has an easement, how do I deal with that? Well, you need a broker. You need somebody that you can go to that can say, “Well, here’s how that works and here’s what you need to know. Here’s what you need to do.” They can answer your questions. Otherwise, now, you’re stuck. You’re going out and meeting with a seller, and you have no clue what an easement is or how to deal with that kind of deed restriction and so forth. As a new agent, you need somebody that has the answers to those questions.
The last thing about broker support that is really important, and that is if ever something goes wrong, does the broker have your back, or is the broker going to throw you under the bus? That matters. I’ve seen brokers that whenever an agent … They get a call from an upset client who’s mad at the agent whether the agent did anything or not. The seller or the client is mad. They call the broker. The broker says, “Hello.” The broker is going to do one or two things. Either the broker is going to listen and is going to protect you, is going to defend you. Even if you’re wrong, they’re going to have your back. Then they’ll come talk to you, and they’ll help correct what’s going on. They’ll help you get it right. They’ll help you fix it but they’re going to protect you. They’re going to stand beside you. They’re going to back you up. Now, they’re not going to say you’re right when you’re wrong. I’m just saying they’re not going to throw you under the bus.
The other reaction is the broker goes, “I’m so sorry that happened. I will take care of it. I will have a conversation with that agent. In fact, if you want me to, I will replace them. I’ll just take them off your transaction and I’ll help,” or whatever. They throw you under the bus. You want a broker that will support you, that’s got your back. That when you make a mistake, they’re going to be straight up. They’re going to correct you. It’s not like it’s no big deal, but they’re going to always have your back. Really, really important to be in a company where you have that kind of broker support.
#3) TRAINING AND MENTORSHIP.
The third most important thing that you’re looking for, as a new agent especially, is you want training and you want mentorship. You want a company that actually provides new agent training. Now, here is the best. The best new agent training is you want it to be, number one, in-person, which means there’s actually a trainer. It may be the broker. It may be the leader. Perfect. If it’s a larger company, they may have a new agent trainer, a new agent coach or a sales manager that that’s what they do. They work with new agents.
Number one, I want an in-person trainer. I want somebody there that’s going to actually be able to answer my questions, guide me, help me, educate me. That live interaction with somebody who’s in office is so important as opposed to them going like, “Hey, we have this huge online portal with all kinds of educational stuff. It’s like a whole university.” Well, the problem is if I have one question I need help with right now, who can I call that’s going to be able to answer that question? I want in-person training.
Number two, the best is to have a company that has ongoing new agent training. That means whenever you join, they’re ready for you. They have something going on all the time to help new agents. Not like, “Well, we do that every two months or we do that every three months. You came in at the wrong time. You’re going to have to wait until this.” Be aware of promises that don’t get fulfilled. How do I know if I have broker support? How do I know if I get good training, ongoing training? Ask to visit it before you join.
Now, understand choosing the right real estate office is important, so you got to be willing to do your homework and take some time to do this. Go to a new agent training. If they tell they got great new agent training, ask to attend some of it. They’ll let you attend it for free. If they want great agents, they’re going to make sure that you get all the information you need to be able to make a great decision. When you’re there, talk to the agent and ask them what they think. Ask them about their experience and so forth. Really, really important to make sure you choose the right office because choosing the wrong office is a bad way to go.
What I’m looking for in the right office is success. Here it is. Are there successful agents in that company? An office that’s full of top producing agents means, one, you’re going to be in an environment of success. If there is a company, an office full of successful agent, it also tells you there is a reason that they are there, and there is a reason that they stay. I’m looking at a company and it’s like, wow, it sounds awesome. It’s great but they’ve only got one agent in their office that’s really in the top 100 in the board. I want to ask. Ask questions. How many agents are doing over … Find out what’s going on in your market.
I would ask how many agents do you have doing over 50 transactions a year, making over 200 or 500,000, depending on your price point. I want to find out how many of your agents are in the top 100 in the entire board or in the top 20 in the entire board. I’m looking for a company that … If it’s a big franchise, how many of them are earning the top level awards in that franchise? I’m looking for success. If there’s success, one, I get an environment of success. Two, you know that it is an office that fosters successful agents, and there’s a reason successful agents stay with a company.
If you’re talking to an office and there’s no big, productive, high-dollar agents there, don’t go like, “Well, I don’t want to go into an office that’s full of these high producing people. I want to go into an office that’s more boutique, or special, or whatever.” Why would you do that? Why would you put yourself in an environment of failures? Unless that’s what you want. The power of association is so powerful. I want to put myself in a company where I am surrounded by people that are having the level of success I want.
Now, if you’re looking for small success and you’re just looking for … Well, I just want to do a few deals. I’m not really interested in that, and the big producers and all that kind … If you’re looking for mediocrity, then this is probably not the video for you to be watching. I’m certainly not a coach you’d ever want to work with because I’m not really interested in working with people who are interested in mediocrity. I think mediocrity is the enemy in the real estate industry because it fills our industry with incompetence. That makes everyone’s job harder.
Look for an office that is full of successful agents. There’s a reason they’re successful, and there’s a reason they’re in that company.
#5) MARKET SHARE AND BRAND NAME.
Now, the fifth and least important of all the stuff in looking for is … It does matter. This is a big benefit. I’m looking for market share and I’m looking for name. Market share and name, name recognition, brand recognition.
First, market share. Look, I want an office that does a lot of business and they have a market share. Look for the number one, two and three offices in your market. Who sells more houses than anyone else? The benefit of that is that when you start as a brand new agent, you don’t have any market share. You don’t have any track record. Being with a company that says, “Our office is the number one office in the market. We sell more houses. We take more listings. We sell more houses,” whatever. If you’re able to have a track record with a company that has a powerful market share, it’s just an advantage, especially when you’re a brand new agent.
Name recognition, again, is also a benefit because you don’t have any recognition. You don’t have a brand and so forth. I’m not a big fan of branding. If you have a reputable brand, if you’re with a reputable company that is a well-known brand, there is some benefit of having the positive name recognition. Now, occasionally it can also be a negative but, for the most part, if it’s an office with a great leadership, good broker support, good training, full of successful agents, then the name in that community, in that market, the name recognition is going to be an asset for you.
Now, let’s talk about the biggest mistake that new real estate agents make or the biggest mistake you can make in choosing a company and that is this. Deciding that you’re going to go cheap. Can you read that? Deciding to go cheap. Do not make a decision on a real estate company based on who has the cheapest splits or who has the cheapest deal. I can go to this one company and they’re going to give it … All I have to do is I pay them … I give them a quarter, 25 cents a month, and then I have to give them a buck 50 from every transaction or some ridiculously low number.
I’m being facetious but my point is that don’t look for the cheapest price tag. What you’re looking for is fruit on the tree, not the price tag. There is a reason. I want you to really pay attention to this. There is a reason that most of the largest top producers in North America, I’m talking about the top 100 agents, the biggest, most successful teams that make the most money, the real estate agents that make the most money, almost every single one of them are with an office that have all of this. Very, very few of them are with the cheap offices. They’re with offices where there’s splits, where there … If it’s a fee-based office, they tend to be larger fees like in the thousand, or 1,500, or $2,000 a month. Why? They get better leadership, better broker support, better training, more success around them. They have market share and they have name recognition.
Even the top agents, once they get up, they’re going like, “Well, now that I know what I’m doing, I don’t need all this stuff so I’m going to go off on my own.” I will tell you this. The biggest mistake I made in my real estate career … I’m going to call it the first major mistake I made in my real estate career was once I started selling a lot of houses, I switched companies to an office that gave me a better deal. I left the company I started with that had great leadership, great broker support, great training, great success, great market share and a great name. I left that and went to another company that still had some of that but it was a cheaper deal. I got to keep more of my money and I had less success. I made less money. Why? A lot of the things that made my job easy and that kept me focused and kept me on track disappeared when I switched companies.
The biggest lesson that I learned was that the grass was not greener on the other side. That this whole idea the grass is always greener on the other side maybe, maybe not. If you’re switching companies because you’re looking for a better deal, what I discovered is, and I’ve done this, not only in my own experience, but I’ve seen it with hundreds of agents, many, many agents that I’ve worked with and observed, and that is very rarely does switching companies provide for you the answer that you’re looking for. The key is right now because you’re looking for an office is do your homework. Take your time. Look for these five things. Avoid the big mistake and then make a commitment and go all in. Realize that ultimately your success more than anything else is up to you. If you join a great company and you’re willing to go in with the right work ethic, with the right attitude, and you’re coachable, and teachable, and you’re willing to do the work, you will win and you could always expect yes.