Dear VanEd: I am just about to finish my real estate pre-licensing course online and wanted to know if you have any tips on how to decide where I am going to hang my real estate license? There are lots of companies out there! -- Glen M.
You are right, Glen, there are a ton of companies, many business models and an almost overwhelming number of ideas on what an Employing or Managing Broker should do for new real estate licensees. Don't even get us started on best practices! And while we have some considerations that you may want to take into account, remember that your license is a commodity and you should be interviewing the brokerage firm and managing broker as much as they are interviewing you!
Start by interviewing with at least three firms in your area, even if you think you already know where you are going to start your new career. This will give you ideas on commission rates, splits and current licensing fees as well as how the firm can help you get started. We suggest to new brokers that the following items should be considered when considering hanging their brand new real estate license at any brokerage. Employing/Managing brokers should be prepared to answer questions on these topics:
- The Company - Image, Location, Convenience, Environment, Size - is camaraderie important in your firm? In your local sales area?
- Franchise vs. non-franchise - and the fees that are associated
- What Training and Educational opportunities are provided
- Is membership in a REALTOR organization required/optional
- Office Support - Clerical, equipment such as telephone system, voice mail, copier, fax, scanner, office vs. personal computer, access to the Internet, Board membership(s), personal assistants, Off-Hours services - answering service, setting showings
- Broker Support - assistance in review & preparation of market analysis, listing presentation, drafting contracts, etc. vs. a competing/selling broker or buddy system? Team approach?
- Earnings/Commissions: Traditional splits, 100% concept and/or associated fees, desk fee and transaction costs, other creative programs
- What might the Agent's Personal Expenses be, including:
- Licensing Fees
- Insurance Requirements/discounts
- Association Memberships - Local, State, National Dues, MLS membership fees/books
- Monthly computer access fees
- Office supplies & equipment (Palm pilot, Day timer, organizer, computer, Top producer software, calculator, cell phone, etc.)
- Marketing Materials (Farming, Promotion)
- Business Stationary & Cards
- Signs, Riders, Lock-boxes, Key-Pads
- Training - Continuing Education, Graduate REALTOR® Institute programs, Seminars
- Personal Appearance and Image
- Other? _____
Don't exclude any question - remember, take charge of your interview and you will find the perfect fit when selecting a company to start your new career with.
Wondering what to do in the first few weeks? Go through the "Getting Started and Staying on Track" professional development course online. All VanEd pre-license students are given this course for free so that they can get off on the right foot! It's online in your new CE Account so you can see exactly what steps need to be taken in the first five weeks as a real estate professional.
Have a question you would like VanEd to answer? eMail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on one of our social media channels!