Once you have your real estate agent’s license, it’s time to interview brokers. Since real estate agents in most states are required to work under licensed real estate brokers, making this choice is a key decision in beginning your new business. There may be differences in the market share of your local brokers, the commission split they will negotiate with you, and the types of business and educational support they have available.
[Get 10% off on real estate prelicensing courses.]
LearningAdvisor recently sat down with Century 21 REALTOR® Alison Brown to find out what questions a new real estate agent should ask a broker during the interview process. Here are Brown’s top 7 interview questions along with her tips for sorting out their answers:
- What is your market share?
More than 70% is a good indicator that you are at a top office.
- How many agents work out of this office?
Camaraderie with other agents is a plus. You will be expected to bring in your own clients and listings, but there is a lot to learn from those around you.
- How many top agents do you have?
Top agents generally sell more than 15 homes in a year. Pay attention to them in sales meetings to learn the most.
- What kind of ongoing education do you offer your agents?
Each state has rules about how many hours of certified continuing education real estate agents need to complete each year. Does the office offer this education to its agents? Who pays for it? Are educational opportunities available beyond what is required?
[Get more tips from the experts by downloading a free real estate ebook.]
- What business necessities are you willing to pay for?
Real estate agents are responsible for all aspects of running their own business, but brokers can help out by providing them with items like business cards and signs as well as office and tech support.
- What is your commission split schedule?
Each company will have its own guidelines governing the way commission is split between agents and brokers. New agents typically receive a smaller split because they require more help from their broker. Your commission split should become greater as you sell more homes and become more independent. There is room to negotiate here, however. Point out to the broker any reasons why you might be more valuable than the typical new agent—maybe you have a large contact list from a previous job to draw on, or you have a successful track record in another sales position.
- How accessible is management?
Will you be on your own a lot, or will the sales manager be readily accessible? How often is he or she in the office and can you get a hold of them whenever you need to?
You may find that large national real estate brokerages will offer you the support you need to learn the ins and outs of your new business quickly, but smaller brokerages may have less dues to pay and other benefits that are important to you. Weigh your options carefully and make the choice that is best for you!
What is stopping you from starting a new career in real estate? Share your questions with our readers.