JoAnn's Real Estate Blog
JoAnn Otto March 10, 2016
You studied hard and passed your real estate examination. Hoorah! Now it’s time to pick a brokerage to work for. If you’re like me, I didn’t know where to start. Should I go for the big name? Should I find an office close to home? What are typical commissions? Do all brokerages give you training? If I make a mistake, is it easy to switch to a different brokerage? GENERAL Is a big named-brokerage the best? In my first year, I tried a brokerage with a big name and then switched to Exit Realty XL, a brokerage that is growing, but is not corporate. What does that mean? A corporate brokerage (with a big name) has all decisions made at “”headquarters.” You feel as though you’re working at a job and you do not have a voice. The structure is immense and the large wheels move slowly. There are quite a few layers of people telling you how to run your business, and many fees that are added to the money you pay from your commission. You are also required to sit at a desk for a certain amount of time with no pay. Most of the time you simply answer the phone and transfer calls to other agents. It saves the brokerage money by not having to staff a clerk for hours in the morning, at night and on weekends. You are “required” to staff for free. COMMISSIONS Lets start with the most important part of your job - commissions. Commission splits at a big-named brokerage are very low. To start with, you get 50/50 comission split. On top of that terrible split, you are asked to pay a transaction charge for each closing, plus other fees along the way. I was pleasantly surprised to find the split at Exit Realty XL to be 70/30 (you get 70%!) You do the work, you get the money - how simple is that. The split ever gets better the more properties you sell. TRAINING Right after getting your license you realize how much you don’t know. You don’t even know where to start. At the big-named agency, you are offered training on certain days at certain times. I tried to attend all the training I could, but I really didnt get much out of it. When I switched to Exit Realty XL, I found there was training all the time. Weekly meetings with guest speakers, impromptu pizza parties with everyone brain-storming, interactive training almost every day where you get hands on experience. The brokerage pays for all of it. WORKING ATMOSPHERE Then there’s the actual working atmosphere. I found the big-named brokerage to have the elite, snobby (too good to say hello) realtors. No one helps the new kid on the block. No one even talks to the new kid. They are rude to their customers and rude to other realtors. After working there for a few months, I realized I did not want to be around people like that. It was not an environment where I felt at ease. By the way, when I talked about mandatory desk time, the elite realtors are not reqjuired to answer the phones EVER. AT Exit Realty XL, everything is there to help you. The other realtors, no matter how long they have been in the business, make you feel comfortable. They offer to help. They suggest you call them if you have questions. Everyone smiles and gets along. What a different!