For new real estate agents, they have the task of choosing a brokerage firm that they want to become part of so they can carry on their business. Then there are other agents who have been in the business for a while and are ready to make a change. Either way, there are several things that must be considered first.
The Current Financial Status
An agent has to know where they are with their business finances. An agent needs to be able to estimate what their expenses are going to be both on a business and personal level. These agents are running their own business and that business has to be able to support them. When taking a look at the business expenses it is a good idea to list them all. Assume that the brokers are not going to cover any of the costs of these or offer any incentives. If they do then what they are offering can be applied against the expense list and maybe become one of the deciding factors for going with a specific broker. Brokers want to bring in the best agents so they will often provide incentives to attract them. For example, a broker may offer a specific amount of ad space for each of their agents for appropriate hard copy media.
Watch For The Extra Charges
Although brokers may use incentives to draw in agents there is another side to the coin as well. The broker is going to make sure that they reduce as many of their in house expenses as they can. Things like phone services, admin services, and every photocopying add to their expense and some brokers are now trickling these down to the agents.
Virtual Vs Land Based
There are some brokers that have capitalized on all the technology that is available to them. Allowing them to become more virtually orientated. This means that the agent is going to have fewer options for the brokerage in house services as the majority of work the agent does will be from home. However, this may result in a better commission split. There is a lot that the agent can do themselves if well organized that a broker service normally would do. For those who are not able to time manage that well or remain organized than a virtual type broker may not be the best option.
Do Some Projections
Aside from regular admin type services the broker also has the responsibility of providing leads to the agents. It is important right from the start to know how the broker goes about this as they will likely have several agents working for them. They should be able to give the agent an estimate of how many leads on average they will get. The agent can use these figures to determine what amount of income this number of leads would generate if the leads were closed successfully.
Although new agents have all of the formal training needed to become an agent they don’t have the experience. Agents want to know if there are any mentoring services within the brokerage and if so at what cost?
This is the one area that most new agents make the mistake of making it a priority. They simply shop around for the brokers that are paying the highest commissions. As can be seen from above there is a lot more to consider than this.
Focus On Your Own Business
Although an agent is required to work under a broker their real estate business is theirs. It is true that the reputation of the brokerage can provide more leads and opportunities. The agent however has to market themselves as a brand. Most brokers have a website where each agent will have their own section perhaps although this can differ greatly. For some, it may be just a main brokerage site that shows all the listings where visitors can just click on a find an agent near you. This doesn’t do much for the real estate agent who wants to market themselves which they should be. A better solution is for the agent to have their own website that can be linked to the brokerage site. There are some distinct advantages for doing this such as:
- The agent can build their name as a brand while at the same time representing their brokerage.
- A website will give the agent the opportunity to market their properties outside of all the other competition they will be facing on the brokerage site. There is much more freedom to be able to do this with the agent’s business site allowing them to make use of other platforms like the different social media ones that will drive traffic back to this site.
- It is not uncommon for an agent to change brokers. If they have their own website they don’t need to start from scratch again to start building their presence in the R.E. community. They can simply change the information on their own website.
Every agent should know what rules the broker has in place regarding the agent has their own website. If they are not allowing this or the rules are too stringent then the agent should think twice about joining that brokerage no matter how lucrative the brokerage/agent split may be.
Choosing The Best Brokerage In Toronto
The best brokerage in Toronto is going to be the one that suits the agent’s needs the best. Every agent will have different requirements. One brokerage doe not fit all.
There are three main categories of brokerages that offer real estate agents opportunities and these are:
- National Brokerages: Which have many satellite offices throughout the country
- Boutique Brokerage: An independent broker who will serve one major area
- Virtual Brokerage: The bulk of what they have to offer will be online. Very limited in agent services.
Each of these has its pros and cons. The Real Estate agent needs to study these carefully and first narrow down which of these categories is best for them. Then once this is done they can do further research into those which fit into that category.