5 Things Real Estate Agents Look For When Choosing a Brokerage
Joining a new real estate brokerage can be an exciting yet daunting process. Real estate agents are looking for a brokerage aligned with their values, where they receive proper training and support, a fair commission split, and room for commission growth. As well, they are focused on finding a firm that has a strong digital marketing strategy and a dominant online presence. With more than 90% of home buyers now searching online, it’s essential for real estate firms to dominate that space to get noticed. Below we have compiled a list of factors that real estate agents are looking for when choosing a real estate brokerage.
1. Company Culture & Market Share
When you spend more time at work than you do at home, choosing a real estate company with a strong company culture is important for attracting and retaining agents. They want to know if the firm they are joining is well respected in their area and whether they have a high market share that will help them find leads. Many read customer reviews and past employee reviews to see how their experience was when dealing with a specific brokerage. Some will call up current agents to ask about their experience working with the prospective brokerage, or they will attend a company event to test the waters. They also want to know how comfortable other agents feel to reach out and talk to their brokers, and whether the agents and brokers seem to have positive working relationships. Beyond company culture, some agents want to know if there are after work social activities. Does the firm organize weekly trivia nights? A monthly sports league? Or a weekly happy hour? Depending on the individual real estate agent, this factor will be more important to some than others.
2. Communication, Support and Market Knowledge
Real estate agents also want to feel supported and work with a firm that has a strong understanding of their local market and different property types. As well, many agents look for support programs provided by their real estate company, as mentoring and professional development opportunities are strongly correlated with higher earning potential. Additionally, real estate agents want to know if the firm has any real estate tech tools set up to automate as much of the listing and buying process as possible. Thus, agents are always looking for ways to be more efficient and improve the experience for their clients.
3. Small Brokerage vs. Big Brokerage
Some agents are looking to work for the big name franchises like RE/MAX or Century 21. Whereas, some agents prefer to work at smaller independent brokerage firms. While larger brokerage firms have their benefits such as name recognition, ongoing training support, and marketing, most agents prefer to work for smaller firms. According to the National Association of Realtors®, 53 % of agents work for boutique brokerage vs. large firms. One of the main reasons agents are choosing to work at boutique firms is the camaraderie. At boutique firms, there is a large focus on community and a collaborative team approach to succeeding. On the other hand, at a large firm there is a lot of focus on developing and training agents. Some agents prefer the 1 on 1 mentorship offered at boutique firms, and some prefer the corporate development and training programs offered at big firms.
4. Commission Structure & Leads
Beyond company culture, agents want to make sure that they are getting a healthy commission split from their real estate sales. In Toronto and Ontario, the industry-standard commission split is 5% between the buying and selling agent, so 2.5% each. According to Investopedia, the most common commission split is 60/40 between the real estate brokerage and each agent’s transaction. However, commission splits can vary at real estate brokerages from 60/40 to 90/10 to 100/0 where they have a fixed fee per transaction. As well, when agents are joining a brokerage they look for firms that increase their commission as they grow with the company or become a top-selling agent.
5. A Strong Marketing Strategy
Agents want to know that the firm they are joining is heavily invested in marketing, especially digital marketing as 90% of buyers are searching for listings online. Furthermore, it’s crucial that the real estate brokerage has a strong digital marketing strategy, as the real estate market is competitive and a strong strategy is needed to stand out from competitors online. As well, they want to know how potential buyers are going to see their listing, what real estate sites their listings are posted, how aesthetically pleasing the listings look, and how often they are going to receive leads. Many want to know if the firm hosts exclusive events for select buyers and agents to connect, as this is an important part of some agents’ sales strategy. They all agree that having a strong photographer is a must. Agents want to feel comfortable that the home they are selling is beautifully photographed and the right angles are chosen to really shine a light on the best selling features of the home.
Which of the following real estate factors is most important to you?
There are ultimately many more factors real estate agents look for when choosing a real estate brokerage. Especially depending on the stage of their real estate career. However, these are some of the most common ones. As well, every agent will have different factors based on their income needs, how they like to work, their location, and their personal belief system. When brokerages are recruiting real estate agents these are some of the most important factors to keep in mind.
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