I received a phone call this morning from a broker that had passed her licensing exam the night before. She wanted to know about our firm and the 100% commission structure. During our conversation she mentioned that she had three friends lined up just waiting for her to pick a firm. All three were ready to buy a condo.
I congratulated her on doing the hardest part of being a successful REALTOR™. Prospecting!
I also told her that the firm she chooses ultimately won’t have that much of an impact on her business. She could literally join Worst Real Estate Company In America, Inc. and her clients wouldn’t bat an eye.
Of course, I hope she joins our firm. 🙂
What I did tell her is that a brokerage firm can really do three things for a broker, and ONLY three things. Training, support, and tools.
Since she’s new she’ll need it. We do all of our training one on one, because everyone has different goals, previous experience, amount of time they can commit to the business, etc. I’ve never understood the group training approach to helping someone build their own real estate practice.
Unfortunately, training is often over-hyped during recruiting presentation, especially to new agents. The firm has to justify those insane fees, right? It’s pretty much the only card they have to play. And it’s not even a strong one. I’ve met dozens of agents who never went to a training session in their life (at whatever firm they worked at) and still succeeded. Why did they succeed? Because they prospected, something training can’t do for anyone.
That being said, I recommend participating in your firm’s training program and also read everything you can about being a successful broker, too. Here’s a book list to get you started.
My definition of support is any time a broker finds themselves thinking, “Hmm… I have a question about that!” – that’s a support situation. And, if you’re new to the business, you’ll have a TON of those in your first few years. Good! That means you’re busy. Find a firm that has a dedicated support team that doesn’t leave the office. You don’t want your support team also going out there and doing broker-stuff, too. You want them 100% dedicated to helping YOU succeed. Makes sense, right?
Here’s a great question to ask during an interview with a brokerage. “What if it’s 2am on a Tuesday and I have a question?” A good firm will say something like, “No problem. We have a support website just for our brokers with hundreds of questions and answers.” We have a policy that if a broker calls in with a support question, if it’s not already on our support website, we add it. This way our brokers can get support even in the wee hours of the morning.
There are hundreds of tech companies that provide solutions to brokers. Everything from lead generation to CRMs to phone apps. Most of these tools are overrated and unproven. Don’t get too caught up in a company’s tech and tools. Yes, the firm should have cutting edge technology – and yes, the right tool can make you more efficient and effective. But, much of it is hype.
As the marketing director at Kale Realty I get pitched by all of these companies. I’m also pretty savvy with respect to marketing and technology. In such, I ask very hard questions to these companies about the effectiveness of their tools. And 99% of them don’t pass my tests. Also, every broker I’ve ever met (and I have met and worked with over a thousand) has built their business face to face. And, so will you. Yes, learn everything you can about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Stream some live video tutorials for buyers and sellers on Periscope and YouTube and Facebook. It won’t replace the face to face. But it WILL help.
Just remember this – YOU are the brand. Your clients care about YOU. Not me. Not the firm I work for. If you leave our firm, your clients will go right with you. And they should! So, we better take great care of you, because we don’t want you to leave!
Now you’ll have to excuse me as I need to get back to supporting our 419 brokers! 🙂