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How to interview a real estate broker

As a real estate coach, I often answer all kinds of questions for agents about how they can do their best and what kind of business practices will help improve their business. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from agents about which real estate brokerage is right for them. Here are some of my suggestions for the best ways you can interview brokers to ensure you find the best fit for you:

Ask lots of questions and be an active listener.

This is basically like a job interview, but in reverse. You are interviewing potential stockbrokers in the same way that companies would interview potential job candidates. This may seem a bit strange at first, but asking the right questions will give you a better chance of selecting the company that suits your needs. Any good broker will appreciate this professional approach and will be impressed that you are exercising due diligence.

You also want to be aware of the company’s position. They should consider your value paying their cost, if any, to incorporate it into their company. An agent, on the other hand, needs to assess what they need from a brokerage to be successful.

Here are some questions to be prepared to ask potential brokers:

Some interview points to consider

* Ask them what they look for in an agent. This is an important question. Some “assembly line” brokerages don’t really care who they acquire, and just want lots of numbers, with the idea that every person they recruit will have at least one family member or friend using their services. Conversely, brokerages seeking agents with specialties, minimal sales volume, a broker’s license, or other unique qualities and characteristics may favor some agents. It’s better for you if they are a bit picky.

* Many managing brokers are selling houses, and not necessarily in the office. If that is the case, you should find out if an alternate person is available to assist the agents. A leader who sells may not be a good environment for you if you are looking for guidance. Be sure to ask what the response time is if an agent calls with a question or needs to submit something for review.

* Most offices have some form of weekly or bi-weekly office training, regular sales meetings, and internal walk-throughs of new listings acquired by agents in that office. Find out how often these meetings, trainings and house tours are held and if it is part of what they do. This is important for some agents, while not for others.

* Find out if there is an organized tutoring program. If so, under what circumstances will an agent have to participate or volunteer? Will participation be based on time in business or sales volume? Also, find out what the financial arrangement is for mentors and mentees.

If there isn’t an organized tutoring program, find out if someone is available to help a new agent learn the real estate business.

* Find out what the commission schedule is and request a copy. Make sure you understand this because you will be paid on this schedule. Also find out if there are tiers in that commission program based on your sales performance. Find out how this office handles sales bonuses.

* When considering costs to your business, it’s important to find out what types of marketing materials are available from the brokerage for an agent to use. Some brokerages have marketing departments that will help you build your brand, help you create your own pieces, or at least customize what the company already has, while other brokerages leave you completely alone in terms of marketing. . It’s also important to ask about reimbursement for your marketing materials, including business cards.

* The number of agents is not as important as the support for them. It could also be a possible indication of the quality of the office based on how many agents are full-time or dual-career. Find out how long agents have been in this office and why they are leaving or staying. If this brokerage is 20 years old, but the average agent has only been here 2 years and also has another full-time job, this can be a big red flag that the office lacks the atmosphere of a productive office.

* E&O Coverage means “Errors and Omissions”. This is an insurance coverage that the agent has to pay annually. This protects agents against any unintentional errors or omissions they may make when working with a consumer. Some companies pay for this insurance through the agent, but it is rare. Find out what the brokerage’s policy is.

* If a brick and mortar office environment is important to you, find out if there is a space for you to come into the office and use as a work area. Depending on the company, the office space may be available for rent or only for major producers. Conference and meeting rooms should be available for everyone to meet with clients. Find out what office equipment is available for use by agents in the office. Today, with cloud and internet based systems, you can do your business from anywhere, but some agents prefer to work in an office environment instead of working from a home office. Essentially, it’s up to you. You’ll just have to consider where you would prefer to meet your clients and what type of environment works best for you.

* If you prefer an office that is traditional, the more professional it is, the better. Check if there is a receptionist and if any phone tasks are required (from you). If so, check to see if there are any statistics on the results of the phone service concept at that office or if it really is just a replacement for a paid receptionist.

* Office listings and market share percentage will tell you how productive an office is. A busy office is good for phone work, open houses, and synergy. Having the best agents in the office with well-earned designations such as Lifetime Top Producer, CRS, or CRB, and others who took some time to earn and are respected in their field is a mark of a good office that maintains top quality people. . Ask what is the average annual income of an agent in the office. A top agent is traditionally defined as someone who makes a certain amount of money per year (Example: a minimum income of $100,000 or someone who has 15+ listings in a calendar year). An office market share of over 70% is excellent. To be the best real estate agent, you need to be surrounded by quality. If your brokerage has 100 agents, only 30 listings, and ranks 10 out of 10 brokerages in your area, this may be a place for part-time agents or people exploring real estate as a hobby.

* Each state requires a certain amount of CE, or continuing education. Does the company provide that online, in the office, or not at all? Many brokerages now offer free online CE training available to their brokers.

* It is required that every brokerage house and office have an office manual and that every agent has a copy of it, either in paper or in electronic format. Make sure you know what the important policies are, such as the procedure for splitting compensation on transactions that haven’t closed yet, in case you decide to walk away.

* Most real estate agents are Independent Contracts and not Employees. What is the composition of your brokerage?

* Does your brokerage give back to the community or support agents in need? Some brokerage firms will provide financial, emotional, and physical assistance to brokers experiencing disaster, illness, or catastrophe. If something happens and you are out of work for a few months, will your brokerage step in and help you pick up the pieces? Will they help your family? It may be important for you to find a company that has a good reputation in the community and has great respect for its agents personally.

* Interview the bureau agents and find out the answers to some of your questions. This is where you can get the real picture of the office climate and what’s going on there that may not resonate with you.

Make the decision that works best for you

In addition to the suggestions provided, think about the work environment in which you thrive. You also need to consider your strengths and which riders will make use of your talents or just pigeonhole you in their protocol. For example, if cold calling isn’t your thing, it wouldn’t be the best use of your time to go to a “cold calling” pizza night at the office.

The most valuable information I can leave you is that you make the decision that works best for you. Every agent is different and has unique requirements.

The final decision

Make a list of pros and cons for the top three agencies you have selected. Ask yourself these important questions… “Which company gives me the support I need?” and “Which of the companies can I build a lasting relationship with and why?” Talk to the important people in your life who can help you make a career decision based on the facts. Family and friends are wonderful if you’re going to a barbecue, but this is a decision to be made based on what’s best for your business. I use my CPA and business planner, as well as some professional relationships to help me with vital business decisions.

This article was originally published via the Cindy Bishop Worldwide blog site.

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