What Should I Ask My Prospective Broker?
While hard work and good contacts can help you succeed during your first years in the real estate business, probably the most important ingredient to your success is your choice of brokers. The important thing for new sales associates to remember, it to check around. Talk to people in the business; ask for recommendations. Look through the homes magazines to get an idea of which firms seem very successful and have professional-looking advertising.
The Broker Wants You
Another key point to remember is that you will be earning the money, and the broker will be taking part of what you earn, sometimes up to half of it. What you want to know when you're talking with prospective brokers is: "What are you going to do for your money?"
You'll be in demand if you are honest, articulate, motivated, and want to work full-time. Every broker will want you to come to work. You must pick the best one.
Key Ingredients in Your Choice of Brokers
You're a brand-new salesperson. You can make a lot of mistakes unless you can use the knowledge of others. You can get that only in a great training course. So you want to find out the answers to these questions:
- "Do you have a printed training schedule?" If the answer is "no," it is not likely that you will get what you need to be successful.
- "Do you have one person who does the training in a classroom setting?" On-the-job training is OK as far as it goes, but it's ad hoc and not well-organized.
- "Do I have to pay for the training?"
- "What is the turnover rate for sales associates in the company?" If the turnover rate seems high, it may signal unhappy associates.
Expenses can eat up your commissions if you're not careful. Some companies offer high commission splits, but charge you for everything. Others have a lower split, but don't have many charges. In the beginning, as you learn, low expenses are attractive.
- "Do you pay for advertising for my listings?"
- "Is there a monthly office fee?"
- "Do you furnish the signs for listings?"
- "Must I pay for errors and omissions insurance."
- "Do you have a printed list showing what I must pay for?"
- "Does the company make computers available for me to use?"
- "Is there real estate-specific software available, such as "Top Producer" or Brochure software to help get me organized?"
- "Does the company have a regular floor duty for associates to get new prospects?
- "When will I be considered to be qualified to have floor duty?
- "Are referrals given to sales associates?"
- "How are they distributed?"
Ask if it's possible to meet with other associates in the firm privately to get a feel for the people you'll be working with.
Ask if the broker has a policies and procedures manual. If the answer is "no," you might consider looking elsewhere. A well-managed firm should have a printed manual.
When your customers come to the office, will they get the feeling that this is home to a group of professionals or is it likely to give a bad impression. Is the location in an area where you would like to market homes? Is it highly visible?
These are but a few considerations when you're getting ready to achieve your goal of having a successful real estate career.