For those of you considering a change or unhappy where you are, here are a set of questions that you should ask every prospective Broker that you may interview with beyond the commission split:
- Does your company have an Agent Policy Manual? (If they answer "I keep meaning to do that" is not a good answer, NO is even worse!)
- May I speak to some of your agents? (No -- Red Flag, Yes, be wary of their motivations -- the ones that they tell you to speak with)
- What training do you offer, are there costs associated?
- May I have an attorney review the contact I will sign with you firm?
- What are your (Broker) requirements of an agent?
- I have a question - who do I go to? (If they lay out a clear policy and plan that is a good thing)
- What is the most important designation that I should get?
- Do you have a mentoring program?
- What Marketing does the brokerage do? Do you pass rate savings down to agents?
- How do you handle Agent conflicts? (they do happen and you sometimes don't know it until it is too late and you are forced to make a move for your own sanity)
- Who in the local Board of Realtors do you admire? (This is a very interesting question and something that they will not expect -- you are looking more for their reaction than who they name. But if they name someone that has a very poor reputation in the community that should set off a red flag for you...)
- What do you require participation in? (weekly meetings, advertising in specific publications, contributions to certain charitable events)
- How many agents have been with you 5 years or more? How many under 6 months?
- What is the percentage of retention?
- What is the latest Real Estate Book you have Read? (If they are not keeping up with the industry that could be a problem)
- Do you BLOG? What is the exposure on the Brokerage's website for agents? (Do you really want to work for a firm that does less than you?)
- What has been your level of participation on the local board? Why or why not? Sometimes Board participation is extremely political and out of control, if they answer no because it got to be too political that is a good thing. They steer away from negative...
- Have you ever attended a state level meeting?
- How do you give out leads? Is there a different commission split?
- What are you planning to do technology wise to advance your company this year? In the next two years?
- Is there any support staff? What are their responsibilities?
- Can I market any listing of company? Can I sit open houses of company listings?
- What is your profitability? How many years have you been profitable? What are the costs for miscellaneous services (copying, phones, etc)
- How much time do you spend recruiting agents? Training and Mentoring agents?
- Do you compete with your agents?
- What is the mixture of teams and solo agents?
- What happens to my listings if I decide to leave your company?
- Do you do anything special for agents?
Listen to their answers of these questions. See how they react. Do they look you in the eye? Do they act nervously? Remember you are checking them out as much as they are checking you out. If you know an agent has recently left, make a call to them and see if they mind answering some of your questions. Sometimes they give you great insight to the company.
I hope this helps the few that are wondering "what should I do?" I was fortunate to have a few people who sat and listened to me. It was the people that were neutral and willing to let me work through the process of such an important decision that I listened to the most. They asked me questions to think about, many in the list above.
Remember anything promised should be in writing -- or be at peace with the fact that those promises can be broken.
For more information about Celebration Florida, please contact:
Colleen Kulikowski, Realtor
Orlando Avenue Top Team