Can You Fog a Mirror?

Published on June 8, 2012

 

You did it! You passed the real estate agent state licensing exam and you are now officially a REALTOR®.

Whoa Nelly. Not quite. There are still a few steps before planting that ‘for sale’ sign in your neighbor’s yard.

  1. Locate and register with a sponsoring broker.
  2. Join your local board of REALTORS®  and the state and national real estate associations.
  3. Become a member of your local multiple listing service (MLS).

Sounds easy, right?

Unfortunately, many new sales associates are so eager to get into production that they short-cut step number one and they sign on the dotted line with the first broker they meet.

I actually had a new associate say to me one time, “I am so excited. I only had to apply at one brokerage and they hired me. I thought I would have to interview at several places before someone would hire me.”

 

Truth bomb: If you can fog a mirror, brokers will hire you.

Many managers want warm bodies. Numbers. People. Possibilities. They know that just like sales, recruiting is a numbers game. Hire enough people, someone is bound to be a rock star producer. Time will tell.

Now that you know the truth, it is up to you to be in the drivers seat when it comes to choosing the RIGHT broker for YOU! You should be interviewing brokers, not the other way around.

 

BROKER SEARCH

There are several ways to decide which brokers to interview. Here are just a few.

  • Ask successful REALTORS® that you know how they like their broker and why they are affiliated there.
  • Go to company websites and take a look around. Which ones resonate with you?
  • Make note of advertisements, signs, or marketing from companies that resonate with you.
  • Pull a list of brokerages online, post them on a bulletin board  -- throw darts.

This part of the process is not rocket science. Just do us a favor.  Once you start the interview process, interview until you find the right fit. This is a multi-step process. Be intentional. Don’t sign anything at the first interview.

 

NOTE: Even if brokerages are from the same franchise, they are NOT necessarily the same. Many are independently owned and operated and even if they aren’t, each location has it’s own 'feel' or 'personality.' Two offices from the same franchise located a mile apart an be vastly different.

Examples of franchises: (i.e. Re/Max, Prudential, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams, EXIT, ERA, Realty Executives, Better Homes and Gardens, Realty Direct, Century 21, Windermere, John L Scott, Wiechert, NextAge, Ebby Halliday -not a franchise but has multiple offices in Dallas area, Cryeleike, Avatar, HelpUSell, Sotheby’s International, Red Carpet, Real Living, Assist-2-Sell, HomeLife International, Realty World, United Country).

 

Not sure how to interview a broker?

We have prepared some Sample Questions for Realtors Interviewing Brokers for you.  Feel free to download them take them into your interview!

 

BEFORE YOU START

Whether you are brand new to the biz or you have been around the block a time or two, it is critical that you know what you do and don’t want before you start interviewing brokers. Take a little time to do some self-reflection. Here are some things to consider before you head out to conquer the world.

  • Do I want to be in a large office or a smaller more intimate environment?
  • Do I require a lot of one on one attention or do I prefer to work independently?
  • How important is the office location to me?
  • Will I require a workspace or will I work from home?
  • How much support do I need in learning the business?
  • What is my budget for start up and for my monthly outlay?
  • What are my values and philosophies, both personal and business?

The more you know about yourself and your work habits, values, and beliefs, the more you will get from the interview process. Some brokers may try to “sell” you on joining their company. If you are firmly grounded in what is important to you, you will better evaluate whether their offerings are a fit or not.

 

CAUTION

If their primary value to you is that they will provide you with LEADS, proceed with caution. The reality of this is typically a false one. Not that they don’t try, but frankly we are not familiar with ANY company that can feed enough leads to their agents to make it worth their while to be there. You are better off in the long run learning to fish than to be fed. The promise of leads is NOT a value proposition for you to hang your hat on.

 

 

INTERVIEW TAKE AWAYS

Since this was the initial interview and you are presumably going to be talking with multiple offices, make sure you leave with some written information. This will help you to recall what you discussed and to compare notes when you are reviewing your findings.

If they don’t offer them voluntarily, ask for references, a copy of the independent contractor agreement (ICA), and a list of the fees charged by their company/office.

 

POST INTERVIEW HOMEWORK

Now that you have conducted your interviews, it’s time to begin the process of elimination.

Round 1: The first elimination round is easy. If it felt wrong, funny, weird, awkward, or just flat crappy... just say no. It may not be a specific reason - the company, manager, office building, etc. just didn’t resonate with you. File the information in the NO WAY file with notes as to why you made that decision. This will be helpful later if you get a call from the broker following up and you question which one it is you are speaking with.

Round 2: In the second round, review your initial personal reflections and what you said was important to you. Compare your notes with that list. This is about making sure you aren’t letting a really good sales job from the interviewer distract you from what is TRULY important to you. If your values, beliefs, preferences and needs don’t match up with that of the brokerage, move on.  Again... make notes and file in the NOT NOW file.

Round 3:  At this point you are probably down to 2 to 4 companies OR you may be down to one company with multiple locations. Some things to consider....

Speed of the leader - speed of the pack. Strong and effective leaders typically attract and groom successful and profitable agents. If you didn’t interview with the primary leader of the brokerage (manager, team leader, broker/owner), set up a second appointment and make sure you get to meet with them. Even if it is briefly.

Call references. Call the agents that were provided to you at the interview and then pull a list online of other agents in the brokerage and ask them some questions. Verify information given in the interview. Ask them what they love and what they don’t love about their office, manager, colleagues, environment, commission split, etc. Ask them why they stay there. Don’t be shy.

What questions are coming up for you as you compare and contrast the companies left standing? Write them down. Plan to go back for a second meeting and get your questions answered.

Attend a weekly sales meeting, training class, or event hosted by the broker or at the broker’s office. Get a feel for what their office is like by being an active participant. It is one thing for the manager to tell you that it is a “Happy” and “Fun” or “Productive” place to work. Make it your mission to check it out for yourself. The fact is that everyone has a different definition of fun, happy, and productive!

 

DECISION TIME

Once you have made a final decision on which brokerage is right for you, make sure that you get anything and everything in writing. If the manager gave you any special incentives or promised you anything that isn’t in their paperwork, get it IN WRITING. 

You may as well start now because in real estate putting things is writing is the key to long-term success (and staying out of court!).

And last but certainly not least... don’t settle. If you are two weeks in and you are wishing you had gone another route, do it sooner than later. Yes, you may have already bought business cards and told your closest 200 friends that you were proudly affiliated with XYZ Company. Suck it up. Make the move. Better now than later - I promise.

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Ready to begin the process? Want an experienced guide to walk along side you?

Having interviewed and hired hundreds of agents in our 20+ year real estate career (and we watched hundreds of agents come and go too), we can walk you through preparing to interview, comparing brokers, or take you through the entire interviewing and affiliation process from beginning to end.

We aren't recruiters ... we are coaches. No strings, no affiliations, no hidden agendas!

Email us for more information at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...