You’ve completed the required Florida real estate course and passed the salesperson licensing exam. Congratulations! You’ve earned yourself a Florida real estate license. Time to get to work!
Wait just one second. Is that an active real estate license? The type that allows you to legally work as a real estate agent in Florida, or is it an inactive license?
In order to get an active real estate license in Florida you have to work for a licensed supervising broker. The idea is that a broker can provide oversight for agents that may not be as familiar with the real estate rules and regulations.
You could choose the first brokerage that offers you a position, but usually that isn’t the best strategy for long-term success. Following the five steps below is the better option if you want to find a real estate brokerage that will provide much-needed support and help you launch your career.
Step 1. Identify What You Need in a Brokerage
Before you start looking for real estate brokerages, you need to know what you want to get out of the relationship. You’ll be giving your broker a large chunk of your commission so you need to make sure what you get in return is worth it.
A broker doesn’t just activate your real estate license and provide an office for meeting clients. They can do much more for your career. Things you might want to consider are:
- Educational opportunities
- Mentorship programs
- Marketing assistance
- Lead generation opportunities
You may have noticed that commission split isn’t on that short list. While commission is crucial, as a new real estate agent the factors above are usually even more important. You want to make sure you are building a strong foundation for your new career. That’s only possible if you choose a real estate brokerage that’s invested in your current and future success. Brokerages that provide education, marketing, mentorship and leads will give you the tools to expand your knowledge and skills. At the end of the day, that is usually more valuable than an extra 10% in commission.
Another thing to consider is what you want to specialize in as a real estate agent. There are so many niches in real estate, and finding one to corner can help you establish your career. Some brokerages are known for having a niche so keep that in mind when you’re looking for a like-minded broker.
Step 2. Do Your Research
Once you know what you’re looking for in a real estate brokerage it’s time to start your search. Use the considerations above to narrow the list down to the brokerages that appear to provide what you need.
You want to rule out any brokerage that has a bad reputation. As a new real estate agent, you don’t have a reputation of your own yet. You’ll largely rely on your broker to give you the credibility you need to land your first client. People are much more willing to trust a new real estate agent if they are backed up by a great brokerage with a good track record.
Step 3. Go on Interviews
It’s never a good idea to simply go with the first real estate broker you meet. The rule of thumb is to line up at least three interviews with brokerages that are on your short list. This is the only way to truly know if the brokerage is going to provide the support you need. Going on interviews will also give you a better idea of how different brokerages operate in your area.
During the interview consider the following:
- Does the brokerage share your values?
- Does the brokerage provide the resources you need to survive and thrive as a new agent?
- Do you get a good vibe from the people who work for the brokerage?
- What is the work environment like?
- What is the brokerage’s mission?
- Does the brokerage seem to fit its reputation?
As with any job, you want to feel like you click with the other people that work at the brokerage. Having shared values might be the most important point. When you share values with your brokerage you’ll naturally work toward similar goals, have the same ethical standards and be driven by similar motivating factors.
Step 4. Go Over the Options
After the interviews are complete you’ll want to compare and contrast the options. Here again, you can reference your list of needs that was created in Step 1. Start by noting which brokerage checks the most boxes.
Next, think about how you felt during the interview. Which brokerage made you feel the most comfortable and confident? Which brokerage did you click with the most?
Finally, consider the commission split. If all other things are equal between two brokerages, the commission split can be the deciding factor in which one you choose.
Step 5. Select a Florida Real Estate Brokerage and Start Working
Once you’ve done your comparisons the moment has come to select a brokerage. Your broker will likely have you sign an agreement that spells out all of the details including what they will provide and how much commission they will take. Make sure to read over the agreement word-for-word to verify that it reflects everything you discussed in the interview.
Your sponsoring broker will activate your license by completing Form DBPR RE11 (Change of Status for Sales Associates and Broker Sales Associates). The form can either be printed and signed by your broker or submitted online through the broker’s DBPR online account.
It shouldn’t take long for the change of status to be approved. As soon as the form has been processed you and your broker will receive your active Florida real estate license and you can begin working as an agent!
Want to know more about becoming a real estate agent in Florida? Visit the Florida Real Estate Career Center to discover what you need to become an agent or a broker.