So, you’re ready to make the first major decision of your real estate career: choosing your real estate broker!
Your real estate broker has the power to fast-track your real estate success or weigh you down. So how can you tell which brokerage will be a good fit for you? How do you choose which broker you will trust with your career?
What to Consider When Choosing Your Michigan Brokerage
There are five key factors to consider when choosing your Michigan brokerage.
1. Is the brokerage a franchise or an independent operation?
Franchises (like Keller Williams and Century 21) are nationally-recognized names in the real estate industry. Independent operations, on the other hand, are local mom-and-pop-style firms.
Neither brokerage type is better than the other. It’s just about finding the best fit.
Generally speaking, franchises are a good option for agents who thrive on structure. You’ll benefit from proven training methods, built-in organizational systems, and established brand recognition.
Independent operations are typically a better fit for real estate agents who prefer anonymity. You’ll probably have more freedom to run your real estate practice on your own terms with an independent firm.
2. How much training will you get?
As a Michigan real estate agent, you know your real estate fundamentals. But that, alone, doesn’t translate into sales.
You need practical training like marketing, networking, negotiation, communication, and client service.
Some brokerages offer complete training programs to set new agents up for success. If you’ve never worked in real estate, you should put extra emphasis on finding a Michigan brokerage with a solid, practical training program.
3. What kind of ongoing support does the brokerage offer?
Most brokerages will offer some level of ongoing support. They may provide signage, networking opportunities, and even client leads!
When evaluating ongoing support, pay close attention to any strings attached. If, for example, your brokerage covers the cost of your yard signs, do they require that the signs only list the brokerage name? When you’re building a real estate career, you need to promote yourself, not just your brokerage.
If you’re going to rely on the ongoing support of your brokerage, what will happen if you decide to change brokerages five years from now? Don’t become so dependent on the ongoing support that you become trapped in a brokerage.
4. Does the brokerage have a reputation?
You will instantly inherit the reputation of your new brokerage, for better or worse. So do a little research on the reputations of multiple brokerages before choosing your broker.
Look at the brokerages’ reputations from multiple angles. What do local residents think about each brokerage? What about industry insiders? Are the brokerages you’re considering respected by local title reps, escrow officers, investors, and lenders?
As a new agent, you’ll rely heavily on your broker’s reputation. So make sure it’s solid.
5. How will your commission be split?
Let’s not pretend money doesn’t matter! Your commission split might not be the most important factor, but it’s pretty high on the list, right?
50/50 is a common commission split for new agents in Michigan. This might sound like you’re giving a lot of your commission to your broker, but remember, your broker is investing a lot of time and resources upfront to help you get started in real estate. As you bring more business to the firm, you can negotiate for a higher commission split.
Also, make sure you understand all brokerage fees before deciding on your broker. Some brokerages charge fees separate from the commission split (like a desk fee, a flat fee to hang your license, or signage fees).
Researching, interviewing, and evaluating multiple brokerages takes time and patience. Of course you’re excited to start your new real estate career. But don’t rush this process. Choosing the right Michigan real estate brokerage is too important to your success to be hurried! Take your time and get it right.