How to Choose Your First Real Estate Brokerage In New York

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Every hopeful New York real estate agent needs a “representative broker” listed on their application to receive an active license and start making money. That’s why you should start lining up a brokerage well before passing your real estate license exam.

But New York brokers aren’t created equal. Here are the crucial considerations that will guide you towards the New York brokerage that’s right for you.


Real estate agent mentorship

The most valuable thing a broker can offer a novice agent is mentorship. Being able to piggyback off of their knowledge and experience will help you fast-track your own career and avoid a lot of pitfalls.

Look for a broker that has a successful track record, particularly in the niches you’re most interested in yourself. It’s an even better sign if the brokerage has a mentorship program and pairs new agents up with someone senior.


In real estate, your reputation is critical for success because it’s a business built on referrals. A brokerage with a stellar reputation is going to have a steady supply of listings, which can benefit new agents (see below).

The last thing you want is to associate yourself with a brokerage that has a horrible reputation. Clients and other agents may be leery to work with you if your brokerage is considered sub-par.

Do keep in mind, many agents want to join the top brokerages in New York. These brokerages are more likely to have a full team and therefore may not be taking on new agents.

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Commission Split

Real estate commission split

“Splits” is the factor that new agents tend to pay the most attention to when they search for a real estate broker in New York. The issue is there’s no real benchmark or standard since commission rates aren’t regulated by the state Division of Licensing Services.

In New York, commission splits usually fall somewhere in between from 40/60 to 65/35. The more experience you have the better your split will be, which means new agents can expect something around a 40/60 split.

However, some brokerages use a sliding commission split that’s based on sales volume. The more business you bring the brokerage, the better the commission split will be. At the start of the fiscal year, you may begin at 40/60 but end at 60/40.

Supplies and Office Use

Technology has made it possible for agents to work from everywhere, but there’s still an upside to having access to a professional office.

For starters, you’ll have a formal conference room or office where you can meet with clients. You also don’t have to invest in expensive copy machines, fax machines, etc. when your brokerage can supply them.

Lead Generation Opportunities

Some brokerages expect you to bring in all of your own business, while others can help you get going with lead generation opportunities. Ask about the possibility of being able to:

  • Hold open houses for established agents.
  • Work the phones to field incoming calls to the office.
  • Handle leads that top agents don’t have time to serve.

Company Culture

Real estate company culture

Does the brokerage share the same values and ethics as you? Company culture can’t be overlooked. It’s a factor that will give you a good idea of whether a business is the type of brokerage you want to work with.

Just ask yourself one question. If you were selling or buying a home would you want to work with the brokerage? If the answer is yes, you've found the brokerage that’s right for you.