How to Chose a Real Estate Broker in 2021? | Ask these 12 questions FIRST!

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Brokers are going to tell you everything you want to hear so you have to make sure that before you join a brokerage that you ask these 12 questions. Whether you're a brand new agent or you're an experienced agent looking to change companies, these are the 12 things you must know before making your final decision. Number one, you have to understand the brokerage's onboarding process. You see, what happens is, they wine and dine you and they tell you all the good things about their company. They court you. They take you to basketball games. They take you out to dinner. They take you to breakfast, coffee, lunch, drinks, the whole kit and caboodle. Then when you sign that contract, for a lot of brokerages, and a lot of agents will give you this same feedback, things start to go downhill. The onboarding's a mass. You start to have regrets. They don't have systems. They don't have processes. They're not helping you get your business cards and your signs and your new website and all your new branding. You have to make sure that before you join a brokerage that you fully understand their onboarding system and not just, hey, sign the contract, but what are you going to do to help me get up and running with my business as fast as possible so I don't lose any opportunity time? The second thing you want to do is you want to understand the broker's success. Now, stay with me here for a second. The job of a broker, listen closely, the job of a broker is to help you succeed in this business. So you naturally have to understand and find out and discover the brokerage that I'm going to go interview with, did that broker have success selling real estate in high volume? Is this the type of person that has succeeded in a way that maybe one day I want to succeed like? Has this person done what it is that I want to accomplish?

Here's the reality, and don't get mad, I'm just being honest, the reality is most brokers, managers, team leaders, they haven't walked the walk. They haven't succeeded in a high, high level, so you have to find out before you join a brokerage, has this person done what I want to do? Have they sold 30, 40, 50, 80, 100 plus homes in a year? Have they made 200, 300, 400, 500,000 plus per year selling real estate? You have to find out because you have to ask the question, if they're not the broker owner or they're a broker manager or they're a managing broker, and they're on some type of salary, well, we've got to find out why. Number three, you've got to find out about training and coaching. So let's pretend for a second that the broker that you're interviewing with has had some success in the past, can help to teach, train you. Well, that's what we're trying to figure out is, yes, training when it comes to the contracts and compliance and addendums and disclosures, it's important. What I'm talking about, when I'm talking about training and coaching, I'm referring to, what is the brokerage going to do to help you to succeed in this business? What are they going to do to help you sell houses? What are they going to do to help you communicate to your database? What are they going to do to help market and help you grow a big business to help you make more money? It's not that training on contracts isn't important, but that's not what we're talking about here. So you have to be careful, because when you talk to most brokers, they say, "We do all kinds of classes. We do all kinds of training." What most of them are referring to, and it's not bad, but what most of them are referring to is, "Hey, we do a contracts class to show you how to fill out purchase agreements and listing agreements and disclosures every Wednesday at three o'clock. "That's fine, that's great, thank you so much. What kind of training and coaching do you help me with as far as production and being successful and selling houses and making money? Number four, we've got to find out about broker support. I cannot tell you how frustrating it will be for you or maybe you've experienced this yourself when you're in contract or you're looking to write an offer or you're trying to negotiate a contract, or there's an issue that comes up that you need to protect your client, you've got to have a broker, an experienced broker, ready, willing, and able to help you navigate a transaction, because the consumers think that real estate is easy. You and I know that a real estate transaction is very, very complex and you have to ensure that you have a broker or you go work at a brokerage that broker support is something that is easy to get.

A lot of agents will tell you, "Listen, when I needed my broker, I couldn't get him on the phone. I couldn't get her on the phone for a week. It was terrible. And I lost out on the deal," or, "The support I needed wasn't there and it was too late." You've got to make sure. You've got to find out, "Hey, what does it look like? What does broker support look like? When I need help, and I'm going to need help, negotiating contract, writing an offer, whatever the case may be, what does it look like to get broker support, hands-on, intense, one-on-one broker support. What does that look like?" Next, number five, agent-centric versus broker-centric. This is huge. I'm going to spend some time here. Be patient with me. You have got to find out if the broker that you are interviewing, and let's get clear, you are interviewing the broker as much as they are interviewing you, you have got to find out if this is an agent-centric company or a broker-centric company. Let me explain. A broker-centric company, these are the old companies that I believe are in big, big, big trouble, where it's all about the brokerage. They have heavy, heavy commission splits. You don't have a lot of freedom and flexibility to brand yourself. It's very much so about them and their name and their brand and building their company. An agent-centric company means the exact opposite, where you have freedom and flexibility to build your personal brand. Yes, you've got to stay compliant. I get that. I'm not talking about that. But you want to work for a brokerage in a firm that supports you building your personal brand in addition to the company brand. That's one example. Another example of agent-centric. You want to work at a company where you can market the other agent's listings to help grow your business. Only a broker-centric company says, "Nope, those are their listings. You're not touching their listings." Everybody is sharing in an agent-centric culture. That's another example of broker-centric versus agent-sector.

Let me give you another example of agent-centric, meaning, is the brokerage going out there and marketing and building a name for their agents in addition to themselves? You want to work for a company that's in the community building brand awareness so that their agents can become successful. Super, super important. Number six, what is the fee structure? Now, I'm not talking about compensation. I'm not talking about commission. Talk about that in a second. I'm talking about the fee structure. If you've been in the industry, you know what I'm talking about. If you're a brand new agent, listen closely. I'm talking about, what types of fees is the broker going to charge you? Are they going to charge you to print? Are they going to charge you to print in color? Are they going to charge you a technology fee? Are they going to charge you some type of broker review fee? What are all the fees included? Because we're not even talking about commissions, but here's the frustrating part. A lot of agents will join a brokerage and then they'll get this bill at the end of the month, and they'll say, "What the hell is this bill?" Because they never found out, "Oh, well, we charge you every single time. We charge you for ENO. We charge you for printing. We charge you for technology. We charge you to sit in that seat. We charge an office fee. We charge a desk fee. We have all these fees that you didn't ask us about." Don't let that happen to you. Let's move forward. Number seven, leads, leads, leads, leads, leads. Everybody wants leads, which is good. You've got to find out, does your brokerage help to support building and generating leads for your pipeline, for your database? And if they do, okay, great, let's go a little bit deeper. Are we talking about buyer internet leads? Are we talking about, are you going to help me pay for maybe some of my prospecting platform, like a Vulcan-7 or a Mojo or Red X? Do you guys have ISAs where you're setting listing appointments? What are you doing Mr. or Mrs. Broker to help generate leads for my business? Super, super important. Don't forget, you're in the lead generation business. You just happen to have a license to sell real estate. You've got to ask the broker, "What do you do to help me with lead generation?" Number eight, administrative support. So if you are new to the industry, you're going to need help putting in your listings. You're going to need help doing what we call the non-dollar productive activities. You're going to need help scheduling showings. You're going to need help ordering signs and lockboxes and business cards. What kind of administrative support are you going to help me from a brokerage standpoint or is that all on me? You've got to find out. Number nine, transaction coordination. This is a little bit different than administrative support. So once you put a house under contract, whether you're representing the buyer or the seller, does the brokerage offer somebody that's experienced to help you, your client, the other client, the other agent, mortgage title, to keep this transaction together, to make sure that the process smooth? Making sure all the paperwork is correct. Making sure all of the deadlines of the contingencies are being met. Making sure that clients, both buyer and seller, are having a great positive experience. Or at that company, is it all on the agent? It's okay. You just have to find out. Number 10, technology and tools. Now, you're going to be nickel to dime in this business if you are not careful. You have to find out from the broker that you're interviewing, what type of technology and what type of tools do I get as a part of your company? So, as an example, agents at our company, they get a full blown KV Core Lead Generation CRM Platform. This you have to find out. Are you responsible to go out there and build your own website? Are you responsible to go out there and get your own CRM? Are you responsible for getting your own marketing materials and a designer and a branding and printing and copying? What are the tools and the technology that the company is going to provide to help you succeed and win in this business?

Number 11, compensation. Obviously, a lot of you are very interested in compensation. Well, based on everything we've talked about so far, you have to decide, okay, what is the compensation? Are they offering some type of 50/50 split with no cap? And listen closely, that means, regardless of how much you sell, that broker is going to take half the money. Is it a 100% commission company, like our company, where you get to keep all the money, all the commission that you earn? Is it something in between like a 70/30 split where you get 70% of the commission, broker gets 30, and there's some type of cap structure? Well, the compensation structure, the reason I put it at number 11, is that as a byproduct of the value they provide. So if there's a world where the company is generating leads, they're cultivating the lead, they're following up with the lead, they're setting it up appointment, they offer transaction support, they give you administrate of support, they give you training, coaching, the whole kit and caboodle, well, they're probably going to charge more for that, which is totally justified, and you should be okay with that. However, here's the thing I want you to be careful of, these old broker-centric companies, the older business models out there, charge a hefty, hefty compensation structure, charge a lot of fees, and listen closely, they don't provide a lot of value. They don't provide leads. They don't provide admin support. They don't have transaction coordination. The broker has never succeeded at a high level. They don't have training or coaching. You have to be careful that your compensation is in line with what I call the value exchange between broker and agent. Number 12, what is the process, Mr. or Mrs. Broker, to get paid? Once I close on a house, I want to get paid. Some companies, there are some nightmare stories out there that take weeks to get your commission. That's unacceptable, in my opinion. You should be looking for a broker who's going to compensate you or pay your commission within 24 or 48 hours. They go through their compliance review and they have hopefully some direct deposit opportunities or options for you where you're getting your compensation, you're getting your commission, within a timely manner. Now, if you're a brand new agent, and you're just entering into the business, you're shopping brokerage, you've got to watch this video right here. These are all the tips, all the advice that I wish I had as a brand new agent. Picking a broker is important, these things are even more important after you've picked your brokerage to ensure your success in this industry. Watch this video right here and I'll see you over there right now.

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Brandon Mulrenin
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Brandon Mulrenin

Brandon Mulrenin, founder and CEO of reverseselling.com has dedicated his life’s work to the study of human behavior and communication.

He began his sales career in the mortgage industry as a mortgage loan officer with Quicken Loans in Detroit. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the AVP of Quicken Loans’ preferred real estate partner, Rocket Homes, formerly, In-House Realty.

Brandon then decided to go out on his own and built his real estate sales business to the point where he was listing and selling over 100 homes a year with one assistant and one buyers agent. Brandon’s success was quickly recognized as he awarded the #1 listing agent for Keller Williams Premier in 2014. It was during this time that Brandon began to train other real estate agents all over the world with his reverse selling system.

Then in 2018, Brandon launched his own independent real estate brokerage firm in Metro Detroit, Michigan which has quickly become one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the entire state.

Brandon is now the managing CEO of four entities: Brookstone Realtors, National Mortgage Funding, Maximus Title Agency, and reverseselling.com

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