Think about what kind of real estate company you want to work for before you start interviewing. There’s no one-size-fits-all, so find the business model, environment, and culture that’s best for you by considering our 12-Point Company Preference Checklist.
The size of the company you choose to insure you in a metropolitan area might range from less than 10 agents to hundreds of agents. The larger companies might have more than one office, so the size of the office might be a more important consideration than the size of the company.
The size of an office is a personal preference. Some people might like the excitement of a large office, while others might feel more comfortable in a smaller office. This is just one of the things you should consider when making a decision.
2. Brand Prominence
A large number of for-sale signs in yards often indicates that many agents work for that real estate company. This can be an advantage when trying to list a property for sale as you can highlight your company’s market share to potential sellers. However, you may also find yourself competing with colleagues from your own company more frequently.
Your office should be attractive and welcoming, with comfortable places for your clients to sit and wait, and friendly, helpful staff When you walk into a prospective real estate office, consider how you would feel bringing your clients there. You will often meet your buyer clients at your office before showing them properties, and you will probably return there to complete paperwork if they want to buy one of the properties you showed them. Your office should be attractive and welcoming, with comfortable places for your clients to sit and wait, and friendly, helpful staff.
Does the office have enough workspace? Will you have access to computers, a copier, and a fax machine? Can you park there for work?
It’s important to consider how long this commute would be, so you can realistically gauge how much time you’ll have for other activities. When considering a job as a real estate agent, you should think about how long the commute to the office would be. It’s important to be realistic about how much time you’ll have for other activities, depending on how long it would take you to get to the office.
Although your office does not have to be in proximity to the area you work in, you may have to explain to clients that real estate has become less of a neighborhood business due to the fact that homebuyers and sellers are now more transient and mobile. Consequently, real estate agents must now be knowledgeable about larger geographic areas than in the past.
One consideration for choosing a real estate company location would be how easy it is for clients to find the office.
There are real estate companies that do not have an office space for agents, but they generally make up for it by giving the agents a higher commission split.
In real estate school, you will learn about principles and fundamentals of real estate, real estate law and contract law, and how to write purchase agreements and list property for sale. However, it is also important to develop skills in sales techniques and negotiating, which you can get through advanced training or assistance from someone else.
It is beneficial for companies to provide formal training for their new agents and/or have an organized process for coaching them. This way, you will be able to learn about the person’s or people’s backgrounds who will be training and/or helping you.
The questions you should ask to get a sense of the company are: -Is the company new or mature? -Is the company growing? -Does the company’s leadership have enough time to help new agents? -Is the company stable or in decline? The experience level of the manager or broker is the more important factor to consider.
The primary contact person at a medium or large company is likely to be a manager who draws a salary, whereas in a small or medium sized company, the manager may be the broker/owner. If you are wondering if the manager or broker also sells real estate, it could be relevant to your situation, because his or her personal production could have an impact on the time available to help you. Another question you might want to ask is how many full-time and part-time agents the manager is responsible for. A workload of more than 50 full-time agents would be very challenging for one manager, unless the company has assistant trainers to help new agents.
8. Administrative Support
The real estate office you work for will be responsible for uploading your MLS listings and processing transaction paperwork. It is also important to ask the accounting department how long you will have to wait to receive your commission after a closing.
9. Commission Schedule
In order to survive, all real estate companies need to earn a profit; however, there are various routes to that bottom line.
The traditional brokerage model pays around half of the commission to the agent, with the company keeping the rest to cover expenses and profit. The agent’s split percentage may increase as their sales volume goes up throughout the year. Under this model, the company covers most or all of the overhead costs.
In the 1980s, a new model for real estate companies emerged, in which agents were charged various fees to cover the company’s operating expenses and ensure some profit for the company. In return for this security, the company would split the commission with the agent at a higher percentage than under the traditional model, sometimes as high as 100%. This model was popular with experienced agents who were willing to take on more financial risk.
An office with a mix of experienced and new agents can have the benefits of both a stable and energized atmosphere.
In addition to more concrete factors like salary and commission, pay attention to your gut feeling about the company and your potential manager. You can get a sense of the company culture by visiting the website and talking to a few employees.
11. Recognition for Achievement
It is important to have personal goals when working in real estate as they will be indicative of your success. A monetary goal is a good idea, but being recognized for your accomplishments can be just as gratifying. Many successful real estate businesses have programs that honor their top-producing agents; becoming one of these could be more motivating than you realize.
If you’re interested in leasing or property management, you’ll find more opportunities at companies that specialize in those areas. If you’re interested in investment, commercial, or industrial real estate sales, you can find opportunities at general brokerages that cover those areas as well as residential sales.
Some real estate agents specialize in selling farms and ranches, recreational property, lakeshore property, and undeveloped land. Others work for new home builders, which involves different practices than working with existing properties. Some agents choose to work for a general brokerage, which allows them to sell both new construction and existing properties. When interviewing prospective managers, ask if this option would be available to you.
How to Select the Right Office for Your Real Estate Brokerage
1. Your Brokerage’s Mission & Vision
When thinking about your goals, it is important to think about the end result that you want. You wouldn’t give advice to a client that would cause them to have to sell their home and buy a new one a few months later, because it would be too costly.
Leasing an office also has similar disadvantages. The costs of moving, the deposit, tenant improvements (TI), furniture, equipment, and signage are all too high to consider obsolescence in the near future. Furthermore, moving offices sends a negative message to the loyal customers that your agents have been working hard to keep.
You shouldn’t move too soon, think about the future first. This is why it’s important to be clear about the mission, vision, and values for your brokerage before finding an office space.
If you want your brokerage to be successful, you need to have a clear mission, vision, and values. Your mission is the difference your brokerage wishes to make in your community, demographic, or industry, and the vision is the picture of what it looks like when your brokerage realizes the goal it wishes to achieve. If you haven’t created the MVV for your brokerage yet, stop reading this and read my guide How to Create an Inspiring Mission, Vision & Values for Your Brokerage. This is a crucial first step for starting a brokerage or any small business.
You don’t want to sign a long-term lease for a small office if your goal is to have a lot of employees in the next few years.
Selecting the right office for your brokerage is a crucial step in creating a successful business. Your mission and vision will guide you in making the best decision for your company. Consider all the options and make the choice that best suits your needs.
2. The Type of Agents You Wish to Attract
Many brokerages exist to support the agent and not the client. The way I represented this concept was to say that the agent is our customer and the client is the agent’s customer.
When you’re thinking about what kind of agent you want to attract and have serving your brokerage, it’s important to consider what kind of environment and office you have. Your office is essentially a giant ad for agents, whether you want it to be or not, so you need to make sure it reflects the kind of image you want to project. If you were designing a pay-per-click ad targeted at agents, would you want it to look like your office does?
Agents who work in real estate need different things from their brokerage office than other types of agents.
New, Newer & Low-producing Agents
If you want your brokerage to have a lot of new or lower-producing agents, you should have or have access to a training room. That way, you can have a structured training schedule that won’t get in the way of the higher-producing agents.
Mid-level to High-producers
Disagents who produce fewer than 10 transactions a year are less likely to need access to marketing and transaction management support. They are also less likely to want a shared or private office to work from.
Top Producers & Teams
Small brokerages need to provide their staff with more private office space, but this can be expensive. The main challenge that small businesses face is finding a way to pay for the extra space without going over budget.
3. The Services Your Brokerage Provides
The fundamental purpose of your real estate brokerage is to assist agents so they can take care of clients. Every brokerage model supplies agents with various services that are grounded in the company’s central selling point. The more services you make available to agents, the more room you will need to support the personnel required to carry out these services.
The amount of office space your brokerage needs is largely dependent on the services it offers. If your brokerage focuses on limited or virtual services, then you won’t need much extra space for employees. However, if your brokerage offers more personalised services, like one-on-one marketing support, then you’ll need private offices for staff members such as a transaction manager and listing marketing coordinator.
4. The Location of the Office
I have seen other brokerages, even if in excellent office space, go out of business. If the location of a brokerage is not as important as some people think, what are some of the other considerations?
There is no definitive answer to where the best location for a real estate brokerage is. What you should be looking for is a location that supports your vision for the brokerage and is ideal for the types of agents you want to attract, without breaking the bank.
Other Location Considerations
Of course, there are a few other things to keep in mind with your office location. These include:
If you want to attract agents who are always busy and productive, consider locations on the first floor with plenty of parking and easy access to highways. This way, agents can quickly come and go in between appointments.
An office close to restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, and bike and walking trails will not only attract agents, but will make them more likely to work from the office. This is because the convenience of these amenities will make coming to and working from the office more convenient, not more difficult.
5. Make a Budget & Stick to It
You should spend no more than 30% of your brokerage expenses on your office space. This figure should include any additional fees or expenses that your landlord may charge or pass on to you.
If you spend more than 30% of your income on expenses, you may not have enough money left for daily operations, new opportunities, and future opportunities. It’s like being “house poor” where you spend so much on your home that you can’t afford other things.
Find a lease that meets your needs and be sure to check all the boxes before signing.
agreement. If you don’t have extensive experience writing and negotiating commercial leases, it’s a good idea to hire someone who does. Your business’s success and your financial security depend on your ability to negotiate favorable terms in your lease agreement.