As you know, going into an interview as a real estate agent is a different experience than a full-time employee nervously interviewing for a job on the third floor. Rather than the employer evaluating you, you're evaluating the employer to determine if what they offer is a good fit for your business. Though similar to a full-time position, you can often forget important questions to ask the broker during your time in the office. Whether the broker has taken charge of the conversation or because you've got caught up on a feature the brokerage offers that excites you, it's important to remember to ask these 7 questions before you join.
What's the commission split?
This is a question not likely to be forgotten. It's often considered the most important factor when agents decide if the brokerage is a good fit or not because let's face it, you work hard to earn your living and you need to pay the bills.
Two important questions to ask yourself once you know the commission split:
- Are the services and tools provided at this brokerage worth the commission split?
- Is the level of support here going to grow my business and my success?
It doesn't make financial sense to join a brokerage that doesn't provide you the tools to strengthen the areas where your business is weak.
What specific costs will I be responsible for?
While a brokerage can advertise on their website that they offer social media management, leads, and more- that doesn't always mean those things are standard and included. It's better for both parties involved if you know all the costs you'll be responsible for upfront, even if that means moving on to another brokerage.
What forms of real estate training and education do you provide?
There are different forms of training and education in real estate that may be more appealing to agents depending on their years of experience. Commonly sought after training programs include:
- Mentorship Programs
- Broker Established Training Courses
- Cold Calling
- Continuing Education Credits offered In-House
Education and training can be more valuable or less valuable depending on your experience level. New agents often prefer brokerages with more programs to learn best practices from experienced agents before stepping out on their own, while seasoned agents might only be interested in the convenience of free in-house CE units to meet the requirements put in place by the real estate state commission.
Do you offer marketing materials or a marketing service?
Is brand awareness something you excel in? Do you have time for it? If you're answer is "Yes!" then scroll on down to the next question. For those of you who might not be as tech savvy, or don't know the first thing about marketing and keeping your past clients or future customers engaged, brokerage provided marketing materials/services might be a perk you should be looking for to enhance your professional image as a leader in your industry.
- Company Branded Market Statistics
- Company Wide Social Media Posts
- Company Created and Provided Email Marketing
Do you have a company policy manual?
You shouldn't take a job without first reading the fine print. Some brokerages are very relaxed while others are very brand focused with set expectations. Flip through the manual to find policies on topics such as:
- Branding/Social Media
- Dress Code
- Monthly Dues
- Expectations of Notice
- Lead and Client Ownership Upon Leaving the Brokerage
What's the company culture like?
As an agent, you have your own image and personality. Set yourself up for success by joining a brokerage similar in style. You'll find yourself happier with a brokerage that has expectations within your comfort zone and personalities similar to yours. When interviewing, ask the broker if you can hang out for the day to get a feel of the office and the other agents who you'd cross paths with.
How many agents do you currently have?
This question is important for a few different reasons. Open-collaboration and a sense of teamwork are important to some, while the amount of competition for leads is important to others. Some real estate agents find comfort in larger brokerages for the option to be on a team while others want smaller brokerage to have a more family feel while running their independent business. Think about what the right amount of agents would be for you and your success.
There's still one more question to be asked, but not to the broker...
Towards the tail end of the interview, ask yourself "Did the broker seem interested in my success or just my monthly dues?". Did the broker ask you about the weaknesses in your business and what tools you think you need to succeed? Were they honest with you about if they could help you based off your current situation? Did they sound excited about taking your business to new heights? Or did the broker simply not ask you anything at all...
Did you put together a successful financial plan and budget accordingly that allows you the freedom to choose the brokerage split that's right for you? Click here for important financial aspects to remember when preparing for a career in real estate.