Agent2Agent in San Francisco>Question Details

 Lovestinks31, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA

I asked on this forum how to tell which place is best to hang my lic?

Asked by Lovestinks31, San Francisco, CA Wed Mar 26, 2014

Im a new agent. One person here suggested to look for the" top producers" I get that but I asked where and she said the MLS list sales. But... you can only join the MLS once you have an office therefore I can't look? Secondly im still stumped on choosing. Every office I've been to they were welcoming (with the exception of one) and they all offered training and mentorship. So what else should come into consideration for my choice?

Help the community by answering this question:


There is only one question you should be asking a broker. The answer to the question reveals EVERYTHING you need to know. Everything else is hype. You might choose from the very beginning to learn to distinguish the bull from the ...stuff you don't want to step in.

Now, what is your business goal?
What have you defined your business to be?
What are you immediate, short and long term goals?

If you have a clue, THEN you have something to chat about.
Untill you do, this is the ONLY thing you need to ask these brokers.

"What is the average transaction per agent annually for the office?" Have the broker show you the 'PRO-TECH report which tracks these numbers. Don't believe what the lips say.

Why is this important? This is the ONLY proof that the training, systems, support, compensation, oversight and guidance work. If the office is averagine 9 a year, this outfit is practicing 'ACCIDENTAL' real estate. Now you can use those averages to see how they plug into the homework you completed in the second paragraph.

If you need more help, read my seven blogs titled, "7 Things I wish I know before getting into real estate."

Don't believe the hype.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
I know when I was trying to determine where to work, I selected a Broker that was honest, and offered training. If the Broker is honest it will typically follow that he will hire and work with honest agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Certainly the idea of picking a broker can make or break your career. I know if I was in your situation, some of my questions would be what kind of training and education will I receive? Is there an accountability program in place if I wish to follow it? How well respected is the company both locally and nationally? Interview with larger offices. Most "boutique shops" do not offer the formal training and education to get ones career started off in the right direction. If you wish to do this full time, you must consider this a full time job. Everyone needs a coach, whether in their profession, physical, spiritual, financial...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Look at their website, how powerful is it? Pretend you are a Buyer, how efficient and intuitive is their site? Would you be able to get what you want and need or would you look elsewhere. Google the names of each agent. Google the name of the Agency. Their website should have all listings, what is the number of listings per Agent?

Send an email posing as a potential Buyer to EACH Agent on one of their listings and one the the Broker Owner. HOw quickly do the they respond? How helpful are they? Because that is the key to being successful in this business. I sold 8MM last year (my second year) and that is how I picked my Broker.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
There is no company like Keller Williams. I have been here for 6 years and was with 2 other companies before. Keller Williams offers the Best Training in the business. That can be verified by Training Magazine top 125 list. KW is also the only major firm to offer profit share back to their agents.

If your goal is to provide a great life for yourself then KW is the way to go! If you would like more information on who to talk to in your area I am happy to get you in contact with the right person
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Cindy's answer below is spot on. However, I would add one more point. Chat with the broker -- and see if you feel a connection to him/her. It is, after all, the broker who is ultimately going to support you or not, so you need to feel a kinship with the broker.

P.S. I have a GREAT broker, who doesn't mind if I call him at 9 pm on a Saturday evening!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
if you have a mentor would you still go to the broker?
Flag Wed Mar 26, 2014
This question gets asked a lot. Look for details about costs. Every office as a split, and then there's e & o insurance, business cards, signs, lockboxes, etc.

I went online and found agents that worked at each office I was considering. I asked each what they liked and didn't like about the company. For me, that was helpful.

Go where you feel a connection...find someone you like...also find out if the training is theoretical or practical...Classes are a starting point, but the real learning is out in the field.

Wishing you all the best. And relax. if the first company doesn't work out, you can always move to a different one!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
As a new agent, it's always recommended to lean toward the agency that is truly committed to supporting their beginners. Too many agencies view their responsibility to newly acquired agents as a process of orienting them to their way of doing things.

Seek a company that values the importance of a good mentoring system. One that provides a real experience in all walks of the business and encourages you to take part in enjoying success.

Your initial focus is not allowing yourself to be one of the 75% that wash out during the first 4-5 years and indicate their problem was one of never having received the support they required. As previously mentioned, if you are not getting what you need you can always make an adjustment by changing agencies.

Best wishes,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
You're not married to the brokerage you select. As Cindy points out, you can always change to another brokerage. Not that you want to start out with the idea of moving in mind, but knowing there's flexibility can bring the anxiety level down.

I started with a big brokerage that had a mentor program. My mentor was very successful and could be delightful and charming as well as nasty and condescending.

We did the accountability stuff but for this mentor, whatever you did was never good enough unless you were a complete suck up or simply lied about your activities. It wasn't working for me.

The mentor disappeared during transactions and when I did reach him, he was not helpful. Not surprisingly, he was always ready to collect his check upon closing. It was really disappointing.

A mentor can be a really good thing if you have a good one who will be present and teach you practical, real life stuff that will help you succeed as long as you put in the time, work and effort.

As you learn more and get real world experience, you may start looking at those top producers differently. I did. Your perspective changes as you get more experience under your belt. Additionally, a lot of those "top producers" were successful simply because the market was good at that time. When the market changed, they were no longer top producers or even in the profession any longer.

There's something to be said about surrounding yourself with successful people and who have an excellent skill set that will allow them to survive in any market. I'd like to add that you want to make sure those people are honorable and act from a place of integrity.

Brokerages will often agree to have you attend one of their sales meetings to help you determine if they're a fit. Perhaps you'd like to attend meetings at the various brokerages and mingle with some of the salespeople and see what useful information you can extract.

The first brokerage I worked for often pitched high dollar, low value programs that claimed to revolutnize your business. Don't fall for it. YOU are your business.

You can also ask people at your realtor board if they have any suggestions. They'll have a perspective that may help you look at this from a different angle.

Another thing to be aware of is agents who too enthusiastically try to recruit you to their brokerage. Brokerages sometimes have incentives paid to agents who bring in new agents. It could be a flat fee paid to the agent, a certain number of months where the monthly fee is forgiven or a percentage of your sales. It's not that this approach is bad, but it something of which to be aware.

When an agent wants to recruit you, it would be nice to know their enthusiasm is pure and in your best interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
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