I would never consider a "large" company because of their fees and their systems.
The large companies take new agents and put them on some top producers team to get trained.
The large companies do this to keep their top producing agents.
It is a joke. The new agents do not get paid squat. They get used and abused. Trashed and burned. Most of them do not make it through the first year.
Go with a large independant and do not get caught up in "that team" idea thing. You will only lose.
I wouldn't recommend making an evaluation on a company based upon size. The decision is far more complex than that. You need to figure out what you want to accomplish in the business and then find the agency best aligned with you goals. If you're new, everyone will tell you they offer training. The training is only as good as the person delivering the instruction. Have they ever done it? Are they simply reading from a book? I would attend a couple classes at the offices you're most interested. Evaluate whether the instructor style, knowledge and attention are what you seek.
Next, what tools do they deliver? Technology, marketing, coaching (individualized), and resources are also important. How do they compare and what is the value you're getting? Beware of promises. As for offices that offer leads and business...who are they taking the leads from? Go with an office that truly teaches you how to "fish."
Also consider how an office projects itself. Does it have the image and the ability to attract the type of clients you want to work with? Some clients, although it isn't fair, will make a decision based upon the zip code or city on your business card.
Finally, go with an office that truly cares about your success. Your first 60-120 days are so critical. If they aren't helping to get you on track and on task then move on.
I wish you all the best. This is a great time to really learn how to grow your business for long term success. If you can make it in todays market, you're probably set for a great career.
As to the big or small question, I think what's more important is the quality of training & leadership you'll receive from your broker or supervisor. Big or small won't matter nearly as much as the direction you get. In a big company you could be lost in the masses, or a big company could be well organized with multi-faceted leadership. A small company could provide very individualized training, or they could be completely unorganized, not truly knowing how to grow their talent (and thus, that's why they are small).
My advice, while you are out there interviewing, is that after you settle on 1 or 2 companies, go back to them and ask to speak with another junior person. Find out what their experience has been like. Are they happy? What would they change in their first 90 days? Remember, for the most part, you are interviewing them, not the other way around.
It's not the size and cerainly not the name of the company! I would check with several offices in the area that you'd like to work in. Talk to the AGENTS - get their opinions and ask them to compare / contrast what they were promissed vs what they actually got.
The bigger companies do have that name recognition - but more often then not you will just be a small fish in a big pond and you will NOT get the training that is so important when you first start out.
Whatever you choose.... Good luck with your career!
Have you chosen a firm yet? Many of the previous posts have some great advice for you. When I first got my license, I "tried" working with two difference larger firms, Dan Schwartz and Century 21, and wasn't able to find the mentoring or direction I needed to succeed. Granted I was still in college at the time - and maybe I wasn't taken seriously with my spiked hair (back then). I don't know. Where I found my mentors that gave me the education and motivation to succeed were the smaller firms: Cutler Commercial, Right Place Properties/Red Door Group. Again, my experience is different than most, but working in a smaller office with only a few agents/brokers and having the ability to shadow a head broker and bounce questions off everyone else in the office - was the key to MY success.
When interviewing brokers, training and support should be your must-haves, as opposed to commission splits and how pretty the office is. To give you some perspective, my firm, which you've probably never heard of, has closed over $500M in real estate transactions in the last 5 years with under ten full-time brokers/agents - all out of a 1950's building in downtown Phoenix that until recently hadn't been remodeled since probably 1970. We are always looking for great people to add to the team. If you are interested in working in "commercial" real estate, feel free to contact me to learn a little more about what we do.
Good luck to you.
However, big companies are well known and are probably easier to sell your clients on. You can beat the name recognition. But, some like to nickle and dime you to death so be careful and ask many questions.
A smaller company can offer many things you need from a bigger company except maybe the notoriety. I take pride in being with a smaller one because I am confident that will continue to grow, and I will love to tell future clients I was there from the beginning.
My only advice for you is to start reading on the subject, try "your 1st year in real estate" good advice and questions. Good luck, and welcome to the club.
My sister is an independent broker in S.F..She was with Century 21, CB prior to becoming independent. When I was considering which company to join or even work for her, her advise was that I should go with a big company with a great training program to build a solid foundation.
After much consideration and interviewed with a few nationwide companies, I decided to go with my current company. The reason is that it is the number one and best company in Marin, has been in business for 100+ years and has the best reputation in town. We also have great agents who have their priorities straight - customer oriented.
The training is outstanding - not one of the out of box training, but personalized by managers and top agents from the company, teaching all the way from contracts, reading various reports, to listing presentation, marketing self and properties. As it's a local company, we also have some of the deepest local knowledge about Marin and Sonoma counties. The support is also great. I think you will need at least a good sized company to be able to get all that when you first start out.
Commission split is really not the big issue. Yes, the split is low when you first started, but like others said, 90% of nothing is nothing. When you are with a reputable company, you will get more buisness just by the trust along. it goes a long way towards what you will eventually make.
Then I decided to switch to one of the very large companies, which was something that I thought I would never do. The large company had just opened an office in a town near my home about a year before I joined them. We have grown from about 30 agents in 2005 to about 130 agent in those two years and we were voted the best real estate company to work for just a few months ago. The reason why that honor was bestowed on us is the exceptional training that we offer in house and the willingness of our agents to help those agents who need something (new and seasoned agents alike). I also can honestly say that the increasing # of agents in the office has not affected the family atmosphere that I experienced when I first joined 2 years earlier. This proves that you don't have to be just a number even in a large office of a well known company.
I would visit a few offices that you are taking into consideration. Ask them if you could attend one of their office meetings as that will give you a very good idea how agents interact with each other. I would also check how much of the training that the company offers is free. The last thing you want is being nickled and dimed to death trying to take advantage of the training that your company has to offer. See if the company has a mentor program and how it works.
While commission split is always important, it's not the most important thing in the beginning. You could start on a 50/50 split for your first few transactions and then step up to a better split. You just don't want to be tied to a low split for the whole first year. You may also want to know how you are charged for E & O (on a monthly basis, per transaction or do you have to pay for the whole year up front).
There are other things that you may want to take into consideration. When you go with a well known company name, it is much easier to get marketing materials as many vendors sell products for the big companies. They'll already have the company logo and they'll have many products that you can just buy off the shelves or customize easily.
Another thing that I like about my company is that I can meet with clients in other KW offices which makes things more convenient for everybody. Although each office is independently owned and operated, it is KW policy that agents across the country are able to use any other KW office. I just have to call ahead and make sure the office will be open and a conference is available. If you think that flexibility may be important to you, ask what the company's policy is in that regard.
When I look back now, I only wish I had joined a company with a solid training program from the start as I could have avoided learning the hard way. When you are surrounded by people who are eager to teach and eager to learn, you can't help but learn faster and avoid unnecessary mistakes. You'll also learn from the start how to generate business.
Best of luck to you with your decision.
One very large market center with 350 agents offering a lot of education.
Now I work with a large company with very few employees. We do as much or more education, just from a different source.
Education is key.
I would suggest who ever you go with be very "Web/Agent 2.0" and have inventory, listings that you can use to market yourself.
Don`t go discount.