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Struggling R…,  in San Jose, CA

Looking for brokerage advice!!!! I have been a part-time realtor for the past 5 years. Recently due to

Asked by Struggling Realtor, San Jose, CA Thu Aug 7, 2008

finances I need to push myself full time. I am presently with a very, very small firm with no name recognition. I receive a very nice split and lots of free perks. The downside is the lack of any other activity happening in the office. I have no opportunity for open houses, floor calls, etc and people constantly forget the name of the company I work for because it is unfamiliar. I have recently interviewed with Coldwell Banker and I like the office and the management. The downside are the enormous fees and the huge gross commission amounts I have to achieve in order to keep my current split. I'm looking for some well-seasoned advice, do I make the change to Coldwell Banker and will it be worth the $5000 extra a year in fees????

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San jose agent -- What about Connect We are internet based ,work from home, and use the internet to get our leads and advertise our listings. Connect realty was developed with the idea that agents are suffering too much overhead and don't get any support from thier brokers who charge them either too many fees or too high of a split. Connect is simple smart and easy we are responsible to find our clients, get the paperwork uploaded into the system and in exchange they pay us 80 % of the gross for seasoned agents and they only charge E & O of $77.00 per transaction. I have closed a couple and I can say for certain that this is truely how it works. I challenge you to find another brokerage with as much support as we have that can pay you as well. If you want more info I can set up a meeting with you and my team leader. Call me 916-716-7776 Donna L Meyers Connect Realty
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
Here's the big news flash I wish so many folks would get! YOU WORK FOR YOU, not a company. The company just gives you a place to park your's intent is not to feed you business.

You've got to get out and work your area. Stop by the fire station, ask to host a seminar or Q and A session for teachers, get a webpage up and running, volunteer, etc... you can grow your own business by getting out there.

I've worked for Re/Max, Keller Williams, small local firms, myself and now an internet based firm. I jumped around thinking the "perks" would be better, but it was always up to me to generate business.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
I was with the big name company that you are speaking about. I did very well there, but when time came to get over the 20 + deals a year business I was doing and push to doing 40 or 50.. management floundered and could not help me make it to the big time. The fee's are huge .. 6% off the top, relocation puts their hand in your pocket on every turn. They re very happy with 40 - 60 agents doing 5 - 10- 15 deals a year.. If you are not one of the (paid full time) managers pet's.... you get virtually no company referrals.

Although I have to say that the education and training is by far the best in the business. I researched all of that a long time ago and Coldwell Banker was like "Star Wars" advanced over all the others in training.
The way they train and the materials that they use.. you can utilize elsewhere. That alone is very valuable.. I spoke to a quite a few companies big, medium and small... no one matches the materials that they use. Very useful information when you use it correctly after the fact.

You could go there for the training for 1 year... take all the classes they give you, soak up as much as you can build a business and research what company is best for you... and move next fall.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
I would advise that you look at other companies, but I would ask you to include Keller Williams Gateway office. We are the second office and part of the Silicon Valley group. You would never have a problem finding homes to hold open and we have group of experienced Realtors that will share their knowledge with you.
Keller Williams offers outstanding training and complete mentoring, I don't know of another company that offers the amount of training that we do. If you need training on a specific subject we can help with it. We are getting ready to start a bit of friendly competition on lead generating, give us a call and check us out. We are always looking for professional Realtors to join our staff.

I wish you the best in your search for the right company!

Charles Coachman

I wish you the very best in your career
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Today I was interviewing a newer agent and I was sharing a philosophy with him that my mentor instilled in me a long time ago regarding investing. He said, "Hugo, its futile to try to find every possible tax advantage out there. Work with your CPA to get as much as you can and pay the rest happily. Think about it this way, if you're paying a lot in taxes, it also means that you're making a lot of money." In your situation, I think your key phrases were "I like the office and management" and that you seek "activity" and the opportunity for "open houses and floor calls." So you need to ask for yourself, you may pay $5000 in fees but if you're making a healthy living, like the management and have activity around you is it worth it? In my experience I have found that it is. What I also would recommend is that your fees are paid on the back end of the transaction. I have never believed in desk fees or excessive up front fees to the brokerage. Work out something with the management. But don't trade off having a successful business only because you have to pay fees. (Oh yeah, they are also write offs).
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 16, 2008
Hi Struggling,

When I started my real estate career I started with Coldwell Banker. Yes you have the name recognition and you have the coldwell banker machine behind you. But, you have to look at what expense your paying to have the machine.
My experience you start at a totally different split and yes you have so many fees when you do close a transaction. I found that if your not in a click you still will have the same problem that you currently have even if you have the machine behind you. Yes agents will ask you to sit at there open house due to them having more important things to do.

The key to you being a successful agent (at any company) is to work on your marketing and build your networking team. Get your name out into the area where you live and do your business. It really doesn't matter the company you work for. Homeowners only care about if you know what your doing how you will market there home and if they feel they trust what you are saying.

After leaving Coldwell Banker I moved to Exit Realty. Same story I had a company with a name that people knew but again they way I would run a company is totally different. So I'm happy to say I started my own company and it may not be a huge machine like a Coldwell Banker. But we are doing just fine it's all in how you market and build your relationships if there are some extra classes you can take try learning as much as you can. It will help you a lot

Hope that helps. Feel free to contact me if I can be of further help.
Best Regards,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 15, 2008
I recently moved from Keller Williams, a wonderful brokerage, to a small brokerage with excellent benefits http://( I left Coldwell Banker to go to KW five years ago because of the split. I never looked back. You may want to consider Keller Williams for the combo of brand and quality without the high split.

Now, at a smaller brokerage (presently, I believe it will grow) I have a great rapport with agents in my neighborhood and often hold open houses for agents who need help from other brokerages. I also promote homes that other agents list (with their express permission) to give my clients the sense of being connected to bigness without any down side.On the balance, having been in both places, I am content where I am and also know that you want to be in the place that suits your own needs and professional desires. More than 75 percent of people choose the agent based on the qualifications of the person, not the brand. And in almost all zip codes in Santa Clara County you cannot see a dominant "neighborhood" specialist, because people are choosing an agent they like and respect -- regardless of brand. I personally have sold homes with Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams and now Connect Realty, and I have not noticed a huge difference in brand influencing my performance.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 11, 2008
You need create your own life.
After writing the Realtors live close to the edge 1 of 2, I feel there must something we can do so I write this on. If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing -- you're right. - Henry Ford

The things are slowing down, the buyers as well as sellers are tried to wrap their summer vacation trips or get ready for their children’s new school season supply. I think this is great time to use this quiet time to plan our business.

1. Daily routine: Use visualization to change your mind. I visualize myself shaking hands with buyers and sellers to congratulate them when close of escrow.

2. Daily affirmation: is a short, positive and present tense encouraging words. You can stand in front of a mirror to say those affirmation in the morning.

* I am a successful Realtors.

* Everything I touch is a success.

* I give my best at work and I am richly rewarded.

* My income is constant increased. * Life works beautifully!

The last three affirmation is quoted from:
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
Struggling, what is it you that you want to get from the move? A better living and a client base, right? This business is all about branding your name in people's memories so they think of you when they have a real estate need. So you have two choices; farm and market until they do recognize your company's name and more importanly yours, or work with a company that has the name brand recognition and the marketing resources necessary to do it for you. If you can get a better business base, educational and marketing resources from Coldwell Banker, then go! This is the time to make the move, and when you build your business you can choose to go back to a smaller company or maybe even open up your own brokerage. Make sure you send your established client base reminders of where you moved to and continue to do so.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
I started my career with CBR and did very well. They have excellent training. As the market changed so did the management in that office. I would suggest the following
1) Work where you want to work. An area you like and are familiar with the market.
2) Interview the Broker and compare their beliefs with your own.
3) Talk with agents at that branch and see if they work.
4) Find out what type of training and on-going support the office has to offer.
5) Ask about meetings and tours.
6) Do they have a lot of listing which you can hold open.
7) Have you thought about working on a team or assistant for an agent?

This business you get out of if what you put in. Check out the following coaching programs?
Steven Cates
Brian Buffini
Mike Ferry

Email or call me if I may help you make a decission
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Hi Struggling,
Interesting since I went through the same thing in the early 1990s near that business downturn. I agree with mostly that has been said so far. I do have an additional comment though. Interview with the offices that have the significant listing market share in your area. My experience has been that there is more outside of your sphere business that comes in. The opportunities that present themselves through either floor, ad calls or just prospects who recognize company name was and continues to be a significant factor in the amount of business our agent receive. Of course, perks, commissions splits, franchise fees, and training should be factored in but office market share and presence definitely played a part in my success.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 9, 2008

I would say don't work for ReMax until your a seasoned Realtor. I work for Century21 but in all honesty I am most impressed by Keller Williams when it comes to the training that new agents go through, it is unmatched.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Hello Struggling,

As others I do agree it is not the company you work for but yourself that makes the difference. It will help if you work full time, take some courses at the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors University ( The GRI program is great !), Talk to top producer agents and find out there secrets, and look into Mike Ferry training. If you are worried about your production not being enough to get by, Mike Ferry coach's you through the steps to increase your production. It is all about giving quality service to your clients and confidence in yourself to do the job. Along with education, and prospecting you will do well even in hard times such as these. Good Luck!

Trisha Motter
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Hello Struggling. I agree with the other posts. I have never had someone hire me because I worked for KW. Prior to working for KW, I worked for a smaller local company and I was about to leave, but I had a seller whose listing I was going to take. I asked them whether they cared if I switched companies and they said that they did not care where my license was hung.
If you like your split and the perks at your present company, I would suggest that you offer agents from other companies to sit open houses. Just because you don't work for the same company does not mean you can hold an open house. If you are already struggling, having to deal with the additional high monthly franchise fees and up front cost is not going to help you. The reality is that you can only expect so much support from your brokerage. That's part of being self-employed and being your own boss. You may also want to contact some of the high volume REO listing agents in San Jose. They have tons of listings and there's no shortage of inventory to hold open. These agents don't have time to hold open houses and I would think they'd welcome your offer to hold their REOs open. Get special open house signs that show that the house is bank owned and you'll be surprised how many visitors you'll get. You really have to think outside the box and show self-initiative. Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
Been to CBRB, done that. My opinion is that it is YOU, not the brokerage's "name," that gets you the business. People list with you because they like you, trust you, are impressed with your demeanor and/or presentation, or you remind them of someone they trust. Don't fall for the trap that the big name gets you the business, and that is worth a huge cut from your commissions. They use every trick and explanation in the book to keep more for themselves.

I would find a medium-sized firm that can offer the open house, floor time, etc. I would especially ask about training offered by the firm. A firm that pairs you with a full-time producing member for awhile is really terrific. As a real estate instructor in Massachusetts, and although I own my own non-Keller-Williams brokerage, I am especially impressed with the Keller Williams training offerings, and their motivational material, agent get-togethers, and quasi-MLS structure (as in, bring people in under your name and profiting from their efforts) is impressive also. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Hello Strugling,

Don't sign up up with a broker until you've talked with a few. In real estate everything is negotiable. I'm sure you can work out a sweet deal for yourself. Right now I'm with RE/MAX, name recognition, incredible web presence and tools. At the same time, my broker and I were able to work out an excellent deal that we both are very happy with. Feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to share with you the details.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008

Great advice so far. All I can do is share my experience. I chose to work with RE/MAX as a brand new agent. Remember, each office is independently owned and operated, so I really did not choose RE/MAX per se, I chose the broker I wanted to work for, who just happens to own a RE/MAX franchise.
This broker provides training (we have a training center that seats 150), mentoring (there is a full time mentor that works with all new agents and will coach more seasoned agents who need a kick in the%$*+?!#% or are looking to try new things), various programs for commission splits (which I believe are very well structured and reasonable) and a great work environment (when you choose to come into the office).

My recommendation is do not make a rash decision. A name brand can be a deciding factor if a buyer/seller is on the fence, but in the long run it is how you make them feel and how you follow through that really matters. Find a place that satisfies your needs and where you will be happy. This will make you shine and help you build your branding. How you feel walks into the room before you do when you meet with clients. Make sure your affiliation fills you with confidence and joy. Then you will be successful. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Hi Struggling, you're certain to get a lot of answers to your question from great agents who will give you wonderful advice about finding a name brand broker. I'm going to give you another perspective that might help with your career decisions, at least that's my intention.
John Hickey (previous answer) is right on the money with his advice. You want prospects and clients to remember YOUR name before they remember your broker brand or office. You are likely to change brokers several times in your career, you don't want your clients calling an old office when they need you - you want them to call one phone number that goes straight to you and never changes during your entire career.
True, a franchise office offers training, opportunity to work with experienced agents, and name recognition, but AGENTS close deals and build client relationships.
My practice is primarily consulting, but I do broker exclusively for my investor clients. If a consulting client has a listing that I don't want to handle myself, I'll seek out a local broker to take the listing. 99.99% of the time I won't give my client's listing to a franchise broker. Independent brokers tend to have more flexibility when it comes to negotiating terms of the listing and provide more personal attention. Of course there are a lot of great agents working at franchise offices, but my preference is to work with an independent who has worked hard to develop their own name recognition.
Best of luck,
John A. Souerbry & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Call a couple of the larger brokerages in your area and compare.

Keep in mind that your clients hire you. The name recognition can help you get in the door and/or be a tie-breaker but for the most part your success depends on your effort.

Good Luck,

John Hickey
Dilbeck Realtors, GMAC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
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