Manager Lyon Real Estate Folsom
Lyon is ranked #1 in Sales in the Sacramento region through November, 2007!
I have been licensed since September 2005. When I was first licensed, I interviewed with several brokerages, both large and small, and I chose to hang my license with a small independent brokerage in Citrus Heights. At the time, my perception was that I was going to get more one-on-one training directly with my broker, that my broker had a more direct vested interest in my success, that my broker would assist me with marketing, that I would start off with a larger commission split, and that I could keep my commission if I purchased my own home.
Let me tell you - it all sounded great at the time. However, other than direction with regard to how to fill out paperwork, my broker was zero help at all. When I approached him with questions, I was told to call the California Association of Realtors help line. My broker had zero marketing skill with regard to his own company, and could not give me any guidance or direction to implement my own marketing plan. Most of the other agents in my office were part time, and the full time agents were not big producers. Morale there was terrible. The office was always empty. My office was only open 9-5, Monday - Friday. Agents were not given a key to the facility. Basically I was on my own.
Now, I actually feel very fortunate that I had this experience. It forced me to become very self-sufficient very quickly. I have a sales and marketing background, and I was able to apply the principles I know to the real estate profession...and luckily I was successful. I created my own personal brand and discovered my own niche.
However I had no company brand, and no company support. I had issues obtaining listings, and always was 'beat out' by agents who worked with companies that had name recognition and market share.
Early in 2007, I decided it was time for a move. I again interviewed with several brokerages, again both large and small. The difference in interviewing this time around was that I knew what qualities I was looking for in a brokerage. In March of 2007, I moved to Lyon Real Estate. I work out of the Sierra Oaks office. Because I was still basically a new agent, I went to the same training all of the newly licensed agents go through as well. Start up costs were minimal - signs, cards, insurance, etc...same fees you will pay anywhere else. Training did not cost anything, however I think I remember if you leave Lyon before x amount of time you have to reimburse Lyon for training-related costs.
I get outstanding support at Lyon. My managing broker and sales manager are awesome and always available if I have questions. Lyon has the dominant market share in most areas in Sacramento County (and other counties too). I am surrounded by top producers. We have great tools for market trend analysis, marketing, and more. We have company-wide training events. Michael Lyon is one of the most recognizable and respected figures in the Sacramento Real Estate market and beyond. I no longer loose listing opportunities. In 2007, I more than doubled my 2006 production and qualified for the Sacramento Association of Realtors "Master's Club." Sorry if this was a Lyon Real Estate commercial...honestly I wish I had started my career here.
Good luck to you as you select a brokerage. This is a very important decision - do not take it lightly, and make sure you carefully evaluate each company. Make lists of pro's and con's. My advice to you is that "the highest commission split" and "keeping commission on your primary home purchase" should not be deciding factors on which company to select if you are going to be a full time agent. Those will end up costing you the most in the long run...
First, I'll let you knwo that I am the Co-manager of the Lyon Real Estate office in Folsom, so my views will be somewhat subjective. That said you asked a good question, training and support are absolutely critical to your success in real estate sales. I believe that every brokerage will tell you they have the best training (myself included!), and the best way for you to really discover what will work best for you is to interview with a few different brokerages to really gauge for yourself. You also want to try to get a feel for the support you will receive, and for the culture of the office - each office has it's own culture, even within a brokerage.
At Lyon we do offer extensive training programs taught live by seasoned trainers and myself, and have video training resources available on our company intranet site. Some of our programs include a one week intensive course, a 12 week program of courses taught twice per week, and Brian Buffini's 100 Days to Greatness - taught live in our office. We have ongoing sales and marketing training weekly and one on one coaching to help you develop and execute a marketing and business plan. Our in office support includes two Managers and a Quality Assurance Mentor here to answer questions. We have been very successful in having agents join our office from other firms recently because of the training and culture we offer. Let me know if you would like more infromation about Lyon, and be sure to interview with a few brokerages to find the best one for you!
I plan to start part-time and the priviledge to buy my home without splitting commission and good training mean a lot to me. I would like to be honest and upfront with the brokers I meet regarding this. From all the responses, it seems like everyone feels that their respective brokerages offer the best training, which unfortunately, doesn't make my search any easier. Please keep the advice coming, which is greatly appreciated.
We also have a mentoring program for new agents, where you team up wiith an experienced agent for your first 3 deals. I am one of the mentors in my office, and I take my new agents on listing appointments, door knocking, etc. We have weekly accountability meetings, and much more. I think it is a very successful way to "get your feet wet by having someone who takes a personal interest in you.
As far as selling your own home, the way it works in our company, you have to technically have another agent "represent" the sale, so that the E&O insurance covers the sale. We pay the agent about $250.00 to handle the paperwork. The company gets a very tiny split, also to cover the E & O for the transaction.
It may be set up a bit differently where you are. Just be certain that there is some sort of structered training program, otherwise you may end up dissappointed- as Erin was.
The best of luck to you. Just remember when you get into it- it is all a numbers game. The more people you get yourself in front of, the more likely you are to make a deal happen!
Based on my interviews when I was new and my experience starting out with ERA, I can tell you ERA has fairly decent training on some of the basics, but since when do they have minimal fees? When I joined they pretty much started out new agents at a 50/50 split, and the time frame for moving up was rather long. At Elite Properties (my company), the split starts slightly higher than that and you move up more quickly -- also there are no ongoing fees except for Metrolist / Board dues, which you'd have to pay anywhere you go.
I don't ususally charge agents to do their own transactions. If you're new however part of your split is also paying your mentor, so we'd to talk that part of it over -- chances are it could be worked out. There's also a transaction coordinator piece that would apply.
Give me a call if you wanted to discuss it further (530) 672-9160.
There are private coaches in real estate, who have fees that can extend into 5 figures for one-on-one coahcing. You can choose a small company, that has a great manager or owner who might provide you individual attention, mentoring, and an education that surpasses what one might pay 5 figures for while working for a large company where such individualized attention is not possible.
You might need to be in a large company for comraderie. There is a level of energy (or drain) that can result.
Do yo want to work out of an office every day? Or do you prefer to work on your own from home and not report to an office? How well can you communicate w/ your office if you do not go in? Is there adequate support systems that will alert you quickly about faxes, messges, and important mail if you do not go in and check yourself?
As far as buying your own home, and how the commission will be handled, it will vary office to office. I think it would be very rare to find an office that waived the split and allowed you to keep the entire commisison. A broker has liability, insurance, and recordkeeping expenses on that transaction. The broker has general overhead expenses for you (phones, desks, etc.) while you are out looking for your own home.
Many brokers have policies that actually prohibit agents from representing themselves. Many E&O policies have terms that retrict this, either in blanket form, or for preferred rates.
I am not in CA, and do not have any specific recommendations. The comments made here would apply to any agent in any state.