I am a new agent and have a choice between Coldwell Banker or ZIP Realty. What would be the better place for me? I'm in Carlsbad, CA.

Asked by Ken Colontonio, Carlsbad, CA Wed Feb 5, 2014

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Kyle Kovats, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Quite frankly, go with whoever will provide you with the best training as a new agent. After you get in the bizz. your company brand doesn't matter, it's your personal brand that does.
1 vote
Scott Marque…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hello Ken,

You know, I asked myself a similar question a number of years ago and have been in your shoes before. The bottom line is that you are the Real Estate Agent and the one your clients will be relying on. I have found that most people do not give a rip as far as which company you are working with, just as long as you have great communication skills, are a consummate professional, are one who your clients are able to trust and turn to and you strive to satisfy their needs. Yes, you do have a responsibility to the Brokerage you work for and are one of their representatives and you are also developing YOUR business.

I was a coach with Brian Buffini's office in Carlsbad for over six years and have trained over 500 Agents across the United States on how to develop their businesses and become successful. (check out http://www.BuffiniandCompany.com) I am now the Office Manager for Highland Realty in Carlsbad taking care of our team of Agents. That being said, I encourage you to work with an office that has excellent training (legal and professional) and that the Broker/s is/are highly supportive and available to answer questions and be there for you as you grow.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to speak with you. You are also welcome to come to our office, right near Carlsbad Village and meet with myself and our Broker directly.

Whatever you choose, we wish you the best in your endeavor!

"If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us." Jim Rohn

Scott Marquette, Office Manager, REALTOR©
Highland Realty
2712 Jefferson Avenue
Carlsbad, CA 92008

1.760.613.7693 Direct
1.866.929.5064 Fax

California Bureau of Real Estate #01816149

1 vote
Great answer and advice Scott.
Best Regards,
Helene M Moore
Windermere Prestige Properties
Flag Wed Feb 5, 2014
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Dear Ken,
The "Best Brokerage" for you will be the one that offers the best support and training.You will need a lot of help in the beginning couple of years including, Floor Time, Open House, Working with a successful and experienced Realtor, Training, Contracts and so forth. Try to start with a firm that will honestly provide hands on training to new Agents.
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Feb 5, 2014
This is a business. You have elected to become a small business owner. Does CB or Zip align best with your business plan? You do have a business plan, right? If you do not have a plan, if you have not invested the mental energy and effort to define your business, it will not matter with one you choose.
1 vote
Great advice. I would never recommend a brokerage to Ken because I do not know Ken and do not know his learning style or business plan. I know people who were very happy at brokerages for whom I used to work, while I was dissatisfied. It is very personal and no two people are going to have the same experience.
Flag Sun Feb 9, 2014
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Where do you feel like you'll receive the best training, easiest access to a helpful broker and where you fit in? Any office can be a winner or a loser depending largely on what your needs are and how prepared they are to meet them.
1 vote
Tony Cannon, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sun Feb 9, 2014
I started my real estate career at zipRealty many years ago. Their business model has changed since then but I could never recommend them. They treated their agents like dirt.
0 votes
Kori Jensen, , Carlsbad, CA
Sun Feb 9, 2014
Hi Ken,

As a new agent you want to go with an office that is going to offer you the most support and guidance. I know a lot of agents that started with Coldwell Banker 30 years ago and they are still with them, in my opinion that says a lot. Don't be afraid to change offices if one is not a good fit.

Best wishes,

0 votes
Rachel LaMar,…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sun Feb 9, 2014
Hi Ken,

You asked a great question, not so much because you are deciding between two specific brokerages, but because each one offers very different models and perks. Having worked for both online and mega-brokerages, as well as boutique companies (and now my own brokerage), each has positive and negative aspects. I really think it is important for each agent to find the right place for him or her - and this may vary greatly from person to person.

As a new agent I believe the most important perk is great training. Every brokerage has different programs - some extensive, some decent, and many that are, in my opinion, sub-par. As agents and brokers we deal in legalities on a daily basis, so you need to find a company that will thoroughly train you and also offer you a mentor during your learning time. Training varies as well - from hands on to sitting in seminars, so trust your gut and choose the company that caters to your personal learning style. There is so much to learn and you will never stop learning in this business, so down the road you will likely move to another brokerage that can offer you what you need at that time in your career.

Best of luck!

Rachel LaMar, J.D.
LaMar Real Estate, Inc.
0 votes
Michelle McC…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Feb 8, 2014
Hi, Ken, congrats on becoming an agent! I was with Coldwell Banker and recently made the switch to First Team. I am VERY happy with First Team. They offer tons of training whether you are a new or seasoned agent and they have a generous split like other companies do. I also feel that they have a top notch marketing program. They are only in California, so maybe that's why they haven't been mentioned much. If there is a First Team by you, definitely check them out. And as others have said, interview several brokers and you'll know which one is a good fit for you. Best of luck!
0 votes
Akil Walker, Agent, Upper Marlboro, MD
Thu Feb 6, 2014
Hi Ken

Break from the herd and try an Exit Office. A lot of great training.
0 votes
Paul Ponitko…, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Thu Feb 6, 2014
I would recommend Keller Williams Realty. Great place and wouldn't leave. As far as I know. Good luck to you!
0 votes
Jonathan Wer…, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Thu Feb 6, 2014
Century 21 Award, I came here in March of 2013 and really should have when I first started. they have 16 offices in So Cal. I've worked for independents many years and some big name co as well. By far this was my best choice.
Call me if you want more input, BTW I'm not a recruiter, just an agent that is very happy :)
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Feb 6, 2014
Congratulations Ken. Interview at least 3 different brokerages. Starting out, it is important you get training and guidance. Look for what makes YOU feel good, where you feel comfortable and where you will get training. Best of luck, Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA BRE License 01713506
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Thu Feb 6, 2014
It all depends on your knowledge and level of sophistication and overall business savvy. My nephew, who is the marketing and sales manager for my brokerage, sprung out on his own very early on in his RE career and is extremely successful as a self starter. However, that is usually not the case for every new RE agent. Newbies usually need some training, direction and hand holding in the beginning. However, you will pay handsomely for that training by the amount of your commission split. If you have a broad understanding of RE principals, business common sense, an extensive contact/lead base and enough money to sustain you for a few months I'd look for broker that offers you the best commission. If you don't have those skill sets then CB is probably your best bet until you have obtained enough experience and success to find a better deal or get your own Brokers license.
0 votes
Eileen Schwa…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hi Ken,

First of all may I start by saying CONGRATS! on getting you real estate license. This is such an exciting time and a limitless career. I love this business and I love helping become highly successful. I see one of our great agents already suggested us which is Real Living Lifestyles which always makes me feel good when we get unsolicited referrals from our agents. It means we are doing it right if our agents are suggesting us. Over the past years I have received calls from multiple small brokers and people from Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams that have asked me if i would be open to interviewing their friend or family member that just got their license because of the fantastic training we offer to our new agents. Of course I am always honored to help them however I can't help but wonder why they do not feel comfortable referring their own company. Our goal here at Real Living Lifestyles is to get you up and running as quick as possible and to be trained to a highly professional level. Our program is the best in the area and we have the most experienced mentors in the industry. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you and find out what you are looking for in a brokerage and see if we are a good fit for each other. Your basic training as a new agent is very crutial and can make or break your career - don't rush into the decision without doing all your homework. I also have a list of questions that i would be happy to provide you to ask all brokers so you can really compare apples to apples. Looking through some of the comments that consumers don't care what company you are with, in reality that is not what I have seen over the many years doing this. I have had many agents tell me that they lost business while with an independent unknown broker that was not a national brand. I do agree you have to be a professional regardless what company you are with and this business is a relationship business. People do busines with people they know like and trust. A large brand also offers more of a security for the consumer. So take your time do lots of interviews and remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you! If you would like to hear about what we can offer you at Real Living feel free to contact me my office number is 760-931-6111 they can also connect you to my cell if I am out on appointments - Eileen Schwartz ABR, CRS, GRI, CNE - Vice President Professional Development Real Living Lifestyles - CAL BRE#01207502 also check out our website at http://www.RLLifestyles.com go to the careers section for more into
0 votes
Kim Sinclair, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Coldwell Banker and Zip Realty offer two different business models. Zip Realty is an online brokerage with a great platform to deliver you leads, manage and track your communication with your leads, and electronically manage your transactions. However, as an online brokerage, they have no local offices (except for one in Rancho Bernardo or thereabouts) and you'll have to meet with your clients at cafes or other public places. The split is terrible, but it's not a bad place to start as a new agent who needs help with leads. I know several high producing agents who are with Zip Realty. If you lean towards a traditional real estate brokerage, Coldwell Banker is by no means your only option. There are many real estate brokerages that offer outstanding training opportunities, along with the benefit of a physical office where you can meet with your clients. I suggest you also consider Real Living Lifestyles, which has offices in The Forum and on Carlsbad Village Drive. No matter where you start, as an entry level agent, your splits will be low until you build a clientele and have a production record.
0 votes
Cecilia Sher…, Agent, Rocky River, OH
Wed Feb 5, 2014
RE/MAX is my first choice but...

I think it's best to weigh up all the options. Your costs vs your benefit.

Also keep in mind your office (If you plan to work in the office a lot) I find that the office setting, other agents, the receptionists, and most importantly your manager are big decision making factors.

You want to be somewhere that you will be able to work hard, get the help you need, have the support and get the best branding/marking and self-promotion, not to mention leads! Whatever you choose, make sure you get your OWN website and start blogging/filling it up right away, this way you're not tied down in the future.
0 votes
Dusty Brazil, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Lots of good input here, ideally have to agree with Joan, but between zip and cb, in Carlsbad, zip would be the most obvious choice simply cause they'll have leads for you.
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hi Ken,

I would say to go with the more well-known name between the two. That would be CB for sure.


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
0 votes
Mario Pinedo,…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
How about Keller Williams?

Just named #2 Training company in the world across a variety of industries.

If you want an introduction, let me know!

Mario Pinedo, CCIM
Real Estate Broker & Lender
Keller Williams & CS Financial
BRE Broker 01118365
NMLS 1029116
Cell 415-269-6249
Twitter @mariopinedo
0 votes
Raschel Kloos, Home Buyer, Vista, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Coldwell provides great training but has a big split. Zip has the same split but Zip provides leads. ;)
0 votes
Joan Wilson, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
I would recommend you talk with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty before yo make a decision. As a new agent look for a good Mentor program. PSIR has a great one and offers other advantages as well.

Good luck,
Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO, HAFA, and Short Sale Specialist)
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
Call or Text: 760-757-3468 An exceptional home is simply a frame for an exceptional life
CAL BRE License # 01341483
0 votes
Marcia Hadel…, Agent, Napa, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Coldwell Banker offers great support and education to all of their agents. It is a reputable and well respected company in the eyes of buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents. I have been with Coldwell banker in Napa, Ca for 13 years (only company I have been a Realtor with) and I am so happy with my choice. Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Feb 5, 2014
These are two very different companies with different business models At Coldwell Banker, you will probably get better training, but you will have to earn all your first clients, one by one.

I did a brief stint at Zip several years ago. They give you leads which makes it helpful to get started. They don't pay you well but for a starting agent that could be the way to go.

Either way, don't underestimate the value of training. The exam prepares you for nothing...this early training will make a huge difference in your success.

Best of luck,
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Wed Feb 5, 2014
Coldwell Banker .
0 votes
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