Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: January 15, 2019
The first step to success in pursuing a real estate career is making a good business decision. Part of becoming a licensed real estate salesperson is selecting a broker to sponsor you. Although it is true that you’re technically working for yourself, a real estate agent cannot act as a real estate agent independently; they must work on behalf of a real estate broker. This decision has the potential to affect the direction of your career in real estate, either positively or negatively.
Most real estate companies are constantly recruiting salespeople. However, there are big differences among companies in structure, operation, and philosophy. Your goal is to find the real estate office that you like and will ultimately be the right fit for you.
If you haven’t selected your career specialty or real estate brokerage, there are a number of factors to consider. Researching, weighing pros and cons, and planning ahead are essential in getting your new real estate career off to a fast and productive start. Take the following advice to find the brokerage that's right for you and get ready to send them a killer resume.
Scout the Area Where You Want to Work as a Real Estate Salesperson
- Check the local area as if you were an out-of-town buyer
- Stop by local real estate brokerages and review printed materials
- Talk to active agents from different brokerages to gauge their opinions of the local offices
- Drive by the offices. Is it a convenient location, ample parking, attractive exterior?
Narrow Down the Search of Real Estate Brokerages
- What is the company’s reputation locally and/or nationally as a real estate brokerage?
- Is the company well established in the local area?
- Does the brokerage specialize in a certain area of real estate?
- How is the quality and quantity of ads in the local papers and on Internet sites?
- Do they effectively promote properties, the office, and their agents?
- How many real estate agents work out of the office?
- Do they serve a large market? Is it in the areas you would like to work?
Interview with the Real Estate Broker or Owner
- What type of agent are they looking for? What are their goals?
- As a real estate salesperson, would you be working as an independent contractor or as an employee?
- Is there a training plan in place for new agents?
- Are they members of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
- Is there clerical or administrative support for the agents? Or will you need to find your own assistant if you do well?
- What is the commission split and the benefit package?
- What would your obligations be to the brokerage if you were employed?
- Is there technology support and marketing resources?
- What is the office’s market share?
Toby Schifsky provides further insight on making the right decision about where to hang your real estate license.
To view your state's specific Steps to Licensing pages and/or your specific state Real Estate Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements page, simply select your state from the list on the real estate education landing page.