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How to Choose a New Real Estate Brokerage

Image of a man trying to make a decision

Published: August 20, 2020

Thinking about finding a new broker? You're not alone. If you're a new agent, it can be nerve-wracking to consider switching to a new brokerage, but there isn't any need to stress. According to a recent study by NAR, the median tenure at a brokerage was four years. Because of the relatively short average tenure with a brokerage, it's fairly common to shop around to find the best brokerage if you're unhappy.

It never hurts to see what other options are out there. After all, you want to work for a broker you can trust, who will compensate you fairly, and who you enjoy working with! So, if you're considering switching brokerages, then follow these simple steps to make sure you're making an informed decision.

Tips for Switching Brokerages

Do Your Research

Decide on your decision criteria. What are the top two or three things you want in a new brokerage? What is the main reason you're leaving? Whether you're looking for training, or even just an office closer to your home, the process is the same. Based on these answers, come up with the top attributes of your dream brokerage. It's essential to use your head and not your heart. By keeping it simple and limiting this list to no more than five factors, you will keep as much noise as possible out of your decision-making process.

Come up with a Shortlist

Based on this criteria, write down a list of brokerages you'd consider working for. Keep this list to no more than five brokerages. It's important to note that at this stage, you're keeping all possibilities open—including staying at your current brokerage. The goal here is to define the brokerages that you may want to work for.

If you don't yet have a clear vision for your brokerage shortlist, that's okay. You can still move forward with the next research step below, although it will take you a bit longer. If you already have a few brokerages in mind, go ahead and move on to the next steps.

Have a Conversation with a Colleague

Think through agents in your network. Most agents are willing to help compare notes. Connect with other agents that are members of your local REALTOR® associations. Who is sponsoring their license, and would they recommend it? Even if you don't know people at the brokerage you're considering, it's still worth asking for their opinion of the brokerage. It is a small world in real estate, and you can gain a lot just by hearing different perceptions.

Talk to the agents on the other side of your transactions. Are they happy? Of course, there are some topics that people may not be as comfortable discussing, especially when it comes to finances. For that, reading online reviews can be helpful.

Check the Reviews

When you're buying something online, don't you read reviews? If you're making a big decision such as leaving for another brokerage, you should put in even more effort to do your research.

You want to read as many reviews as you can to make an informed decision. There are free resources you can use, like Agent Advice, where you can compare real estate brokerages. The top three things to pay attention to:

  • What are the commission splits and fees?
  • What are the best and worst parts of working there?
  • Are agents generally happy?

It's important to make sure you've done the necessary research before moving on to the next step: having a serious conversation about moving your license.

Now That You've Done Your Research, What's Next?

Make a final pros and cons list of staying at your current brokerage vs. moving your license to a new brokerage. If the pros outweigh the cons, or are even close, ask for a meeting with the new potential broker.

In the real estate industry, it's very common to network and talk to other brokers, and most brokers will be discreet about the conversation if you just ask. Don't be shy about going into their office for an interview, and be upfront with your reasons for changing. You'll never know if it's the right fit without exploring all your options!