The right questions to ask yourself
There's endless options when selecting the right brokerage for your career, no matter how new or experienced you are. Do you go with the tried-and-true big names? Or try a smaller firm?
The right office depends on a number of factors, from where you are in your career, to your manager, to your personality type.
Wondering how you can tell what company is right for you, and what factors you should be considering? There’s pros and cons of working at any brokerage, but as someone who has successfully made the switch from one type of firm to another - and is happy about it - here’s a few things I’ve learned.
- Get the support your need
Particularly when you’re just starting out, there will be late-night, last-minute questions that you need answers to, and a supportive manager can make all the difference.
My advice: Ask to speak to someone on the team who’s new enough to have perspective, but seasoned enough to have experience. Was the training they received relevant? Are they getting the support and guidance they need?
- Don’t settle for mediocre materials
Some offices call themselves progressive because they use templates for some of the basics to get you started. While these can be a good start, you’re likely not the only person using these templates, and it hardly sets you apart in a competitive industry. Not to mention, they can be impersonal and outdated.
My advice: Ask for samples of the materials. Are they high-end, and useful to you? Or irrelevant, and poorly designed? (For further reading, see my post on hiring a professional marketer, and how this can help give your materials a boost.)
- Align on your values
What’s the brokerage’s stance on an informed client? There’s varying opinions on how much information we share with clients, and how much info we should be sharing. Does the brokerage share the same philosophy as you, or will you constantly be at odds over sharing too much or too little with your clients?
My advice: If you believe the real estate market should be more transparent and your office doesn’t share those beliefs, you could find yourself in a tough position. Ask questions during the interview process, and don’t be afraid to mention your own beliefs to ensure alignment.
- Don’t settle on atmosphere
Real estate can be lonely and isolating, and it’s easy to get caught up in your own head. Being part of an office environment and culture that promotes socialization and idea sharing can make all the difference.
My advice: Look for cues during your office visits, and get a sense of what the social environment is like. Maybe ask to take someone out for a coffee to ask more questions. Does the office do a weekly or monthly get-togethers? Is there a competitive vibe? If you have questions, is there a reliable network of agents you can talk to?
- Interview your manager
Even experienced agents need great brokers. There’s always new situations and questions, and you’ll want to work for someone you feel comfortable turning to for advice.
My advice: Ask for a one-on-one with your potential manager and try to spend time with them before joining. Are they easy to talk to? Explain a difficult situation you had with an offer or agent in the past, and ask how they would have guided you: what’s their conflict resolution manner? Ask around - do they have a good industry reputation? Can you trust them? Your manager isn’t just interviewing you - you’re interviewing them.
I can’t pick the right brokerage for you, but I can ask you the right questions to think about as someone who’s successfully made various transitions. If you’re ready for a change, give me a call.