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New to Luxury Real Estate? Here’s How to Choose a Brokerage to Work For

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When you’re starting your luxury real estate practice, one of the most exciting steps you can take is when you choose a brokerage to work for. Once you’re at this step, it means you’ve already passed your licensing exam, or you’re ready to transition out of traditional real estate and take the leap into luxury. Either way, choosing a brokerage to work for is a big milestone that can make your new career choice feel “official.” 

And from there? You get to start learning how to work with luxury clients, start building your network, and even start selling luxury real estate. But before you can do any of that…

How do you choose a brokerage to work for — and why is it so important to make the right choice? In simple terms, the brokerage you choose to work with can play a big part in your success. As a new luxury real estate professional, the brokerage you choose will likely be where you…

  • Get most of your “real world” training

  • Find a mentor

  • Earn a reputation

  • Win referrals

  • Receive done-for-you marketing materials

And, your brokerage can influence prospects’ perception of you based on your brokerage’s reputation in the community. So, it makes sense that you’d want to make this decision carefully. To help you do that, here are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a brokerage to work for.

Work Backwards From Your Goals and Core Values to Choose a Brokerage to Work For

While luxury real estate professionals are technically running their own business, their brokerage is usually their “home base.” So, while you’ll spend lots of time out in the field with clients and colleagues, you’ll also end up spending a significant amount of time at your brokerage’s office, too. With that in mind, you’ll want to choose a brokerage that feels aligned with both your personal and professional core values, and feels like a place that can support your goals.

To find out, treat any interviews with prospective brokerages as a two-way street. You may want to ask about training, any marketing materials provided, and even rules about outsourcing your marketing if they do provide in-house material.

For instance, if it’s important to you for your broker to help provide you with leads, you may want to look at a larger office that has the capacity to feed you leads once you prove yourself. Then, when you’re in the interview process, ask about those dynamics. Does the broker only provide top producers with leads? If it’s an independent brokerage, do you notice if they have family or friends working there who might get first priority?

These are the types of questions to ask and situations to keep an eye out for, although you should feel empowered to ask about anything that’s important to you.

Consider the Commission Split When You Choose a Brokerage to Work For

As you probably already know, luxury real estate professionals “pay” their brokers in commission splits for letting them use their office, marketing, training, and the ability to do business in general. However, not all commission splits are created equal, and when you choose a brokerage to work for, it’s important to know exactly how that brokerage handles their commission splits.

Commission splits differ based on things like whether or not the brokerage is a franchise, an independent brokerage, and what their overhead is. Typically, commission splits range from 80/20 where the agent ends up with 80% of the commission, all the way to 50/50 splits where the agent earns half of the commission and the brokerage receives the other half. There are even brokerages that offer “commission caps,” which means once you reach a certain amount of commission paid to them, you then earn 100% of the commissions that follow.

The commission split you’re comfortable with is both a personal choice based on how much you know you need to earn, as well as how the commission split is justified. For example, a 50/50 commission split may sound like a lot, but if the brokerage is practically handing you business, providing training, and supplying all of your marketing materials, taking that split might be worth the future savings in both time and money.

Before You Choose a Brokerage to Work For, Ask Your Peers About Their Experience

The best way to know how a brokerage really works is to ask someone on the inside. How do your peers like working at the brokerage they’ve chosen? Would they recommend it? And if you don’t know anyone who works with the brokerage you’re considering, how does your community like their experience with them? Does the brokerage have good reviews? A good reputation?

Often, looking at other people’s real life experiences can tell you more about a brokerage than a formal interview.

Ready to Take the Leap Into Luxury?

Our free 2020 Luxury Market Year In Review report is the perfect place to start. After an unforgettable year in many ways, our report gives you valuable insights into how luxury single-family and attached home markets have been affected by the changes taking place in our world.

Click here to download the report for free to help you make a confident decision to pursue your luxury real estate career.

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