Many things about being a real estate agent are different compared to the regular J.O.B. When you do a quick google search on becoming an agent, you’ll learn that you have to find a firm to hang your license with, meaning lots of research on that company. Find out what their annual sales numbers are, what kind of training they provide, marketing material available to agents and how much money is required of the agent to utilize the firms name. Thats a lot of things to consider when starting a new career especially one that is COMMISSION ONLY.
When I starting searching for a firm to call home, I took a different approach. I took a drive around the beautiful town I call home and searched for yard signs. You know, the “For Sale” signs that show which firm is representing that seller. I made mental notes of the company names I was seeing. Eventually I narrowed the list down to two names. Windermere and Premier One Properties.
I took the first step by sending an interview request to the managing brokers at both firms. With in 10 minutes I got my first response. It was Russ of Windermere. His reply was one of congratulations and support on embarking on my new career. We set up a date to meet a few days later. Then came Paul’s response. Two interviews in 1 week. Exciting! Now what do I do? I’ve interviewed people before but they didn’t intimidate me like this. Thank goodness for the World Wide Web otherwise I would have no idea of the types of questions I should be asking. After lots of pondering of what was important to me, this is what I came up with:
- Do you provide training?
- How many days or hours of formal training?
- Is there a cost to me?
- If so, how much?
- Who will be available to help me after the training?
- Is that person easily and readily available to me?
- Do you have a mentor program where I can shadow a top producer for a period of time?
- At what commission split will I begin?
Do you offer a graduated commission split that pays me a higher percentage as my production increases?
If so, and say I reach 60%, do I go back to my beginning split at the end of a designated period?
May I have a copy of the commission schedule?
- What costs will I incur?
- Initial: Licensing, application, business cards, photo, name badge, dues, etc.
- On-going: Monthly or quarterly charges such as long distance calls, desk fees, franchise fees, (do you have) voicemail, etc.
- Per listing: Sign, lock box, advertising, etc.
- Per sale: Error and Omission Insurance
- In which publications do you advertise?
Who pays for it?
Who determines which listings get advertised?
Who writes the ads?
- Do I need specific liability insurance on my automobile?
- When will I start property time (Floor Duty)?
What is the minimum amount per month?
Maximum amount per month?
How many hours per shift?
- Will I be allowed to hold other agents listings “open” to attract buyers to help me get started? If so, how soon?
- Please show me the examples of marketing materials available to me.
- Just listed
- Just sold
- Just participated in a sale
- Door hangers
- Free market analysis
- Brochure of the company
- Company letterhead
- Legal size pre-printed shells for my flyers
- Letter size, heavy shells for color brochures
- Is there a cost to me for this material? If so, how much?
- Who pays for the postage? (Bulk and Individual)
- Web pages
- Prospecting tools
- Do you have a company policy manual? Will I have a copy if I sign on with you?
- How many full time agents do you have??
- How many do you want?
- How many part time agents?
- What is the agent turnover rate?
- What is the average tenure of agents?
- What was your gross volume of sales last year?
- Average per full-time agent?
- How many computers do you have available to agents? Do I need to purchase my own computer and software?
- Do I have to pay for my board MLS training?
- Do you have a full time receptionist/secretary?
Would clerical assistance be available to me such as preparation of monthly mailers, typing letters, preparing flyers, entering and making changes in listings, etc.?
- About referrals:
- When will I be given one?
- After I am eligible, how many can I expect per quarter, assuming I prove I can do a good job with them?
- What are the sources for referrals?
- Approximately how many referrals do you give the agents per month?
- Regarding market share, compared to the top 10 companies in this area, what number is this office?
- What is the average income per year of full time agents in this office?
- Does this office have a focus on team work, or does each agent operate pretty well on their own?
- Do you hire part time agents? If so, what do you expect from them?
- What is the policy on referral fees I receive from sending outgoing referrals? Is it split with the company? If so, at what split?
- In understand I will be working as an independent contractor, and that your contributions are limited by that status. However, some companies offer perks such as availability of health and life insurance, retirement, and other benefits. Does your company offer anything along these lines?
- What commission does your company charge a seller for selling a home?
- What commission do you charge for undeveloped land or lots?
- Do I have the authority to list for less commission under certain circumstances?
- If yes, what are those conditions?
- Could I list it for more?
- Do you have weekly sales meetings and property tours?
- What day, time, and how long do the meetings usually last?
- Could I attend a sales meeting before I make a final commitment to come on board?
- What are your office goals?
- Do you have expansion, move of office, or growth in your immediate plans?
- Will I be reimbursed for expenses of my initial classes/training?
- What is the business dress code for this office?