My last post left off with me comparing the two brokerage firms that I interviewed. Thankfully I didn’t have to deliberate for too long before I came to my decision. Windermere came out on top. My main reason for choosing Windermere is EDUCATION. Some firms sign agents then say “have at it”, they struggle to swim in the new environment and unfortunately this method is why the turn over rate is so high. Did you know that real estate has an 83% drop out rate? That’s crazy high. So I went with the firm that was going to provide me the tools to succeed in my new career.
I scheduled an appointment with the managing broker at Windermere to discuss me coming aboard. That morning I arrived thinking I would sign some paperwork then be on my way until I was “ready to start”. Well I was in for a huge surprise.
First we tackled the contract. A 17 page document that covered everything under the sun that you could think of. Commission rate (very important), FEES, FEES AND MORE FEES. As a new broker you invest a lot just to get started. I’d say at this point in the game I have put up around $650.00. This includes my license application with the DOL, fingerprinting, membership to the Northwest MLS and the North Central Washington Association of Realtors. Don’t worry, that’s not all. I will have a couple months worth of desk fees taken out of my first commission check. I know what your saying, “that’s a lot of money”! But ya know what? It takes money to make money. Anyway, back to the contract, errors and omissions insurance (in case you royally mess up and get sued in the process), auto insurance requirements (for when you are driving your clients around), services and expenses provided by the firm (things like a desk, copy machine and an endless supply of coffee) and lastly the standard of practice expectations.
So, review of the contract took about 2 hours. Like I said, it was 17 pages long and covered a lot of ground. The next step was my license application with the Dept. of Licensing. I put together a packet of my temporary license with broker signatures, finger print cards, and copies of my drivers license as well as the actual application. All of these items were easy to procure with the one exception of the fingerprint cards. I have to say it took me almost 2 hours just to track down a facility that does this and was open. I was referred to one company that couldn’t get me in until two weeks later. That’s crap! So I took to tracking down other places that I could get into sooner. After multiple attempts of trying to reach the records department at our local Police station, I was able to schedule an appointment for the following morning. And it only cost 25 bucks. All that for finger prints.
Alright, I’m scheduled for fingerprinting and now I have to tackle my application for the North Central Washington Association of Realtors. Another contract, another check to write. The NCWAR runs the local Multiple Listing Service or MLS. Very important if I am to help my clients list or buy property in our area. Thankfully, this process was pretty painless and didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. If anything, learning how to use the program has been the difficult part.
Finally, I’m nearing the end of my first day. Multiple contracts covered and signed, a tour of the office and desk assignment and introductions to other Realtors who happen to be in the office are done. Whats left to be done? Well, a lot. I left the office with a to do list that was 2 large sticky notes long and included the following:
- Have photos taken for professional use
- Decide what info to have on business card and turn in for publication
- Create Facebook page for business
- Create broker website which is provided
- Set up email
- Add all my contacts into the marketing program
- Contact my insurance agent to update my auto insurance
- Gather personal office supplies from home to decorate my desk space
- Start my blog
Well there ya have it, a synopsis of my first date at Windermere Real Estate/NCW. Stay tuned for more on my road to becoming a Real Estate Broker.