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You have 3 brokerage models to choose from. Which works for you?

You have 3 brokerage models to choose from. Which works for you?

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You just passed your real estate exam, and your ultimate dream has come true. You finally have the opportunity to run your own business, be your own boss and have unlimited income potential. Congratulations! Your future looks brighter than ever. 

Now you will have to make an important decision that will ultimately decide what type of business that you do, how much business that you get and, in fact, this decision may ultimately decide if you make it in this industry or not. 

Each brokerage model offers a very different real estate experience, so let’s break down three different types of brokerages, what they offer — good and bad — and give you the inside scoop so that you can make the best choice for you, your business and your future.

Choosing a brokerage model can be challenging when entering the real estate business as a new agent because your knowledge about the industry is limited. Experienced agents will know exactly what they will be getting when they make their brokerage selection. The important thing to remember is that you want to choose the best place for you and your business to thrive. Let’s get started.

1. The 100% brokerage 

This one sounds good because who wouldn’t want to get 100 percent of anything? Truly, though, there is no such thing as a 100 percent brokerage, as they have to make money somewhere. They don’t exist just to pay you all the money that you bring in. These offices hire a large number of agents and require you to pay them a set fee every time you process a deal through them.

When you sell something, for example, you pay them, say, $500. Sounds easy enough. You will be giving up some things with this model, but it may work for you if you do a moderate amount of business, maybe flip homes or just want a very no-frills experience.

These offices usually have one broker handling hundreds of agents, so getting help and support will be tough. You won’t have elaborate offices to work out of or to bring your customers to, and training will be limited or non-existent.

You will have to come up with your own marketing systems and lean on your local Board of Realtors for needed tools for your business, as these kinds of things don’t come with this model. The revenue just isn’t there to provide them.

This is how they get by with just collecting a fee on every deal. Their model relies on very low expenses and large numbers of agents doing a large number of deals in total. For those of you who are lone wolves and don’t need any support, it could work, but this model is usually better for long-time agents who are set in their business.

2. The small independent brokerage

These can vary a lot, but basically, you have a broker-owner who has one, or maybe a few, offices and who has built up their own brand. Sometimes, the broker of these offices sells real estate, so they may be competing with you. 

You can probably secure a decent split here, but the support and training may be minimal, with each owner running their business differently. I have seen some really professional independent brokerages and some that are just focused on the broker-owner, with little care going into their agents or their reputations. You will need to vet each one of these out for yourself.

Some of these don’t really have a lot of support geared toward new-to-business agents. Experienced agents may or may not get along with the competing broker-owner. Indies can, generally, only provide so much to their agents as margins are slim.

Most of these brokerages will offer a simple way of doing business with some resources available to you. These can work if you get along well with the broker-owner and can take care of most things on your own.

3. The national big brand brokerage

The big brands are in a financial position to offer the agents who affiliate with them the most tools and resources. They tend to stay in front when it comes to having all the latest tools and technology for real estate. These companies can be very large and have hundreds of offices across the country. They also have more agents, so you may be competing for mentorship and one-on-one time with your broker. 

Doing business may be easier for the agents who wish to partner with them as the brokerage’s name recognition will help win business. This is especially true if you are brand new to the industry with no previous track record.

Education, a big support staff and, in most cases, access to the non-competing broker will be big benefits for support and problem-solving.

Global reach, use of multiple offices and a large number of agents to refer to around the country or the world are all things that can benefit an agent and their business.

These big players will be more selective when bringing on agents to their offices. Too big of a stage for you? You will have to decide. A lot has to do with how the broker runs the individual office, and this will vary depending on the brand.

Big busy offices with a lot going on and a big focus on support, training and culture can positively impact your business. These brokerages are great for career-minded agents who want to build their businesses with every resource possible in the marketplace.

Some of the most successful agents in your market will be found working at the big national brands as they combine everything they offer with everything the brokerage offers to provide their customers with a top-rate real estate experience. To be a big agent, you may want to join with a big company for that reason.

These three models all offer a very different experience for the real estate professional. There is no right or wrong model for a brokerage, just different, but what is important is that you choose one that fits the type of business that you want to do and that supports the kind of income that you want to make.

The fact is that you can make money selling real estate at all three models, but a lot of times, we see agents fail simply because they did not get started in the right way or they did not have the proper support. Nobody took the time to show these agents how to be successful in real estate. Often this is solely because of where they were and not really because of them.

Anyone can sell real estate, but getting started takes knowledge and doing the right things consistently and effectively. Learning what you need to know to start relatively quickly will keep you in the game.

Take your time, do your research, and interview many brokerages so that you know you are in the best place for you when you make your choice. Get ready to be a business owner and to be a part of a great, fun industry. 

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Realty in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

10 things to do to stay relevant as a real estate agent in 2024

10 things to do to stay relevant as a real estate agent in 2024

No matter what’s going on in the industry at large, everyone has the opportunity to get better, faster and stronger at what they do every day, broker Joseph Santini writes. Here are 10 easy things to focus on now.

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With all the recent developments in the real estate business and more certainly to come, two things will remain true. People will continue to buy and sell real estate every day, everywhere, in every market — and business will go to the most skilled real estate professionals. 

Regardless of how this business changes, the agents who change with it will continue to outperform the market.

The good news is that everyone has the opportunity to get better, faster and stronger at what they do every day. 

Here are 10 easy things for you to focus on to ensure your spot at the real estate table in 2024.

  1. Treat your buyers just like you would a seller on a listing appointment. Demonstrate to the buyer exactly what you will do for them, why you are so valuable to them, and why the transaction will be successful.
  2. Become an expert with your buyer representation agreement, just like you are with your listing agreement. Practice communicating what it is and how it benefits the buyer, and practice handling all the objections that you may hear.
  3. Up your listing game. Get ready to explain to the seller all the options available to market their property, including using the buyer agent coop commission. The best communicators will do very well here.
  4. Pick the customers that you want to work with very carefully. When a seller wants to sell in a way that does not work for you, it’s time to pass on the listing. You don’t have to work with everybody. If your buyer does not want to sign the buyer agreement, it’s time to move on and find a committed buyer. Your time is valuable, and you need to make a living. Only work with serious buyers who want to commit.
  5. Up your marketing materials. Customers like to read and hold things and review them after your meeting. Create a list of services that you provide as a buyer’s agent.  How about a list of different ways to sell and market a home for your sellers?
  6. Get more training. Negotiation classes, communication classes and basic sales classes will serve you well, as learning to communicate effectively with your customers is what will win you that business moving forward.
  7. Align yourself with a strong brokerage and a good broker to assist you in navigating these uncertain times and to keep you ahead of any changes that come our way.
  8. Take care of yourself first. Taking time off and making sure that your body and mind are in top condition are important so that you can perform and win the business that you’re working so hard to make come your way.
  9. Do not take your foot off the gas. Now is the time for you to go out there and take business when many agents will let up because they are unsure of what is going on; regardless of the uncertainty that you may feel, it’s full speed ahead, doing the things that you know will bring business to you every day.
  10. Get comfortable with uncertainty. This is a skill, and you can get really good at it. Regardless of the environment and how they feel, those who can be confident and keep moving forward will always succeed.

There you have it, 10 things to start working on today to ensure that you will continue to do what you do regardless of what’s happening in the world. Real estate agents are just too valuable and bring too much knowledge and work to the success of the transaction not to be a key part of it. 

Be sure to let your customers know every time you do something that benefits them. Email them, call them or meet with them. Often, your hard work goes unnoticed. Be sure to let them know to get the recognition you deserve. 

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Realty in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

3 steps to earn your share of commissions in any market

3 steps to earn your share of commissions in any market

Much of your income potential is totally controlled by the activities you choose to do every day, broker Joseph Santini writes, along with your willingness to adjust to the market.

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Take a good look around your office and you will find that group of agents who produce the same income more or less every year, regardless of the market conditions.

Just how are they able to pull this off no matter what’s happening in the world, with the economy or with the many other variables that affect the housing market?  There is always something going on that affects real estate, and if we wait for the market to be perfect to make money, we will be waiting for a very long time. 

Some agents make it look very easy but just what are these mysterious, successful agents doing while the rest of us are wondering why things are so slow?

The important thing to remember is that regardless of the market conditions, real estate is changing hands every day, everywhere, in every market, and there is nothing stopping you from getting involved. As long as homes are being sold, and they always are, you can make the money you desire and are willing to work for. 

Follow these 3 steps to make the money that you deserve in any market

1. Adjust your state of mind

Don’t buy into the people telling you that things are slow or real estate is hard right now. Your income possibilities are unlimited, regardless of the market. You have to figure out how to get in the middle of more deals.  So how do these great agents do this?  

The one thing that these agents have in common is that they change along with the market conditions.  They don’t just keep doing what they’re doing.  As the market changes so do they. They switch to seeking the business where the business is.  Always be looking to pivot and be super flexible. Your success lies in your ability and willingness to adapt.

2. Increase your activity level

Successful agents in slower markets ramp up their lead generation activities. They understand that they not only have to pivot when the market changes, but they also have to massively increase their efforts to get the same results. Here is where top producers separate themselves from everyone else. Most people just won’t increase their output. They keep doing the same old thing until the market returns to them.

3. Keep spending

Successful agents don’t stop spending money where it is bringing them a return. They know stopping all spending is the worst thing you can do, as doing so will shut down your business.  They continue farming the right way, they keep paying their coach, and they continue with any spending that is bringing in deals and increasing revenue for them. They monitor and adjust the amount and where they spend it, but they keep going.

There you have it — three simple steps that you can take right now to increase your share of commissions in any market. Like most solutions to increase real estate production, they are straightforward but not easy for most people. Much of your income potential is totally controlled by the activities you choose to do every day. We must choose wisely. 

Nothing magical here, just the courage and motivation to do what it takes and the flexibility to change with the market. Go out and take your fair share, and join that group of agents who have it figured out. You deserve it.

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Realty in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn and TikTok.

Your brokerage’s success is hiding in these 10 areas

Your brokerage’s success is hiding in these 10 areas

The stability you’re looking for in your brokerage, broker Joseph Santini writes, begins with proper processes, procedures and operational best practices.

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Running a real estate office is no easy task in this current environment. The competition for great agents is hotter than ever and you are probably keeping less and less of your money earned on your closed transactions. Focus on these 10 things to keep your business profitable and growing.

1. Staff

Your office is only as good as your weakest staff member. Hire the right staff and always make changes when they stop contributing to your mission. Seeking out great staff to support your office is so important to your success and should never be rushed.  

Always leave the position open regardless of how long it takes for you to find that great person that you are looking for.  Never give in to the pressure to hire somebody because you are short-staffed and really busy.  Better to be inconvenienced for a short time than to deal with a less-than-ideal employee for a long time. You and your agents deserve nothing less.

Be sure to recruit every day or hire someone to do it for you. Consistently bringing in new talent is the only way to prosper in today’s environment. 

Like a great sports coach, you will only win at this game if you are a great recruiter. The best brokerage owners and managers are the best recruiters, period. Ignoring this will put an expiration date on your brokerage.

3. Expenses

Look at every expense that you can cut but remember over-cutting is worse than overspending. Always cut before you actually have to, it’s much easier and much more fun.

4. Partners

Drive your ancillary businesses that feed off your office and make sure they are excellent.  Don’t have any? This is no longer an option if you want success in the brokerage business. Mortgage, Title, Insurance, etc. should all be in place to succeed.

5. Office meetings

Have great office meetings at least monthly. Meetings that start on time, end on time and have great content are a great retention tool.  Keep them short, exciting, and informative and your agents will always look forward to them and it will be standing room only. This is a great way to be a valuable partner to your agents.

6. Support

Great support for all of your agents is priceless. Give them what they need and give it to them fast and your office will be something that they can’t be without. This all starts with the right staff in place.

Work to make your office culture positive and even more importantly, productive. Agents should love being in your office and this happens when you fill it with the right people with the right attitude. Happy people are successful.

Lead your agents by participating in your community.  Involvement in charities and fundraisers helps your office just as much as it helps those that you are giving your time and money to. Agents love to volunteer.

9. Training

Regular training and coaching programs will keep your agents working effectively and connect them to your office. Taking the time to create these programs will attract other agents to your office and retain the ones that you have now.

Human beings crave recognition like food and water. Keep your agents happy and satisfied by making sure that you recognize them for all the great things that they do every day. They have a very hard job.

By practicing complete brokerage management and learning to pay attention to these ten things consistently, all at the same time, you will realize the profit and success that you deserve. The stability you seek in your brokerage business will be yours. Let’s get started.

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Realty in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn and TikTok.