Your Success in Real Estate May Depend on Where you First Hang your License

An individual probably spends years deciding become a real estate broker, and spends months taking the courses and the licensing exam, but may spend only hours deciding on their employing broker. Your success in real estate may depend on this decision. This article offers some advice on how to find the right one for you.

The Colorado real estate licensure law requires every new licensee without experience in real estate, to be supervised by an Employing Broker. The responsibilities of the Employing Broker are defined in the Rules, and include overseeing all that the licensee does to assure compliance with all laws and rules governing the practice of real estate in Colorado. The supervision of licensees with less than two years experience requires what the Commission calls a High-Level of supervision.

In deciding where to start your career, you should interview prospective Employing Brokers. All companies are looking to hire quality associates who will add to their company’s reputation and bottom line. Here are some suggestions of interview topics that might help you decide which company will be the best for you. Remember that the people you interview with are in sales and are trying to recruit you, and it is up to you to get the real facts to be able to make an informed decision.

What training and supervision do they provide to new licensees?
Most companies will tell you about the training and mentoring that they provide. If they try to sell you on the size and reputation of their company, rather than on the quality of the supervision and assistance they will provide you, it might not be a good firm for a new licensee.
• What form does the training take?
• Are you required to attend classes, and if so how many and how often?
• Are you required to work with a mentor, and if so, how will your mentor be assigned? Will you have an experienced and talented mentor? How many other new licensees will that mentor supervise?
Ask if you can talk with licensees who have been there for one or two years. Ask them how effective the training was and how available their supervisor was.

What facilities, programs, and services do they provide to new licensees?
Most companies will be prepared to tell you what they provide, but here are some ideas of questions to make sure you cover all bases.
• Does the company provide you an office, desk space, computer, printer (color?), fax, copier, color copies, and high-speed internet service?
• Does the company provide forms, documents, stationery, business cards, for sale signs, riders, and marketing material?
• Does the company provide computer programs for searching properties and data, for creating comparative market analysis, and for creating marketing materials?
• Does the company provide any assistance in marketing and lead generation? Can you expect any leads or clients?
• Does the company provide any secretarial assistance? Delivery services?
• Does the company support goal setting and follow up. Does the company provide any coaching?
• Does the company provide a website or internet presence for a new licensee?

How many licensees did they hire last year, and how many of them are still in the business?
The response to this one may be a deal killer. Many companies take on more associates than they can effectively support. You may not want to get into a company where only the best survive!

How successful have other new licensees been?
Companies may be hesitant to share this information with you, but if you know what the average new licensee made in the previous year, you may gain some comfort about your prospective income as you enter into your new career. Some companies will tout how much a new licensee CAN make rather than let you know what their agents actually have made.

What is the firm mission and vision?
I think it is wise to consider what the company’s mission and vision is and make sure that it fits with your mental picture and view. A good mission statement describes the company – what it does, who it is, what it stands for, etc. It should reflect the agreed upon description of the company by the company members. If it does not sound good to you, maybe it is not a company that you want to join.

What will it cost you?
• What are the splits?
You need to know how much of your commission you are going to pay to the company in exchange for the high-level of supervision that they will provide. Some companies charge as much as 50% of the commission that you earn for your first few deals in exchange for the mentoring and/or supervision that they provide.
• What other expenses will you have to incur? Do you have to pay desk fees, printing costs for business cards and other stationary, signs, advertising, etc? Do you have to buy certain software or subscribe to certain services?

Having the facts about a company will help you with the important decision of where to start your new career.

Vicki S. Porter

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