How to Select a Real Estate Brokerage

Once you’ve passed the real estate exam and you have been issued a real estate license, you will face the difficult decision of which brokerage to join. This is an extremely important decision. When you are first beginning your career in real estate, you will need to choose a broker who is there to answer questions, provide training, and guide you to success.

Selecting a brokerage is unlike any job interview you’ve been in before. The brokerage makes money by having agents on board. Therefore, they want you before you’ve walked through the door and as a result, you are interviewing them! Here are a few questions to consider.

What Does The Broker Have To Offer Me?

The first brokerage you join must be able to provide you with support. When you’ve just earned your real estate license, you do not have the experience and the numbers to help you secure listings. Instead, you rely on the reputation of the brokerage. Ask yourself these questions:

You will have a number of questions when you are just starting out. The state real estate exam does not teach you how to sell real estate. It teaches you the laws and procedures that you must follow. Marketing, filling out listing agreements, sales contracts and other paperwork is not covered in real estate school! Your broker will help you in that regard. You will want to consider the questions below and make an informed decision on who will set you on the path to success.

Does this broker accept newly licensed agents?

Although you are the one interviewing the broker, some brokers will not accept newly licensed agents. By asking this question first, you will save yourself the hassle of setting up an interview when you aren’t eligible anyhow.

What is the commission split and relevant fees?

Brokerages have many different commission splits and various fees for services. For example, you will often see the term 100% commission thrown around. This means that you earn every bit of the commission that you bring in for the sale. So how does the brokerage make money? In these situations, the brokerage charges you a fee to work there! You pay a fee every month whether you have a sale or not. In exchange, you get to keep all of your commission. Other brokerages keep a percentage of you commisison but you don’t have to pay a monthly fee. That way, if you don’t make money, you don’t pay. However, you will forfeit a (sometimes sizable) portion of your commission when you do have a sale.

Does the brokerage have name recognition in your area?

In many markets, the strength of a brokerage’s name is paramount. Your clients need to feel that a strong brokerage is representing them. You will see plenty of new brokerages in your area that are competing for agents. Ask yourself, “when I say the name of this brokerage to a client, will they recognize it?” Drive around and look at signs on current listings. Many times, one brokerage will dominate a given neighborhood. If you want to focus on a specific location in your town, which brokerage is prominent there?

Does the broker make herself available?

If you’re showing property in the evening after your client has gotten off of work and a question arises, can you get ahold of your broker? Many brokers will provide agents with their personal cell phone numbers for this exact reason. Many questions simply cannot until the morning. If you are just starting out, having this lifeline available will prove to be a phenomenal resource.

Is training available if you need it?

Your local board will offer some training but many offices have training sessions as well. Training in your office may cover topics such as how to hold a successful open house, how to properly fill out a sales contract or listing agreement and how to secure more leads. The range of topics covered at these trainings is endless. Some brokerages offer training and some do not. When you are just beginning your real estate career, select a brokerage that will help you learn the ropes.

Be Informed! Ask a question!

This is one of the biggest decisions you will make once you have earned your real estate license. Your choice of brokerage can impact whether you’re able to make money as a real estate agent or you’ll have to close up shop before you’ve given yourself an opportunity to succeed. If you have any questions, please ask below and we’ll offer any guidance possible.

4 Responses to “How to Select a Real Estate Brokerage”

  1. William commented on August 8, 2013

    I have a stable job as an engineer and I am looking to buy and hold multi family rental properties for myself alone, am I required to join a broker once I get my license? How does this situation work? I’d like to not pay someone for nothing when I’m doing all the work myself. I live in Georgia (dont know if that helps you?) What would you recommend?

    • Chris commented on August 8, 2013

      The state is going to require you to be under a brokerage. In the future, you could open your own brokerage but I believe in Georgia you would need to have your own physical location that is open to the public. You would need to check with the Georgia Real Estate Commission for specific questions regarding that state (

  2. Leslie Stevenson commented on May 23, 2016

    How long do you have to affiliate with a Broker once you have your real estate license in the state of Maryland?

  3. Katie commented on March 30, 2017

    Hello, I’m in Hawaii and would like to manage properties for several clients. I realize I need my salesperson’s license but do I need to be under a broker or am I able to start my own business since I will not be selling any real estate? Thank you very much for your reply!

Have a Question?

We're here to help in any way that we can. If you have a question about the process of getting your real estate license, please leave us a note below.