There are over 80,000 real estate brokerages in the United States ranging in size from tiny boutique firms to monstrous offices with over a thousand agents. As a Realtor, you have a mind-numbing number of options, and every broker you meet will tell you that their firm is the perfect place for you. But in a world where you are basically on your own, you really need to understand how to compare real estate companies if you’re going to be able to make the best decision for your career.
In case you’re new to this blog, let me start by saying that I hang my license with EXP Realty. I came to this firm early in 2017 from a Keller Williams branch with over 600 agents. I was happy at KW, but once I learned about this new agent-owned cloud brokerage, I honestly felt it was the best place for me. Before that, I was at a tiny boutique brokerage in Houston, TX with less than twenty active agents and virtually no staff. In other words, I have experienced the good and bad aspects of both ends of the spectrum, and at the end of the day, I saw a unique opportunity to get the perks of a large firm with the affordability of a boutique office at this new type of brokerage.
I share that simply to admit that I am biased, just as all of us are; our opinions are always shaped by our experiences. However, I feel strongly that there are plenty of you out there who will come to the same conclusion I did once you learn a little bit about EXP.
Here is a quick list of just a few of the things that you should take into account while you’re deciding how to compare real estate companies:
- The Network – Don’t focus purely on the costs. The value of the network at your brokerage can greatly affect your success, but the number of agents at the firm is not what is important. Think about the type of agent or broker you want to be. Determine things like: in what areas of the city do you want to focus, in which price points do you find the most success, do you need open house help frequently or will you be the one looking to host open houses? Then ask the brokers you interview how they will help you succeed according to your particular business plan and strengths.
- The Support – Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Don’t assume the technology and staff are comparable. You need to get into the details of what you’re fees and commissions splits are actually buying.
- The Culture – You will be most successful when you feel confident, but you also want to be challenged. One of my favorite things about my previous Keller Williams office was that I could wear jeans and a polo shirt, but my team leader and the Leadership Council were constantly pushing us to reach new goals. I appreciated the fact that I could be myself – meaning I didn’t have to wear a 3-piece suit every day to fit in – but at the same time I was being pushed to strive for more and more success. I get the same feeling at EXP Realty.
If those tips are too general for you, there are a few resources that make it easier to understand how to compare real estate companies:
- Realty Connection – This website is setup to match agents with brokers based on a variety of questions and criterion. It is useful, but you will only see brokerages who have registered, so keep that in mind.
- Brokerage Comparison Calculator – EXP also has a calculator available so that you can plug in your production and down line statistics and automatically see how much more/less you would have earned if you would have been with us. It is a great tool for seeing the hard numbers, but it doesn’t tell you much about the culture here. To learn about the culture, please contact us and let us know when you’d like to talk about what it’s like to work for the only agent-owned cloud brokerage in the country.
- Do Your Research – Inman and other news agencies frequently publish articles on how to compare real estate companies and similar news stories. Take your time to research the opinions of objective third parties.
The most important thing is that you find the right fit for your career. We obviously believe that EXP Realty will be a great place for a lot of agents, but it’s not for everyone. All we ask is that, as part of your research, check out our Explode My Down Line program and see if you could envision yourself building a fantastic business with us. If so, we would love to hear from you so we can see how we can help.