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Thoughts on Choosing a Broker

I used to play in a regular Thursday night poker game where the running joke every time someone wasn’t paying attention and forgot to toss their blinds into the pot was “what would you do if you were the big blind?”

Today reminds me of that as I find myself asking “what would I do if I were the man of the house?” Clearly the answer would be “watching football.” But since I’m not the man of my house and apparently run second to the beagle, I’m in the office working on blogs while my wife, daughter and beagle watch CSI re-runs.

(My lack of control also is evident in their decision to turn on our air conditioning even though it’s four degrees cooler outside than the air conditioner’s set temperature.)

Control, or the lack thereof, manifests itself in many places. Real estate agents each are building their own business but doing so under the auspices of a brokerage, so while you are branding yourself you also are branding the company for which you work.

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When choosing which brokerage to work for most agents look no further than the splits the brokers take from a commission. For many, 100 percent = good and anything less = bad. As an agent’s career progresses that may be true. But for someone starting out, knowing the odds are 19-1 against surviving the first year (only five percent or so of agents do), the split may be one of the less important considerations.

Training is important – not just formal education, but also what you are able to learn from your colleagues and your broker and/or branch manager. I honestly can say that I would not know half of what I did if not for the informal training sessions every other Friday night at Rock Bottom. (My manager just wanted beer … I wanted information.)

But for agents who venture into the tech arena – and if you’re reading this blog, you likely fall into that category – you also need to make sure your new broker isn’t threatened by the online brand you build online and the lack of control he or she has over the content.

Since blog posts technically are not advertising they don’t fall under the general guidelines for broker approval. But that’s not to say opinions dissenting from the broker’s view, or an online presence that dwarfs the brokerage itself, will not create issues down the line.

If your marketing plan is centered around door knocking, cold calls and monthly recipe cards (and Lord help you if it is), then your broker’s view on marketing shouldn’t hold much sway. But if you are planning on creating an online presence or, better yet, striving for online global domination, then it’s a question best asked sooner rather than later.

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And if you already have that established presence and your broker starts giving you grief? Find another broker … brokers are like craps tables in Vegas. The payouts may differ from house to house, the quality of the buffets you get comped may vary, but if the table you’re at isn’t meeting your needs (i.e., you’re getting your ass handed to you) there are another hundred from which to choose.

Get up and find one.

[tags]real estate marketing[/tags]

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Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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