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Brokers, four things to consider before hiring your first agent

When developing a brokerage, there are four important things to think about before you ever hire that first agent.

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As a real estate broker of an independent brokerage, I have lots and lots of opportunities to speak with agents about their goals, their hopes, and their dreams. In those conversations, there is something that stands out to me when chatting with agents who are interested in working at our brokerage: some want business, and others want to build their business.

Give a Man a Fish

Have you ever heard this adage? “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” While the origin of this phrase is not certain, one thing is clear: the very same philosophy expressed here can be attributed to business, and particularly to real estate agents and brokerages.

There are some agents that want fish—leads for active homebuyers and home sellers. They also want training, systems, and tools, and they would prefer not to pay. There are other agents that want to learn how to fish on their own, to grow their business, and to develop their own personal brand.

If you are a real estate broker and you want to hire agents to join your brokerage, you need to develop a clear plan and set clear goals for your brokerage. Which kind of agent is the best fit for you?

4 Things to Consider When Developing Your Brokerage

Here are several things to consider when developing core values and determining the direction of your brokerage:

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  1. What is your commission model? Are you a flat fee brokerage, or will you follow a more traditional compensation model? Will you charge desk fees, processing fees, or any other fees per transaction? When you set out to establish your model, evaluate what other brokerages are doing. Consider whether your systems are competitive and whether people will be attracted to your model.
  2. What sort of training will you provide? Are you looking for new agents, experienced agents, or both? Whatever business you design, it needs to accommodate and meet the needs of your agents. Develop a comprehensive training program that provides training not only on contracts and systems, but also on lead generation, sales, and prospecting.
  3. What kind of support will you provide? Agents need to have someone to call or a support system in place when they have a problem or situation that needs to be resolved both midweek and on weekends. Make sure that your structure addresses and provides support to your agents when they need it. If you don’t do that, they will go elsewhere to seek that support.
  4. What sort of tools will you provide? Some brokerages provide absolutely no tools to their agents, and others provide everything from a website to a customer relationship management platform. Identify what you will provide and whether there is a cost associated with providing that tool. Keep in mind that the more free tools you provide, the more that people will be attracted to your brand.

Once you have determined the answers to those questions, you may have a clearer picture of who your ideal agent will be. The next challenge will be to find that individual, and you will need to use unique and clever strategies to do that. Long gone are the days when you could send a letter in the mail and expect new and experienced agents to pick up the phone and set an appointment to move their license. If your brand sends a message of success, agent attraction will be viral.

There is always going to be someone or some company that is going to offer something better, faster, larger, or cheaper. The important thing here is to develop a brand that you can be proud of. Hire agents that will help you build your brand and send it in the direction that you want it to go.

Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.


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