Tips for Picking a Brokerage


I’ve been with Keller Williams for my entire real estate career and I cannot imagine working anywhere else! For a number of reasons—the interdependent business model, the continuing education/support/coaching opportunities, and technology resources (the list goes on!)—I truly believe it is the best brokerage, bar none. That’s why I started this website and why I serve in leadership roles for the company. But…

There are other solid brokerages out there that might be a better fit depending upon your personality, goals, working style or preferred business model.

No matter where you ultimately decide to put your talents to work, make sure you’ve asked the questions (and received the answers) you need to make an informed decision. To help you a bit with that, I’ll share the 5 questions I’d encourage you to ask real estate brokerages before you decide which one is right for you.

Question Marks
Question Marks

What business model does their company employ? Is it an independent model in which you are completely on your own as an agent—essentially owning your own business with all the risks and rewards that can entail?

Is it a dependent model, in which you are an employee subject to their rules, regulations and job descriptions?

Or is it an interdependent model (Keller Williams fits into this model)? As you may have guessed, an interdependent model combines many of the best parts about independent and dependent modes. In this model you get all of the perks that come with a big name brokerage: name/brand recognition, access to technology, educational, coaching, staff and other resources. At the same time, you get to build your own business under the brokerage’s umbrella. You get to set your own goals and build a business that is the size and scope you want.

What are their commission splits and office fees? Do you ever sell enough that you get to keep 100% of your commission? This is a very big deal. You need to know how much of what you bring in is going to go back to the brokerage and for what. And whatever that percentage is, you must decide whether you think it’s a fair tradeoff for the support and resources you’re getting from that company and how it compares to the other brokerages for whom you could work.

At Keller Williams you do get to keep 100% of your commission, once you’ve reached your annual responsibility to the company. As of this writing, once I’ve paid $19,000 to Keller Williams I get to keep 100% of any other commissions I make.

What kind of training is provided and, if so, what does that training cost? You’ll want to know what kinds of educational opportunities exist for you at whatever brokerage you select. And I mean formal, established programs. If you want to move into a leadership role, is there a curriculum you can follow to learn what you need to know to do that? If you want to start investing in properties and being a landlord as part of your business plan, does that brokerage have a program to help you be successful in that venture? Is there a mentoring or coaching program established at that brokerage, in which you could be matched with a more experienced agent who has a career similar to the one you want to pursue for yourself?

Ask to see a list of the educational and coaching programs that brokerage offers and make sure that the things that are of interest to you are available.

What kind of technical support is provided and what does that cost? By tech support, I don’t mean someone who can fix your computer if it breaks, although that is worth knowing too! When I talk about technology in this context, I mean does the brokerage provide you with the following:

  • A Website
  • Contact Management Database
  • A Personal Mobile App
  • Listing Syndication (and how many sites?)
  • Technology Training
  • Marketing Materials

What kind of support/support staff is provided? Does the brokerage have administrative support to offer you? How about transaction coordinators to handle the paperwork and manage the due dates associated with the purchase or sale of a home? If so, how many hours per week will you have access to that support and for how much money? Will they provide you with a computer, a printer, copier or other practical support you need to do your job?

My Plan.jpeg
My Plan.jpeg

These questions are by no means a comprehensive list of things to ask, but I think they are the five most important ones and a good place to start in drafting your list of questions.

I do office tours regularly for prospective agents (some already licensed and some who are not). If you haven’t taken one already, but would like to come in, ask me some questions and learn more about Keller Williams and careers in real estate, click on the Get Started page and send me a message.

That’s all from me for today. I’ll see you again in this space soon!