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Over the course of the past few months, there has been a lot of dialogue — both online and in person at events like Inman Connect New York — about what makes a brokerage great and why an agent should choose one over another.
We started off the year with “The Battle of the Brokerages,” a nickname for the online war between Keller Williams and eXp, after Keller Williams announced that it had looked at acquiring the software that operates the virtual world that eXp exists within.
Take this, followed up with the recent announcement that Compass is purchasing yet another staple indie brokerage in San Francisco (and Stribling & Associates in New York), and we have agents up in arms over which brokerage is the best.
Fortunately, as a result of these events, a door has been opened for the dialogue around why agents choose their brokerage and what makes agents so fiercely protective over it.
A personal decision
I’m of the belief that choosing your brokerage is an intensely personal decision, which comes as a result of many different factors.
- Do you need a robust training platform as you kick off your career as a new agent?
- Did you move into a new market and need some help getting off the ground with leads?
- Have you built a thriving business, honed your systems and now want the freedom to do what you want with little support from the brokerage?
- Do you want an environment where you can create a passive stream of income by building a team?
These, and so many more, are questions agents ask themselves when they hit certain points in the life cycle of their business.
I’ve asked myself many of these questions as I’ve chosen a brokerage in my last seven years in the industry. When I first began in the business, I needed a place to learn and to soak up as much knowledge as I could possibly gather. At that time, the best fit for me was a local team-based independent brokerage lead by a notable agent in town.
When I transitioned into a new market in a different state, I joined with a large regional brokerage that had name recognition in town as an independent agent.
However, as a new agent in a new market, I found that I needed the guidance, experience and leads that a team could provide. And finally, when I transitioned back to my hometown nearly five years later, I chose a brokerage based on its culture and lead generation program to help accomplish my personal production goals and to grow as a leader within an organization.
How will you choose?
Jeff Lobb did a great job of breaking down each of the strengths and weaknesses of many well-known brokerages in his brokerage guide. Each one offers a unique value proposition for its agents that helps better their own personal business.
What you need or value in a brokerage will likely change over time — that’s how it happened for me. New players come into the market, teams expand or contract, mergers and acquisitions happen, or maybe you take a hiatus from the industry all together. Each of these external factors play a part in your decision-making process as you continue to move through your time in the industry.
At the end of the day, there is a fit for everyone in our industry — it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Your choice today might not be the same one tomorrow, just as someone else’s choice for their business might not be the same fit for you. Block out the rest of the noise, and focus on finding where you do your best work so that you can best serve the consumer.
Jay Luebke is a residential sales specialist and the visual coordinator with The ART of Real Estate in Columbia, S.C. You can follow The ART of Real Estate on Twitter @TheARTeam.