Choosing a real estate broker is like choosing a spouse, but harder. There is no Tinder for choosing a real estate brokerage, so how are you supposed to figure it all out?  If you are considering getting your real estate license and looking for your first broker or an agent looking to make a switch, let’s go over some of the basics before we go over the steps to finding a real estate broker.

What is a Real Estate Broker?

A real estate broker is a real estate agent who completed the requirements needed to demonstrate expertise in the field.  In all 50 states, a real estate agents must be supervised by a real estate broker in order to practice real estate. Each state has it’s own requirements, but at a minimum, they usually consist of additional education, proof of experience, and passing a rigid exam.

What Does a Real Estate Broker Do?

The law requires that all real estate agents work under a real estate broker. A real estate broker is charged with the legal responsibility of supervising all of his or her agents. Since the broker is responsible for the agent’s actions, the broker usually offers training and support to protect themselves from any liability, as well as to ensure the success of their agents.

What’s in it for the broker?

Not only is a real estate broker required  to go through extensive training and testing in order to obtain a  broker’s license, they are legally responsible for the actions of their licensees. So why would anyone ever bother to go through all of this and get a broker’s license? 

The broker hires agents and receives compensation from them in exchange for providing them a place to hang their license as well supervising and training them. Since real estate agents must work under a real estate broker and compensate them in some way, it’s important to choose the right broker. At some point in the future, you may consider getting your broker’s license. Check out my post here.

This can be a tedious and lengthy process, but finding the right broker is a vital step in building a successful real estate career. There are many aspects to your search, but just take it step by step and try not to get overwhelmed. Remember that your first broker may not be your last.

Let’s talk about how to find a broker!  The first step is to compile a long list of real estate agencies in your area.

Use  these 7 tips to compile a list of real estate brokers who might be the right fit for you.  Make a long list of possibilities, and use the process to narrow it down to a short list of brokers that you want to interview with.  

1. What real estate companies near me are looking for agents?-

The real estate business is a local one. Look in your area first. Walk or drive through your neighborhood and look for signs to see which brokerages are doing business near you.  Lots of signs shows you who does business in your area and can give you a long list of which real estate agencies to talk to.

There is still more work to be done! Just because a real estate company has the most signs does not mean it is the best brokerage firm though, so make as long of a list as you can. Keep your options open.

2. Drive by their offices and even walk in, if possible.

You will learn a lot and quickly by seeing the physical space. Often times, you get a feeing right away if it’s a potential good fit and should make it to your short list. Also look for activity level of the office, the convenience factor, and any other perks, like technology, charm or marketing materials.  Pay attention to what feels right to you.

3. Go to open houses in your neighborhood.

Pay attention to the marketing and the impression it leaves on you. The public is also watching and forming an opinion about the company, and that can have an impact on how they view you.  Start a conversation with the real estate agent who is hosting the open house.

Ask about the real estate broker they work for, as well as the other real estate companies they worked for in the past. Ask them why they switched, and what the pros and cons are of the different companies they worked for. Not only will you learn about the real estate broker, you might also come up with some questions to ask potential agents.

4. Ask your friends which real estate agent they used for their last transaction and look up the brokerage they work for.

Add this real estate broker to your long list. Make sure you also ask your friend for their opinion of the agent and the brokerage. By talking to people an getting their opinions, you will start to get an idea of the best real estate companies in your area. Your reputation is important, as well as the one of the real estate broker you choose to associate with.

5. Look online at listings.

Zero in on the kind of properties you plan to sell in the neighborhoods where you want to build your business.  Pay attention the listing agent and the company they work for, and add them to your long list.

6. Check out the web site.

You can learn a lot about a brokerage by their online presence. Most home searches begin on the internet, so look at what your clients will see when you are in business and promoting yourself.

7. National Association of Realtors –

NAR is the largest real estate trade organization in the country with over 1.1 Million members. Simply log onto their web site and do a search. To find a complete list of REALTOR offices in your area.  Although NAR is the largest trade organization, there are some real estate brokers who are not members, so this list won’t include all of your options, but it will show you most of them.

Once you have your short  list of local real estate companies, it is time to schedule meetings. For pointers on the interview process and a list of questions to ask a broker, check out this post.

Congratulations! You have just taken one of the first steps in beginning your career.