How to Find and Choose a Sponsoring Real Estate Broker in 4 Steps

I read Gary Keller’s book before I took my real estate exam… You can probably guess where I ended up! After my first year of being full-time, Keller Williams was no longer for me. If I had this guide on how to find and choose a sponsoring real estate broker, I may not have left wherever my first pick was!

Regardless, it’s tough to choose the right brokerage firm, so here’s my attempt on preventing you from making that mistake.

Step 1. Decide What You Need & Want From a Sponsoring Broker

Deciding what you want and need from a sponsoring broker is like dating… Have you ever dated someone and tried to get them to change into what you wanted? I have, and it never worked out. But when you find what you were looking for, the decision is much easier.

Let’s do that for you!

I judge real estate companies in two categories: culture and finances.

It’s ideal to work alongside someone you vibe with and also provide enough value for how much you pay them.

Cultural Fit for Your Real Estate Career

Culture is the most important part of a work environment. Imagine surrounding yourself with a bunch of people that sucked at their jobs, and complained all day. Would you like that?

I’d rather be around people who are crushing it in their real estate businesses. There is a fine line though… Frequently, the people who start crushing it develop large egos and don’t want to help others at the brokerage. Identifying the culture can be tough and take time, but the financial side of your independent contractor agreement tends to be easier to judge.

Culture of Five Pillars

Financial Cost of the Brokerage

If you interview several brokerages, you’ll quickly realize that some of them have HORRIBLE value propositions. What do I mean by that?

Brokerages make money by charging their real estate agents different fees and commission structures. Their main source of income is usually commission splits. I’ve encountered some brokerages that have 55/45 commission splits and don’t provide the agent anything substantial, while some have 50/50 splits and they are phenomenal opportunities. So what does that mean?

Some brokerages are rip-offs.

Common expenses at brokerages are:

  • Commission splits
  • Transactional fees
  • Desk Fees
  • Franchise Fees
  • Errors & Omissions Insurance
  • Training (Charging for training is silly)

If your brokerage provides you with leads, meaning you don’t have to do lead generation, that can be an awesome opportunity. You will likely pay a higher commission split because of this.

If you are a people person, have a large network, and leads and referrals come to you naturally, you’ll likely overpay due to those higher commission splits.

If you’re a new agent and cannot identify which brokerages have a good exchange between value and cost, you haven’t interviewed enough of them.

Step 2. Create a List of Potential Sponsoring Brokers

At this point, you know what you want and need from a sponsoring broker. The logical next step is to create a list of sponsorship opportunities. Shoot for a list of 10 because some won’t respond. If you can set 5 interviews, you should be able to find a sponsoring broker you like.

Ask Active Real Estate Agents Who They Recommend

Most Realtors don’t do anything. They hang their real estate license somewhere and wait for business to come to them. Would you ask a software developer who doesn’t eat seafood where to buy salmon? I’d ask my chef friends!

If you want to do this part-time, ask a part-time agent who does well.

Hence, it’s important to find someone in the real estate industry who is doing what you want to do.

We have people in our team who went from part-time active duty military to full-time when they got out. A good chunk of them CRUSHED it part-time and made more money as an agent than their active duty salary.

Search Google for ‘Real Estate Agents Near Me’

If you need to go somewhere in person, you’d be better off looking in your local real estate market. Google Maps is one of my favorite apps for local goodies. This is also a good way to find people who have marketing and systems dialed in because you can see their reviews.

Simply go to Google Maps, and search for “Real estate agents near me.” Boom! There is a list of local Realtors who would likely love to have a hungry agent. Check out all of those different brokerages within 2 miles of me, and all of our 5-star reviews 🙂 – We are now nationwide though…

Five Pillars Realty on Google Maps

Step 3. Interview the List of Brokerages

Now that you have a list of potential real estate brokerages, set interviews for each one. Fortunately for you, I made a downloadable doc of all the essential questions you should ask potential real estate brokers. Print this out and bring it to all of your interviews… Or download copies and take notes on your computer!

One thing to be aware of is that most brokerages have a franchise business model. That means each office is independently owned and operated, so it’s silly to say all Century 21 offices are the same. Although Keller Williams offices have a lot in common, some other brands don’t have any rules or standard operating procedures.

Tip: Don’t make any emotional or impulsive decisions. Some of the people you interview will have many years of experience in sales so they can be exceptionally persuasive. Those people can make it seem like a GREAT idea to stop and join them now, but I encourage you to interview everyone you set appointments with.

Step 4. Choose Your Sponsoring Broker

At this point, you have everything you need to choose the right broker. Here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing your sponsoring broker:

  • Your real estate business does not rely on the person you interviewed unless they promised you leads. If they don’t provide the leads they promised, leave ASAP.
  • New real estate agents should consider joining a team or somewhere that provides lead generation so they can focus on closing deals
  • In-house administrative support for your real estate transactions can be awesome, but make sure the admin will do a better job than you

Final Thoughts on Finding & Choosing a Sponsoring Real Estate Broker

There are endless people out there who would love to help, coach, and offer you mentorship. I love nothing more than watching new and experienced agents crush it and share their successes with people on my team. By using this process, I can guarantee you will find somewhere you belong

PS. Don’t forget to interview me to be your sponsor.

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