Independent or big box? What to look for when you’re looking for a brokerage.

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You’ve finally earned your real estate licence (or are well on the way to doing so) and you’re starting to think about finding a

. With so many firms to choose from, the process can be intimidating. That’s why we’ve boiled it down to the top three things to think about when finding a broker that’s right for you:

1. Decide between a franchise or an independent brokerage

Do you crave the freedom of being able to work anywhere? Is leveraging the clout of a big-name brokerage important to you? Big firms have offices all over the country, and are household names in the housing market. They’re ideal if you’re interested in experiencing life in different cities, or if you want the weight that goes with their name; however, if you’re passionate about your community and enjoy a more flexible lifestyle, an independent brokerage might be for you. Independent firms are often locally based, with offices that serve a particular community or city. They also tend to have smaller teams and offer more support and training, as well as the freedom to conduct your business any way you want to.

2. Evaluate the brokerage culture

Like any place of work, it’s important that your goals and values align with the organization whose flag you’ll be flying as an agent. Are you a good self-starter? If so, a big-box brokerage that’s more likely to let you fend for yourself might be more your speed. Do you prefer an intimate, family-like atmosphere at work? If so, you might be happier at a smaller, independent firm. Just like when you advise your clients to make a list of needs and nice-to-haves when house hunting, do the same for yourself when looking for a brokerage. It will be your home for a while (hopefully), and you want to make sure you start your career in an environment that makes sense and feels right to you.  

3. Learn its reputation and niche market

Once you’ve found a firm that you’re interested in, do some research into its reputation and client base. Evaluate it as though you’re a buyer, because in a sense you are: you’re looking for a firm that you can “buy into” in terms of their values, goals and business culture. Read through reviews from their clients and speak to other agents who work there, if possible. Make sure that the interests, lifestyle and opportunities of its client base align with yours. Ask yourself if you would hire them to buy or sell your home. If the answer is a resounding YES, then you’ve found your match!

Studies show that the right brokerage can triple your income, so it’s important to make sure you’re starting off right. In your first year as a real estate agent you’ll need lots of guidance and support, as well as proper tools to market yourself and generate conversion and leads. The right firm can kickstart your career with confidence, so treat it like you would any important investment–by doing your research first!

Wondering if Living Realty is right for you? We’d love to chat! Reach out to us any time about what it’s like to be part of the Living Realty team:

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