Switching Brokerages: Is it really about the splits?

Switching Brokerages: Is it really about the splits?

A recent article in REM (www.remonline.com) titled: ‘In search of a great real estate brokerage’, Don Kittick, FRI, interviewed several top brokerage managers and team leaders to see what the consensus is around what makes a brokerage a great place to work.

In essence, he found that there are a few key metrics that make a brokerage a great base from which to build your business:

·         Objective, knowledgeable, responsive management

·         Strong brokerage leadership

·         Strong, inclusive and supportive culture

·         Strong training, mentoring and coaching programs

·         Varied support services

·         Financial viability of the brokerage

·         Strong marketing and branding, and community involvement

·         A good agent/manager ratio

·         A good average productivity per agent

·         Lead generation

·         Reasonable commission splits, fees and expenses

Notice that splits, fees and expenses are last on the list? I don’t think that’s an accident.

‘A fallacy exists that higher commissions should be your ultimate goal, but agent productivity statistics repeatedly reveal that this is not case. If you receive 100 per cent of the commission, you have to ask yourself what kind of support and services you can expect from the brokerage. The answer should be obvious: you get what you pay for, but this is fine for some.’

Ask 100 sales reps why they’d choose a brokerage and most of them would speak highly of the splits and fees.

‘It’s a business decision,’ they’ll say.

Ask 100 sales reps why they left their last brokerage and most of them would probably say they left because of the manager, a personality conflict or a lack of support. While I can’t, at the moment, quantify this scientifically, after hundreds of interviews over several years of speaking with sales reps and brokers during my own recruiting conversations, I can tell you that this is true from an anecdotal perspective.

People leave their managers; they use splits and fees as an excuse in an attempt to ‘keep it professional’. Let’s face it, most of us don’t want to be seen as petty or mean, so we try to couch our decisions in business terms to maintain the illusion of professionalism.

Do I think sales reps and brokers are unprofessional? Far from it! But we don’t want to make our decisions seem personal so we use the ‘facts’ as justification for making what is genuinely a personal choice.

If you’re thinking of making a move, be sure you ask the manager if their company embodies each of the above items. If they can’t, you might not be looking in the right place. And if your current company doesn’t, well….give me a call.

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