Choosing a Brokerage Company to Launch Your Career

September 10, 2016
Written by: Kathleen Silver, CREW East Bay

So, you want to become a rock star commercial real estate broker? Although selling real estate doesn’t require one to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon, it does require one to be passionate and also well educated in the first year. Ultimately, it can be one of the most rewarding of career choices, resulting in unparalleled financial freedom. I rarely tell anyone who has the soft skills to stay away from a career in real estate sales. Making the commitment to be successful is key.

After speaking to hundreds of commercial real estate salespeople, the following three myths and corresponding tips provide stepping stones important to new sales professionals:

Myth #1

All I need is a senior agent by my side to give me daily guidance, involve me in on their deals, and share some of their deal commission so I can learn and make money.

Oh, if only it were that easy! Many newcomers believe that the most experienced, seasoned brokers are also willing mentors and coaches, ready to help train. Many brokers, however, started out with a telephone and business cards, no training and little guidance. After suffering through their first year, many felt the lack of training crippled their ability to broker their own business. While there may be a generational deficit of well-trained brokers, many, through trial and error, are lucky enough to figure things out.

How do you break the cycle?

Tip #1

When starting out, look at the brokerage company as a whole, not just the senior brokers. Ask the following:

  • Is the brokerage able to deliver consistent, meaningful training? If not, find one that does. Seek a brokerage that SHOWS you what it’s like to move through their training program.
  • Is the training program suitable to the way most of us learn? The majority of people are kinesthetic learners, learning as they you tactilely do things.

Myth #2

All I need is to develop a list of sellers and buyers who will use my services! I have a ton of energy and this is the information age! I’ll just generate a list of people to call and be on my way in weeks!

Oh, Grasshopper…I salute your positive mindset! Make certain to choose a brokerage company where cold leads are shared, thereby giving a junior broker the opportunity to close deals with oversight from management or senior brokers. Ideally, the chosen company is not tracking leads on spreadsheets, but has a solid and transparent CRM platform. If you choose to build your own list, beware! You will may end up with a list of duplicate, potential client names that already working with the firm, and you will have wasted your time. A big ‘ol bummer!

How do you get away from such a scourge on productivity?

Tip #2

There are companies that share client data. These are companies whose cultures “get” where the value isn’t (within a cold contact record). Engage them! Their value lies farther down the pipeline with multiple outreaches to those clients. Why not get the records into a shared database with high transparency, and written rules for engagement, exponentially assisting everyone in securing more deals and widening the reach of each person to connect with buyers and sellers.

Myth #3

Once I secure my first listing it will sell – no problem!

Yes! Yes it will!... With a caveat...

When seeking a brokerage company, find out about the staff support. Do they perform the following?

  • Customizing a professional proposal
  • Delivery of a marketable offering memorandum
  • Marketing the listing
  • Guidance during escrow

Does this support come from full-time staff? Does it cost extra? What if a listing isn’t selling and a second opinion is needed? What if the customer is demanding answers you don’t have? How does the brokerage company support you when you’ll need it?

Not receiving the proper support can lead to the loss of a listing.

Tip #3

I am lucky enough to work at a brokerage company which offers collaboration, shared data and support and as a result new agent’s paths toward success is shorter. Be certain to make an intelligent list of what you’ll need to be successful, and know that contact with senior brokers is extremely valuable. Once you have the basics, you can to seamlessly collaborate with them.

When considering a brokerage company, it is important to factor the reputation of the firm, the focus or specialization of the firm and who are the key contributors to the brokerage company’s success. Be certain not to overlook the firm’s commitment to your success, which should always include a defined training program, a collaborative leads platform and both administrative and marketing support to assist you in successfully closing your first deals.


Kathleen SilverKathleen Silver is a brand ambassador and talent evangelist for NAI Northern California; a tech forward, full-service brokerage company which innovates to increase the potential of its advisors, and bring better results to clients.