6 Questions Real Estate Team Leaders Should Ask Their Brokerage Firms

June 2, 2022

You've built your reputation, you're driving leads and you're growing a real estate team to increase sales more rapidly and serve your clients better. Now, as a real estate team leader, it's important to make sure your brokerage has a tech-forward approach in line with where the industry is headed and that you’re able to keep as much commission as possible for your team.

The good news is that with the rapid growth of teams, you have more leverage with your real estate brokerage than ever. Here are six questions you should ask your brokerage to make sure you're getting the most out of your partnership:

1 – Do you provide branding freedom?

Today's buyers often respond better to unique, private brands than mass-marketed big brands, and it's likely that your clients value you as a trusted advisor more than a national real estate brand.

That's why it's key to be able to build your own team brand in line with your market position. That includes your mission, name, logo, colors, images and descriptive text — all while staying compliant with your state's real estate advertising rules, of course.

2 – What are your team splits and cap?

If you're going to compensate your team members with a commission split, you'll need as high a split on the gross commission from your brokerage as possible. Given the volume you’re likely to generate, a reasonable annual cap makes sense as well. If you’re at a 100% brokerage, make sure the fees don’t add up to more than a team split would.

3 – What technology do you offer and at what cost?

You can buy your own tools, but the incremental costs add up. Your brokerage can help by using its scale and leverage to negotiate steep discounts on the best tools and high-quality training and support. At a minimum, that should include customer relationship management to track and nurture leads, online transaction management to expedite paperwork and team communication tools to stay connected on the road.

At Real, for instance, these are some of the tools we purchase and provide at no extra cost to teams:

  • Chime CRM and website
  • Dotloop transaction management
  • G Suite office software
  • Cloud CMA comparative market analysis
  • Slack office chat

In addition, your brokerage should include expert users of back-office systems themselves to make sure you get quick and efficient help with questions, file reviews, broker signatures and commission payments.

4 – Can my team easily expand to new markets and states?

If you’re a successful real estate team leader, you’ll want the option to expand beyond your local market to service your clients and leverage your team model. Make sure your brokerage supports expansion in reality, not just in name. Getting sign-off from the local franchise owner to do business in a market is a headache you don’t need. Look for a brokerage model that makes expansion as frictionless as possible.

5 – What’s my ownership stake in the firm?

As I've said before, even though most real estate agents and teams are independent contractors, that's no reason not to be treated as true partners in the brokerage you help build. Stock and stock options are common equity compensation structures. Ownership aligns your interests with the brokerage, gives you a voice in the company's direction and provides you with the opportunity for an additional revenue stream.

6 – What is the real estate firm’s viability?

Some of the most established brands in real estate are taking a nosedive in the stock market, while others appear happy losing money. Is it important to you that your firm is stable? If so, does your firm have a viable business model?

Your real estate team and your clients' well-being are in your hands. Make sure you're asking the right questions to get what you need from your brokerage firm.

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