If there’s one thing that every real estate agent knows, it’s how difficult it is to actually become a certified agent. Moving forward with your new career you are going to be faced with a difficult decision that only you can answer for yourself: should you join a real estate brokerage/agency or sell for yourself? Both come with many benefits and specific challenges.
In order to determine which direction is right for you, make sure that you have answers for the following questions:
How Much Do You Know About the Market You’re Entering?
Being a real estate agent is a little bit like being a doctor, just because you are done with formal education, doesn’t mean you will ever stop learning. Real estate agents from all over the spectrum of skill need to be consistently trained and educated to stay current with laws and the changing best practices of the industry.
As a new agent, you are most likely not going to be aware of the ins and outs of the industry the same way that a seasoned professional does. You might be able to sell the shirt off someone’s back but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s illegal to do so in your region. Joining an agency can provide you with much needed mentorship. If you are absolutely determined to sell for yourself, consider taking an apprenticeship at a brokerage for a few months to give you some kind of footing in your market.
How Will You Make It Through Slow Periods?
When you are an individual agent, you are at the mercy of the market. There is no financial entity able to support you through a slow period. While even brokerages tend to be mostly commission-based, you will still likely have the option of tagging along with a more experienced agent and getting a piece of that action. When you are part of a brokerage, you are part of a team, and it’s to the benefit of the team that every member succeeds.
If you are previously wealthy or have a plan to make it months without closing a sale, you will likely be able to survive the slow period. However, if you don’t think you could make it a few months without money coming in, you may want to rethink selling individually.
What’s Your Marketing Plan?
Going into real estate for yourself is effectively starting your own business and that is no easy feat. Before you begin selling any houses, condos or investment properties you are going to have to sell the most important aspect of real estate—yourself. If you have a background in marketing and know how to sell yourself, this part may be a breeze for you. However, the marketing materials provided by a brokerage or agency will go a long way for the novice marketer.
A brokerage is also likely to have more access to modern tools of the trade like a CRM that can help with real estate lead generation. A brokerage will also be able to help guide you through the process of managing leads and assist in promoting your brand.
If you decide to join a brokerage, you will have to pay fees and a percentage on every commission you take home; yet you will have access to all the resources of the organization and the backing of industry professionals. However, if you go it alone, you get to keep all of the money you make. Which ever path you take, you should be aware of all the potential outcomes.