There is probably no other single factor that matters more to your success than the real estate broker you choose to work with. And there are, no doubt, several considerations that you will take into account based on your own personal preferences. Based on my research, however, the following are three key factors to consider as a new agent, regardless of any other additional inclinations you may have.
Find the Optimal Office Culture for New Realtors.
First and foremost, you want to make sure you fit with the culture of the office. Whatever other factors are important to you, these are some of the key elements that make up a high-performing culture: (1.) Positive and Optimistic. Attitude is everything in real estate, and attitudes are contagious. Find an office that has a positive culture, where optimism is part of the way people think. (2.) Collaborative and Cooperative. Avoid competitive cultures, particularly when you’re first starting out. You’re going to need help. You want to work in an office where people are eager to help one another, and where teamwork is rewarded, rather than individual achievement. (3.) Learning and Development. The most successful real estate brokers place high value on ongoing learning and development (more on this topic below). (4.) Integrity and Trust. It goes without saying that integrity needs to be the center of any successful endeavor. But in real estate, where your reputation and the reputation of your broker is vital, even a small slip in integrity can have serious detrimental consequences.
Be Sure You Have a Happening Spot.
Another important factor for new agents to consider is the level of activity of the office. As a new agent, you want to be in a place where you can constantly be picking things up—from ideas about best practices, to tips, leads and referrals. The more agents who come in to work in the office, the more traffic in and out, the more chance you have to learn, connect, and prosper. Obviously, you have to show that you’re a hard worker to get the respect and, ultimately, the referrals you need to succeed. But you can’t make those connections and build those relationships if no one is ever around. So, be sure you choose an office that is busy, a place where, as Outer Banks Agent Tim Moore says, even casual water cooler conversations can be a good place to learn.
Focus on Your Growth as a Realtor.
There are lots of methods and strategies for gearing up on your own (especially for those who are good at learning and applying the lessons they pick up in training programs, or from books, blogs, and videos). But it’s usually not the fastest way to learn, and if you are jumping into this (like I did) without another job or alternative source of income, time is the last thing you want to waste. Moreover, as a new real estate agent with no clients and a limited network, you are going to require some time to build your network, your website, and your brand and presence online. A mentoring or apprenticeship program can help to speed all of this up (while also helping to keep you from making costly mistakes). I recommend you make this one of the key factors in your decision about which broker you choose to partner with as a new realtor. At the very least, you want to have the option of teaming up with someone that you can learn from and possibly shadow from time to time as you learn the ropes. You may also want to check out the article detailing the reasons why I chose Keller Williams as the best real estate broker for me.