As a New Jersey real estate agent just beginning your career, working for a sponsoring real estate broker is one of the best ways to break into the industry. With their help, you can gain valuable industry knowledge and network with other high-profile brokers and real estate agents.
However, just because you are a newbie, doesn’t mean you should settle for any broker that comes your way. It’s important to differentiate between a broker who can help you grow and a broker who will take advantage of you.
Knowing the best questions to ask a broker is critical to finding the perfect fit for you. Here are ten important questions you should ask before signing a deal with a broker:
1. What Are Your Commission Splits?
It’s common for real estate agents working for a broker to receive a commission split, meaning you get a portion of the commission for each sale. Understanding your broker’s commission split structure is essential to ensure you get fair compensation for your work.
Most brokers offer a 50/50 commission split, in which the broker and the agent each get 50% of the commission.
However, commission splits vary per brokerage. It’s crucial to clarify the split with your potential broker before striking a deal to make sure you’re not being exploited for the skills you bring to the table.
2. Do You Offer a Commission Cap?
Commission caps refer to the maximum commission the broker can take per sale. In some cases, a broker will not offer a commission split, but will instead take a fixed amount of the commission regardless of how much profit they make on the sale.
Some brokers combine commission splits and commission caps, wherein the broker takes a percentage of the commission, but only to a certain amount. This is ideal for a new real estate agent who wants to make sure they get a fair share of the commission.
3. Are There Any Other Brokerage-Related Fees?
Working with a brokerage is like working with an agency – you need to be aware of any additional fees the broker might charge. In addition to commission splits or caps, some brokers also charge administrative fees, marketing fees, training and development fees, and so on.
While these benefits come with a price, they can also help you increase your skills in the long run and do provide practical advantages. Make sure that each added expense is outlined in the contract and is something that benefits you.
4. What Are the Benefits Your Brokerage Offers?
Different brokerages offer different benefits, from providing personalized business cards and personal lock boxes to more training and development opportunities. Learning about all the benefits your prospective brokerage offers will help you decide whether or not it’s the right fit for you.
As mentioned above, these benefits often come with a price. You need to confirm that all these additional expenses are actually beneficial for you and will not be an unnecessary drain on your income.
5. How Often Are We Going to Have Meetings or Group Activities?
Having regular meetings with your colleagues is a great way to stay on top of industry developments and build relationships with other real estate professionals.
Understanding how often meetings, group activities, and special events will be held and what they entail is important to ensuring you will have opportunities to socialize, learn from colleagues, and grow your network.
Furthermore, regular meetings are also a good indicator that the brokerage is expanding and that they have a clear vision for the future. At the same time, having too many or no meetings at all could indicate a lack of efficient communication within the brokerage firm or a lack of business direction.
6. How Long Have Your Agents Stayed at This Brokerage?
Knowing how long agents have been with the brokerage can indicate whether you’ll be able to develop and grow in this environment or if you’ll end up getting frustrated and leaving after a short period.
It’s best to work with a brokerage composed of at least some agents with over five years of experience working with the same brokerage. This shows that the brokerage can provide long-term support and development opportunities for its agents.
7. What Is the Company Culture Like?
Although you’ll be working as an independent contractor, it’s still important to get a feel for the company culture of your potential broker. Do they have a positive attitude toward their agents? Are there any particular values or principles that the brokerage holds dear?
You want to make sure you’re working with a team of individuals who share similar goals and will help each other out as much as possible.
8. Do You Offer Continuing Education Support to Your Agents?
In order to become a real estate salesperson in New Jersey, you must first pass the state real estate exam and obtain your NJ real estate license. The state agency responsible for issuing the license is the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, a subdivision of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI).
According to the DOBI, all licensed real estate agents and brokers are subject to license renewal. Part of renewing your New Jersey real estate license requires completing 12 hours of continuing education (CE) courses.
You should find out if the brokerage you’re considering offers any support in this regard, such as providing access to CE classes or reimbursing tuition fees. This will help you maintain a valid license and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
9. Do You Offer Mentorship Opportunities?
Real estate brokers have a wealth of experience and knowledge, so it’s always a good idea to discover if there are any mentorship opportunities available.
Having access to more experienced real estate brokers will help you hone your skills and get valuable insight into the industry. Taking advantage of such an opportunity can also be a great way to help you cultivate relationships with other professionals in the field.
10. How Are Leads Distributed & Qualified?
This question will help you figure out several things about your prospective broker, such as:
- If they are an established brokerage in the flourishing New Jersey real estate market;
- If they know what to look for in a high-quality lead;
- If they distribute qualified leads among agents in a fair manner; and
- If they have an efficient system to ensure leads are followed up on in a timely manner.
Asking about lead distribution and qualification will provide you with an understanding of the inner workings of the brokerage and help you decide whether it’s the right fit for your career.
How Can You Make Yourself Marketable to Renowned Brokers in Your Area?
Although it’s possible to find success as a real estate agent without working with a broker, there’s no denying that brokerages can give you a competitive edge in the real estate market. If you want to make your skills marketable to real estate brokers, here are some tips to help you:
- Master the art of persuasive sales talk: In real estate, impressive sales skills are invaluable and could help you stand out from other agents. If you want to become the best New Jersey real estate salesperson, you must learn how to master the art of compelling sales talk. There are many sales classes you can take online or in person to improve your pitches.
- Take classes to improve your skills: You can never stop learning in the real estate industry. Taking additional courses will help you stay updated with industry trends and regulations. Moreover, if you want to succeed in the real estate brokerage profession, taking CE classes is a must to renew your license.
- Network with other professional agents and brokers: Networking with other professionals in the same field is a great way to increase your visibility and chances of making a breakthrough in the industry. Reach out to a licensed real estate broker you admire and inquire about mentoring or potential employment opportunities from them.
Breaking into the competitive landscape of the New Jersey real estate industry can be a challenge. With many real estate agents emerging from different real estate schools, brokers are becoming more selective with who they ask to join their teams.
This can be an ordeal for inexperienced real estate agents and career shifters. One of the best measures you can take to stand out from the competition and jumpstart your real estate career is getting the best quality education from an established institution.
Jumpstart Your Career in Real Estate With the Garden State Real Estate Academy
At Garden State Real Estate Academy, we have crafted a learning curriculum that combines the best of both theoretical and practical training. Our courses are designed to help you gain the skills needed to not only pass the real estate exam, but also thrive in this ever-changing market.
Through our comprehensive classes and instruction from leading industry professionals, you will be able to develop your career with confidence and become successful in the real estate industry. You might even start your own real estate business one day!
Whether you are just starting out on the journey to get a New Jersey real estate license, renewing your license, or preparing to earn your broker’s license, we have the perfect learning path for you at Garden State Real Estate Academy.
We are here to help you get your real estate license and become a successful real estate professional in New Jersey. Sign up for classes today!