Questions to Ask a Sponsoring Broker

The whole interview process for finding a broker to hang your license with is different than most job interviews.  Usually you go in prepared to toot your own horn a little and dust off all of the employment buzz words that we all have saved in the proverbial rolodex to pull out in certain occasions in hopes that we get a job offer.  In real estate however, sure there is a little horn tooting, but for the most part you need to be ready to ask THEM what they can do for YOU! The first interview I went on, I was not at all prepared for this line of questions and therefore left the interview completely perplexed and a bit defeated, but it was definitely a learning experience and I took all of my mistakes to make a tentative list of questions which of course brought new questions.  So when all was said and done I had about 30 questions, which made it a lot easier to decide on a broker when I knew what the hell to ask them!  So here they are…

1. Training

  • Is there new agent training available?
  • Is there a set days or hours to be met before I am able to start prospecting my own clients?
  • Is there a cost to me? If so, how much?
  • Do you have a mentor program?
  • Would it be the same mentor or would I have someone different to shadow through out all of the aspects of buying and selling?
  • How often is continuing education offered
  • Is it offered in house or elsewhere?
  • Who should I ask if I have questions after the training period is over?

2. What do I need to get started?

  • What costs will I incur from the initial to the ongoing?
  • Is it paid out of commissions or is it a separate charge?
  • How often are fees paid? Monthly? Quarterly? Per Transaction?
  • Do I need specific Liability Insurance on my car? How much? Do I need to list the broker as an interested party?
  • Do I need separate E&O insurance? (Errors and Omissions)
  • Are there marketing materials available to me?
  • What web based services are available to me?
  • Are there any mobile Apps I will need or benefit from?
  • Is there an IT person to help me get all of the programs set up or there if I have any ongoing issues. Are they available only during office hours?
  • Do I need to purchase a computer or specific software?
  • Is there an approval system for any marketing materials, advertising, or social media that I put together on my own?

3. Brokerage Specific Questions

  • How do referrals work in your office?
  • What was your gross volume of sales last year? How does that compare to this year?
  • Are most of your agents part-time or full-time?
  • Will I be expected to attend all in-house team meetings, etc?
  • Does the office focus on team goals or am I pretty much on my own?
  • How often am I expected to work out of the office?
  • Is there a way to access the office after normal business hours?

4. Commission

  • What commission split will I start at?
  • Will that change after a period of time?
  • Is there a cap placed on how much I will pay into transaction fees, royalties, etc.?
  • What is the referral split?
  • If I am on a team will I have to split any additional commission to the team leader?

And last but not least I always asked my interviewer, What is something that you know now that you wish you had known when you were getting started? I was amazed at the different answers but they were all full of good advice.  I hope someone can learn from my ignorance!



Turns out the exam was the easy part!

I decided to be a realtor about 8 months ago.  I started with excitement and a little, ok massive, trepidation of the road that was ahead.  I hadn’t taken a test in 10 years and I hadn’t set foot in a workplace for 6.  However, my baby went to Kindergarten this year and this former full-time mom wondered how I would fill my days besides keeping house and keeping the fridge stocked (because we all know that is the only things stay at home moms do right? Please!)

So after a ton of online research and a gentle nudge from the hubs I started to study, take my chapter tests, it was a TON to remember but the more I plugged away the more I got excited about my new career choice.  I won’t lie, it was by far a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but I was doing it, I was passing!  Then came the State License Exam, I was petrified! I had heard from so many others what a bear that test was and the testing center certainly wasn’t the kind of warm and fuzzy place with a chipper receptionist that was there to ease your nerves. Nope it was a lock up your belongings, turn out your pockets, I’m following you to the bathroom kind of place.  Two and a half hours later though, I nervously walked back to the not fuzzy receptionist where she handed me my results and there it said in big, bold letters, PASS.  Thank God! I’m a Realtor!!

Umm, not so fast there hot stuff! That was the easy part, now I had to find a broker, apply for my license, and figure out how to put all of that new knowledge to work! It was like being a college graduate all over again.  But thankfully, things started to look up.