As the owner and instructor of a Florida Real Estate school the most frequently asked questions from my licensing students is “How do I go about finding a broker to work for once I get my license?” or “Will any Broker want to hire me since I have no experience?” They want to know what to look for in a company, what questions to ask a potential broker, wil they be commission only, how long until they begin making money, and how much it is going to cost to get started once get licensed and how much can they expect to make in this business.
Starting a new career is exciting and challenging. It is also intimidating, especially if a student had a successful career that they left behind. It is not easy to start over as an adult and they are looking for some reassurance.
Students have a vague idea of what the real estate business is about, but most of them get in because they like the idea of selling homes. Very few understand that they are going into business for themselves rather than changing jobs.
A Real Estate Career is not a job. It is a business. It is YOU, Inc. The amount of money that you will make in your first year has no bearing at all on how much money you will make in the subsequent years, because your first year is your learning year and you will make lots of mistakes on the road to mastery of the real estate business. Forgive yourself in advance. It is part of the process and we the painful mistakes are the ones we remember.
One of the hardest mistakes is going to work for a company that is not a good fit. It is also one of the most costly because when you go to work for a brokerage, those listings that you acquire and buyer contracts you write by law belong to your broker. Make your choice carefully after much interviewing, because if it doesn’t work out you may have to leave the business behind.
There are many different models in Real Estate Brokerages, and each has a type of licensee that will thrive in the different settings. The question to ask yourself is, “what’s most important to me as a novice?” I would think it is training, but many new licensees look to the commission split only and spend a lot of money on marketing and buying leads, getting little or no return, and find themselves financially strapped.
If you have someone who is willing to mentor you, by all means, join them into their company. Otherwise, look for one with training, an experienced broker, and a good reputation and culture.
One thing is certain: what you envisioned your career to be before you were licensed is not going to match the reality of your new career. It is a lot of hard work, sometimes with no apparent reward for a long period of time and it is easy to get disillusioned in the beginning.
What you may blame your broker for is really an unrealistic expectation on your part, so make sure you ask questions about what you can expect and also ask the potential broker what they expect from you. Find out what happens to the business you procured if it doesn’t work out and you feel you need to find a new broker. This is a negotiable item in many firms, which is why you may want to ask those in the business for some advice.
Make sure the company has a Policy and Procedures Manual, and that you are given a copy to review before you sign with the broker. Make sure you take notes in your interview, and that you recap what you wrote before you leave. Make sure the notes you took match what is in the P & P Manual. If not, make the notes an addendum to the manual and ask your broker to sign it when you meet again to join the firm.
As a former Century 21 Broker, EXIT Realty Broker, Coldwell Banker manager, and an independent Broker, I have interviewed countless licensees that did not take these precautions, and regretted it financially when they had to start over without their listings or their commission checks. Be smart and you will be successful!
There are many opportunities for success in today’s real estate market.
If you have any questions about a career in real estate in Florida, please call or email me, or visit my website. If you have any questions about the licensing process, the Division of Real Estate has answers to Frequently Asked Questions as well as a complete Candidate Information Booklet to guide you through the process of getting your license. To apply for a real estate license in Florida, follow the link to the license application.
Nature Coast Real Estate School offers live classroom and online courses and has four convenient locations in Pasco and Hernando Counties.