Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County  &  Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395)

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Martin Kalisker
Natick, MA
Real Estate Ethics & Dispute Resolutikn

Hi Karen.  I'm speaking from the heart here.

To build a successful brokerage, you need to have a profitable business that is built on systems, training and tools.  The broker should be a mentor and a coach and not compete with the agents for the business.  Company generated business must be compensated differently than agent-generated business because you are the one funding the technology to bring in the leads.  It also encourages agents to find their own book of business.


I have found that newly licensed agents are easier to train than experienced agents.  They are much more willing to do the activities that are required to be sucessful and don't have the baggage or "bad habits" inherited from other firms.

Create your firm and your agents on a client-centric model.  Many firms of the past that are working their way out are "agent-centric".  You still see them - the agent's photo is pasted all over the sign. The agents choose the color and size of the sign.  It's all about the agent.  It should all be about the consumer.  Sell the brand.  The agent, the broker and the brand all work for the client.  It's what the brand will do for the client.  How the brand will help them sell the home faster.  How the brand will help them price the home using industry leading technology.  When an agent starts to sell themselves over the company and how great they are, then you've lost control of the agent and they start to run your business and become a cancer.  Cancer causes dissent in the office and ruins morale.  You need to stomp it out - fast.  

I've been there.  Seen it.  Done it.  I see it in many of the responses you've received above.  Don't let the agent's run your company!!!


Jul 02, 2015 01:55 AM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

I am a broker at present and am working towards an office design like what I am about to describe as perfection!

  • A perfect brokerage needs to have an office. Yes lots of us independents are working from home these days, but it's nice to have an office as a place to create like minded thinking and to share ideas.  Encourage your fellow agents.
  • A perfect brokerage will have an awesome training program.  There will be a classroom situation and a manual for reading and follow up.  New agents will be paired with experienced agents to create an atmosphere of mentorship.
  • A perfect brokerage will be a place where goals are set, activities are created to support those goals, and the actual results are tracked.  The broker will talk about how to improve on progress with each agent or team member.  Goals and actual results will be prominently displayed to foster comradarie in the environment.
  • A perfect brokerage has a strong support system.  Agents are not tied down with paperwork because there is support staff in place to handle the paperwork and follow up closing transactions.  Agents are free to talk with buyers and sellers and generate deals.
  • A perfect brokerage is a place with strong leadership.  Agents and support staff will sense a spirit of boldness and courage in the atmosphere because the leadership is strong and encouraging.
  • A perfect brokerage will be a place where success is constantly celebrated.  Achievers are recognized and reward publicly.  Moments of fun are encouraged to stimulate the day.
  • A perfect brokerage will be debt free with cash reserves in the bank.  Financial stability i very important to a brokerage and its agents and support staff.
  • A perfect brokerage has great systems that are easy to use.  Processes flow smoothly.  Systems are easy to navigate.  Great training and resources are available.
  • A perfect brokerage is one where everyone has the opportunity to wildly succeed and experience their dreams.  Everyone is making a minimum six figure income.


Jul 03, 2015 03:59 AM
Linda Schneider
Fast Newsletters - San Diego, CA
Fast Newsletters for Real Estate Agents

My first broker mentored me. We didn't do training programs. We didn't have gurus to motivate us from the stage. She took me out with her on appointments, had me prospect with her, and went with me on my first several appointments. She sat with me to help me set up a business structure and systems. She saw her job as developing agents, not as managing agents.

Later she adopted something more similar to the KW model, where her experienced agents mentored a junior agent and got a piece of the pie. 

Jul 01, 2015 08:29 AM
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Wow, I'm surprised how many people have mentioned leads.  You can't expect a Brokerage large or small to provide leads.  If it happens it is the gravy.  An agent should want their Brokerage to offer superb support from the first person who answers the phones to the Broker/Manager.  It shouldn't even be about the splits.  Look for professionalism, ethics, industry leaders, mentorship, honesty and integrity.  Also determine what the culture of the Brokerage is to be. Your agents need to trust that you have their back. 

Jul 03, 2015 03:41 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

What an exceptional question you are asking.

Already, you have demonstrated you would be a great broker to work with. But, your question really is about how to attract experienced agents. You absolute don't want to flush your future down to tube offering Train'n for the clueless.

Design the PERFECT Brokerage? What would make your model distinguishable from the smoke and mirror and shiny things offered by others? 

Sit down and meditate until the vision comes to you. How may ways can a home be sold? (12) How many ways can a house be financed? (21) By knowing how to use all of these resources you can guide your agents to the pinnacle of this profession and elevate them from agent to Transaction Architect. Seekers really, really do seek shelter beneath the tree of vision.

To establish you are in possession of true vision, and are a visionary in the industry, simply take the genius and passion test with them.  When you see the light come on, it your turn to deliver results and prepare those in your office for the emerging economy.

Jul 01, 2015 04:06 AM
Michael Shannon
Metropolitan Real Estate (Shannon Team) - Garden City, MI
The Foreclosure Guy

It's very interesting and high disappointing to see so many agents say they want free company leads, a non competing broker, free admin staff and low fees.  Why not a free BMW, or limo service so you don't have to drive. And an office concierge to boot...Lazy, lazy, lazy. What a undeserved group of prima donnas so many agents have become. 

Based on observation, in my opinion, non competing brokers are out of the loop, and not in touch with the market.  I sell 10x more that any competing broker that I've ever worked for. They aren't my competition, I am my only competition. I can run fast circles around any broker I've worked for in the past 25 years.

Buyer and Seller leads are everywhere, you have to stop slacking an get them yourself. Expireds, Withdrawn's, Estates, Divorce, Referrals, Open Houses, Post cards, Door knocking, Farming, Newsletters, personal website leads. You either need to be ridiculously passionate about being the best Realtor you can be or get a 9-5 day job in the real world. Since 1990, I've be generating my own leads and have closed well over 4,000 real estate transactions.  I've never gotten a lead from a broker, not once. 

You need a broker, and an ethical one at that.  And you need a building.  A brick and mortar place for conducting business, with a real receptionist, and an office manager. The broker had better be actively selling houses or they should be out of the business (retired).  The paperwork and forms should be updated and available to all agents via Dropbox. The broker should only hire agents who are passionate about helping other people move forward in life. The focus needs to be on hiring real people with a genuine concern for helping buyers and sellers. It's not just another transaction and a closing check. Transactional focused selling is to costly and fails to develop referral business past about 25%. The broker should have regular business meetings. The meeting should be short (25 minutes) and focused on proper use of forms, systems, new loan programs, liability reduction and client care. They should also include skill building and the Broker should provide regular on site training and on site con-ed for the agents. This builds camaraderie and helps the office as a whole as more knowledgeable agents do more better business and reduce liability to themselves and the broker. The broker should provide free yards signs and co-operate in the cost for Just listed, Just sold marketing as both the agent and the company benefit from more business. The agent training should focus on building client relationships and gaining referral business and not on total closed units or sales volume. That will come in due time when agents earn the respect of their clients.  The perfect brokerage will develop highly skilled, self-starter agents who build their own referral business through super enhanced relationships with their clients. The broker and the agent should share the cost of long term client retention "keep in touch" post closing programs. 

The Broker should be available for the agents at all times. Yes even at night. Emergencies are just that.

I could go on for days...but I won't. Have a great holiday weekend and be safe.

Jul 04, 2015 12:45 AM
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

I'm going to give you a few things that first came to my mind when I read your question. 

  • A noncompeting Broker
  • Qualified Leads
  • Ongoing training and education
  • A desirable commission split
  • A friendly, trustworthy Broker/Agent relationship

Best of luck to you!


Jul 02, 2015 11:20 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Most agents want leads.  Few are looking for a great training with a no name brokerage. It used to be sit in the office you get walk in or taking floor calls get a customer.

With the internet, these vehicles do not happen often. Even if the leads are not too reliable you can offer agents an edge over other brokerage. 

Jul 01, 2015 12:21 PM
Brien Berard
Remax Professionals Laurel MD - Laurel, MD
Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate

A non-competing broker, quality training, someone that I am convinced is committed to my success.

They have to be very ethical and have the guts to make tough decisions.

I had a terrible transaction with an in office agent.  She was rude, even going after my buyers at settlement.  They even called the broker after the deal settled to complain.  Her final straw was trying to rip me off on my commission.   She was unsuccessful.   She should have been fired by my broker, instead my broker said he hated to see people in his "family" not getting along.

I need to find another broker.

Jul 03, 2015 07:41 AM
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

Am honest broker that will stand behind me when needed and not be constantly looking for new ways to get their hands in my pockets.

Here's an example of what NOT to do. I was once affiliated with a (once huge when multiple small brokerage merged) brokerage in Northern Virginia that couldn't find enough new ways to pick our pockets. Examples: (1) They'd throw a company wide Christmas Party but charged $40 to attend - then twisted our arms if we chose not to participate. (2) They charged their agents (the company's customers) an additional fee (mandatory) every November so they could pay a Holiday Bonus to company staff. Never mind that many agents gave generous bonuses to members of the staff within our office whom we worked with directly. Needless to say, before long agents were leaving in droves. Thas less than half the agents they once had.

Jul 03, 2015 05:49 AM
Richard V. Foster, Esq.
Law Office of Richard V. Foster - Henderson, NV
Broker (58356) - ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR

As a Broker, my business model is simple, a 100% model, low fees, and the Broker plays for everything the agent needs to tranact business; For Sale signes, Open House signes, lock boxes, buines cards, faxes machies, copies, email, meeting room . . . Beat that with a stick, 

Jul 03, 2015 03:31 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


That is a HUGE Question to answer.  You need a good name that stands for something, or use your name and come up with a great slogan that defines what you stand for or your niche.  

Some agents prefer working for a broker that just manages does not compete with them, and some don't care.  Some agents value education and managing, some don't.

I think you should determine what kind of agenst you would like to have around you, and that would be a good starting point.

We wish you continued success in this new endeavor and in all aspects of your life.  A

Jul 01, 2015 03:27 AM
Althea Kippes, Esq.
A.T. Kippes, Real Estate Broker - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco to Silicon Valley!

An earlier person shared that to find out what makes a perfect brokerage, you need to go to the source (the agents.)  This is very true.  The "perfect" brokerage is different depending on the agent and where he or she is in his or her career.

- First, you should figure out your target market for agents.  Will you be getting new agents? Experienced agents? Part-time or full time agents?  This will depend on what your needs are and how big you want your brokerage to be.

- Once you have deterimined who your target market is, find out what those people want.  Perhaps more experienced agents want a better split, no desk fees, etc. but if you are hiring newbie agents, they will want someone to mentor them.  [Just an FYI...  I have seen very few brokerages where new agents are actually "mentored."  Mentoring is not just going to company trainings--it is much more and beyond the scope of the comment here.]

- Think back to the places where you have worked in the past.  What did you like or dislike?  Chances are, the agents you will be bringing on have similar feelings.  Ask other agents what they like or dislike about their brokerages and use this as a guide to make yours better.

- What non-real estate specific things would people like?  Find out what these special needs are and try to meet them, keeping in mind who your target market is.  Sometimes this can be as simple as having sodas or snacks for your agents, or having people who will put up open house signs, or having a nice office in a good location with easy parking.

- Find out why real estate agents leave their brokerages.  I ask people this all the time, and one surprising reason had to do with office/work space issues.  In my informal surveys, I learned that several top producing agents left their brokerages for reasons that were ultimately related to the broker taking away or negatively changing their office space.  [Another rhetorical question to brokers:  Why would you alienate your top producers and take away their offices?  They are bringing you tons of money every month---Figure out a solution!]  I know one agent who would like to change brokerages but stays where she is because she had a great office.


To determine what factors create the perfect brokerage, you should think about this over time.  Keep a notepad with you, or take a note on your phone.  Ideas will come to you at various times and you want to record them so that you can later incorporate them into your brokerage if you like them.

Jul 03, 2015 05:29 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

A lot of answers here but here is what matters to me...

* An honest Broker who is there when you need them with great advice or even just to bounce things off

* One who lets me run my business yet realizes we are a still a team

* I don't mind a competing broker as long as they are fair and not trying to "steal" my leads  There is plenty of business out there.

* Honesty is huge. I have to trust them as much as they trust me. 


Good luck on your new adventure! I have a feeling you will do well!!

Jul 03, 2015 04:35 AM
Jim Miner
Miner Noh & Associates - Phoenix, AZ
Loan Modfication & Short Sale Specialist

I would like the Broker to stand up at the end of the month office meeting and say, "we had a very good month and I want to share the wealth".

Jul 03, 2015 03:44 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Leads.  Leads.  Leads.  Leads.  Leads.  



Jul 01, 2015 09:48 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Open door, support with difficult customers, great relationship with other brokers in town, friendly.

Jul 01, 2015 04:42 AM
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc. - Camden, NJ
31 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area

I established my company 24 years ago, as a full-service real estate brokerage and property management firm. As such, I needed agents whose job-description would include numerous functions which are not directly "commission generating". In order to attract and retain competent and professional licensees, I designed a compensation model where the agents are salaried employees, rather that independent contractors. As such, they are eligible for sick days and paid vacations, and are able to participate in the company group health plan. In addition to the above, they receive a monthly salary bonus equal to a percentage of the commissions and brokerage fees they produce for the company.

Jul 03, 2015 04:59 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think what is perfect is different for each person.  My success is working alone for myself.  Not having employees (been there and done that).  

Jul 03, 2015 04:16 AM
Chris B Johnson REALTOR®
Allison James Elite - Moorpark, CA
5 Star Rated REALTOR® Quality, Not Quantity

Take care of the administrative stuff so agents can concentrate on selling and servicing. 

Jul 03, 2015 03:53 AM
Everett Ballenger
Ballenger Realty - Beaufort, SC

Be a Non-competing Broker as soon as you can afford to do so. Work out a compensation plan that allows agents to reach 100% commission within their calender year. Good mobile and regular website - well placed in Google searches. Space in your office agents can talk on phone and clients in private. Don't charge for "company supplied leads from the company website. Do the above and you will probably be miles ahead of other local agency's.

Jul 03, 2015 03:44 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I agree with others that don't want their broker competing with them.  As you are probably a small brokerage and may want to continue to sell, you should discuss that upfront with potential agents.  

How will you deal with leads (whether from relocation or just people contacting you) that you can't handle?  What's the protocol if you and another agent are both vying for the same client.  

Jul 01, 2015 06:24 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner If you're looking for new agents, develop a good mentoring and training program.

Jul 01, 2015 03:33 AM
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Inc; Tracy & Mountain House Sales and Property Management - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

I started my own company when I got tired of the "non competing" manager cherry picking all the leads, the REO account etc for THEIR TEAM.  Oh yeah, they weren't selling, but they were getting compensated.

That being said -- when I asked agents what they wanted to change from their present company to a new company I heard the same thing.

1) FAIR SPLITS - my agents are on a 90/10 split with a $175 admin fee per closing.  (if they want office space they pay to rent space)

2) Broker being Accessible for questions 

3) a company with a reputation of integrity


I'm not making TONS of money on the backs of my agents.  If I refer them business I take a referral fee, just like everyone in the office.  


We have team meetings, discuss how to get buyers and sellers. They have decided not to pay for certain very expensive options as a group.

We are happy - my agents are happy, and we are growing.



Jul 29, 2015 02:46 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Someone who is helpful, hard working, promoting us agents, and a super hero!  That's about what it takes!

Jul 03, 2015 05:33 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Knowledgeable, approachable, supportive, willing to stand behind his agents,  professional, open minded, hardworking. 

Jul 01, 2015 10:54 AM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Open door policy. Agents will be attracted to brokers who are there to help promote their business, to guide and teach. A comparable commission split that allows them to get their foot in the door.

Jul 01, 2015 06:52 AM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

I used to offer a better commission split and went to bat for them when they asked me to help them . You have the ability to be your own boss and make decisions quickly . Take advantage of this ..

Jul 01, 2015 05:37 AM
Theresa Akin

If a broker is going to sponsor a newly licensed agent then do it right. Mentor the new agent. Take them with you on appointments an explain to the client that the agent is shadowing. Yep they took the classes and passed the tests. Then things got real. With my first 2 brokerage sponsors, this was not a big factor and communication certainly was not. One agent allowed me to shadow and I was more than happy to assist her with open houses and a few appointments to snag the listings, but it wasn't her place. For that I am grateful.  Others thought I wanted to take their clients.

Communication; Family emergency proved to me I could not count on that broker's support while 1500 miles away. Leads were no big deal because of a great lead generator. 2nd broker was filtering leads. They kept the potential listing leads that were high dollar and I got the ones where I was told to take an armed police officer. I kid you not. The others were filtered to top producers. I had a good listing lead that was actually taken away because they though some one else should have it. They should've taken phone duty that day. Naturally among other reasons i left.

Current broker doesn't provide leads on a daily basis but is encouraging with technology and  and points out the different resources.  AND HE COMMUNICATES VIA PHONE, TEXT OR EMAIL. Introduced me to Dropbox. You don't need to be a big name to be successful.

Jul 04, 2015 12:36 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Great question Karen. I'm currently working on this myself as we speak. My 'almost' perfect brokerage would be a boutique brokerage, one where the agents are co-owners, the designated broker is as well - except this DB is an 'employee' of the brokerage working 'for' the agents and to the benefit of the agent-owned brokerage. The DB could be fired by the agents in the employment contract. A collaborative business model. Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner 

Jul 03, 2015 10:58 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Leads leads leads leads mean nothing if one can not convert those leads to closed deals. So one might think about how to creat the leads on their own and convert those leads to closed deals....... That would be the perfect way to look at it 

Jul 03, 2015 07:30 AM
Dennis Herman
Crossroads Real Estate LLC - Howards Grove, WI
Dennis Herman

Simple. Ministry before business. A broker who demonstrates a concern for agents and their ability to provide for their needs such as pay the mortgage, provide for family, etc, before concern for the bottom line. That would be the perfect broker. Do we have 1 in this world?

Jul 03, 2015 05:44 AM
Bandele Oguntomilade, Top REALTOR
Bogun Realty and Luxury Homes - Woodland Hills, CA
Your Woodland Hills Real Estate Agent 818-825-6996

I agree, this is a wonderful question that has triggered many thoughtful and brilliant answers.  Thanks to all.

Jul 03, 2015 03:49 AM
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

I want a non-competing broker who shares my core values, including honesty and building a client-centric practice. I want a physical office - although I know that's not the trend. I would love some clerical help - but am willing to make those arrangements myself if needed. I want a fair deal - not the lowest, but certainly not the highest. And I'd rather have an uncomplicated deal that one that nickels and dimes me to death.

Jul 03, 2015 03:41 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Love the ideas I'm hearing...thank you all. Leads are definitely something I'm working on. 

Jul 03, 2015 03:35 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

The thing that will bring the most agents is 6 months of free rent.

Jul 02, 2015 07:39 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Lots of great responses here. All super important.  Did anyone say honesty?  That was huge for me when I was actively selling.  Unfortunately, when I first got into the business I was smart enough to know how to "interview" a broker (instead of the other way around).   

Jul 02, 2015 12:28 AM
Jim Joeriman
Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc - Lacey Township, NJ
Helping Agents Reach New Heights

Thanks for asking this question.  A lot of good and interesting answers.

Jul 01, 2015 09:10 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

I'd suggest look at big franchise model, eliminate what is not liked by agents there and adopt the one which everyone likes. Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner .

For example - I love extensive training and coaching from KW.

Jul 01, 2015 01:08 PM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

If you want to get some experienced agents that are good producers offer great marketing and office support. Someone who will do the flyers, email blasts, FB ads, etc. Good agents are rarely good at tech so having tech savvy support that sets it up for them would be a big draw IMO. 

Jul 01, 2015 11:15 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

That is a great question, I look forward to reading some long and indepth answers to this one.


Jul 01, 2015 03:54 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

I love that you asked this. I'm building a team, so it's the same process and this was very helpful. Simple, yet brilliant Karen...great "ask".

Aug 09, 2015 04:27 AM
Cristi Hernandez
Keller Williams - Stuart, FL

Read the Millionaire Real Estate Agent and implement in your brokerage. 

Look at the Keller Williams model.  It is a win win for all involved (agents, investors, broker, etc..) training, lead generation, great compensation plan, a mission that is believable, non competing broker, systems and tools for your value package.

I did own my own brokerage in a bad market and grew immensely over a 3 year period.  I was able to sell it in 2010 for a huge amount of money.  Feel free to contact me to assist you in building your empire.

Jul 25, 2015 09:05 AM
Chris Webb
Nova Home Loans - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's Social Media Expert

I meet with agents all the time. They are sick of being told you have all the tech tools and then being asked to attend 50 classes on how to add a contact to a CRM.

If I were to start an agency I would hire a Web Design/Developer who knows front end code and a Marketing Specialist. I would then create a campaign explaining the help you will receive  1-on-1 with each of the above people. 

DM me if you have any other questions because I meet with about 20 agents per week. 

Jul 16, 2015 09:05 AM
Jacklyn Van Hoef
Fortune International Realty - Miami, FL
Specializing in Residential and Commercial sales.

Training!! Most of the time new agents sign up with a broker and are on their own.  It is very difficult and frusterating for new agents, if you were to offer training your new agents on setting up their own websites, how MLS works, and how to obtain listings this would make you stand out from other competing brokers- plus in the end be more profitable to you because your agents would be successful faster by being provided with the correct knowledge

Jul 16, 2015 08:10 AM
John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

First of all it depends on your short and long term goals. Do you want to grow your brokerage into a multi location C 21 model with hundreds or perhaps thousands of agents across the Nation? Or are you seeking a smaller one office boutique type of brokerage?

Are you going to focus on high end residential or will you be open to anything that comes your way in the residential arena since that what the AR platform is all about.?

As a broker myself I'm not interested in growing a brokerage and am fine with a minimal amount of agents who are totally independent, experienced, seasoned, don't need office space, training, leads or hand holding of any type.

For this I give them total freedom and independence, no floor time, sales meetings or other brokerage responsibilities other than just making sure that they are thorough, ethical and that they are handling all their paper work properly.

I also give them 90%  and I take 10% and charge them $100 for E&O on each transaction. However, all that stated I will say that I've never had more than 2 or 3 agents and they are all very close personal friends or relatives.

I run a very close to the vest brokerage and frankly don't take listings myself, sit open houses unless it's one of our own properties or rentals, or do any advertising or marketing of any type. 

Frankly I only earned my brokerage license for a couple of reasons. To learn more about doing my own RE transactions as we buy, sell, own and manage our own RE portfolio.

We also own a CURATIVE TITLE company that specializes in resident owned Manufactured Home Properties that have Title issues that need to be remedied or need engineered certification, 433a documentation, foundation retrofitting (which is done by our construction company) and a brokers license does come in handy for some of those issues.

I've also been an expert witness, consultant and troubleshooter for the past 25 years and have been retained on several resident owned and lease/rent Manufactured Home Park Community cases where having a RE brokers license, manufactured home dealers license and a general and manufactured home contractors license all work well together whence being deposed or asked to testify on the stand. It's all about experience and credibility. 

I know my answer's a bit long winded but there's a lot of reasons and motives for folks desiring to obtain certain types of licenses and credentials so I thought I just throw it all out that in one felt swoop. LOL!

But no matter what I wish you the best with your brokerage and I'm sure that whatever you decide to do it will be successful.

Jul 16, 2015 01:26 AM
Mike Rock
Complete Design - Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less

stupid question (on my part ) but here it goes.  Why wouldnt you as a top agent, get together with other top agents and form a  'more perfect union" . unless, you are looking to make $ from the agents.?


Jul 09, 2015 11:29 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Training, mentoring, technology support, etc. are all things to expect from a good brokerage. Free leads... not so much... we are in business for ourselves and are responsible for building our own real estate practices. Any leads should be seen as a bonus, not as a right.

Jul 05, 2015 09:11 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I know what I hated over the years when  working for brokers... mostly nickel dime charges to my commission.

Jul 05, 2015 08:53 PM
Kris Freeberg
Making End$ Meet - Bellingham, WA
Plan & achieve your life's savings

Karen I'm researching best brokerage tools & practices.  Reading answers to your question has greatly aided my research.  Thank you!

Jul 03, 2015 06:51 PM
Greg Shepherd
eXp Realty - Allen, TX
Greg Shepherd

I'd like agent ownership, a free kunversion website, tech support, admin support, a place to develop my own business, oodles of training each month, great panel and "self help" events where agents & brokers share what works and what doesn't , I'd like costs to be low so we'd be Cloud based , we'd be Netflix and not Blockbuster, no need for those big offices. I'd like a low cap although I understand business costs money to run, I wouldn't be against a $16,000 cap and $50/month and $420 / year education contribution. I'd like the chance to have that all cap back when I do around $10million in production through shares...oh yes...can you set up a public company so I have share ownership???

Karen, it's already been done. Say goodbye to the 1906 business model investor controlled franchise model and Hello to the 21st century. You don't need to be a big name, the clients follow you, correct? Keep your branding and use the eXp Realty umbrella and grow your business with us. I've been an agent for 2 years and I have a business. I have tech support. I have admin. I have leads (although I am a referral based guy).  Why reinvent the wheel?

BTW for the haters this isn't an ad, this is reality. Wake up people, who is in control of your business, you or your broker?


Jul 03, 2015 09:04 AM
Cat Zwicker, CRS
Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC - Redmond, OR
Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results!

Fair and ethical leadership. Someone who is actively involved in the business of business development and not self development at the expense of others. A mentor and coach with an ongoing search for knowledge and expertise in the field of Real Estate. 

Jul 03, 2015 06:17 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Be a role model for doing things "by the book", that is know the local and national laws, obide by them and insist on same from your agents. Have good procedures in place.

Jul 03, 2015 06:07 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

Figure out your niche and your unique value proposition and your goals.  Then market that to your potential like minded agents.

Jul 03, 2015 05:17 AM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Good question. If I do, when I do - it's ME that I would be offering. My time, my customized individual training and my blueprint for success. At the same time, I will share my story - that creates the culture for the company. If the person's purpose for business doesnt align mine, there is no hard feelings.
I honestly dont care to "compete" because my purpose is different than those of my competitors. If it grows, great! And I know it will for the right time.

Jul 03, 2015 04:06 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Great Question Karen!  In my opinion, provide weekly training sessions, as things change quickly in this business.  Give your clients a great place to meet with their agent.  These two things make it easier for everyone to achieve their goals.

Jul 03, 2015 03:56 AM
Michael Trites
Surrey, BC

Perhaps think of it the other way 'round, as broker who would you like working with you..

Jul 03, 2015 03:37 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Great question Karen! One that allows growth through classes given by the broker and leaders in the local real estate community. Goal setting and follow up quarterly. Sharing office space with positive, forward thinking, motivated agents...Oh, I am in the perfect brokerage right now and have been for the past 6 years with no plans to go anywhere else!

Jul 03, 2015 03:34 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
Avant Garde Residential Management Services - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I would look for a flat fee per transaction, support and willing to pay for leads.

Jul 16, 2016 11:58 PM
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

just checking on which questions have the most answers here at Activerain, this was one which sure got a good response from everyone.

Mar 04, 2016 01:46 PM
Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hey Karen - we should chat when you have a moment, I'd like to run something by you that could be a game changer for you in the process of designing your new busines brokerage model. 707.646.1876 if interested and at your convenience.   :-)

Sep 16, 2015 05:28 AM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Karen...If I can be of any help from my past experiences it would be this:

Be Honest always...   Be Ethical always...  Be Fair always. Expect agents to be as well.

Have an Open Door Policy where you are accessible...with in reason. 

Never give False Hope to someone looking for a change. Yes...they need a change...but you may not fit what they need...make sure they fit your mold.

Have a hiring policy in place where your work ethics, morals, and life goals are what the agent is striving to emulate. Share that with anyone thinking about coming on board before they interview.

Don't beat around the bush...if you have an agent who is struggling...find out what they are doing wrong and help them be successful or help them find somewhere where they can be or do not bring them on board.

Strongly encourage them...no...make them utilize AR and be active and involved.  I could have saved 10 years of learning if I could have had access to AR or something as good back in the 1990's to learn from!

I have no problem with an active Broker...yet I struggle with an unfair Broker. This is a tight rope that is easy to fall off of. If you skim the cream of the leads...you will not keep the good agents and the bad will simply create negative energy.

True...many agents will generate their own leads...but I have yet to see an agent who did not want a great company lead.  Many Brokers belong to some Broker/Owner network and the agent never sees those leads and that is frustrating for the agent to be left out.

Are you a psychologist?  Be prepared to be in need of one. Are you good at pumping up someone who is down? Or reigning in someone who is going so fast they are out of control? Or able to light a fire under a lazy stump?

Perhaps what I would want to do the most if I was adding agents is this: Find out the top 3 reasons an agent wants to leave their current Broker. If you are not different in those three areas...will this person fit?

Never judge a book by its cover. Don't pass over the perfect agent  because of  an imperfect past or imperfect look.

If you are going to fly... Fly Like an Eagle...not like a chicken!!

Aug 24, 2015 07:39 AM
Adell Forbes (REALTOR®)
eXp Realty - Atlanta, GA
"Knowledge & Experience Working for You"

Over the years I've worked under 3 well known Brokerages.

As I became more "seasoned" ---I've found that I despise the corporate

feel of the larger companies...which led to a move to my current Broker.


Many terrific answers. Totally agree with Greg Mona's response!


Regardless of which Brokerage your're with- 

the bulk of an agents commission should remain with the agent

Brokers tend to pass a lot of operational costs to agents- which can include desk fee, mls fees, etc

This is sickening to me! I'll exit now- I feel a "venting" session coming on.


Aug 22, 2015 07:12 AM
Marcia Lahmers
Howard Hanna JC Meyer Realtors - Ashland, OH
Real Estate Broker serving rural Ohio's needs

I love your question Karen.  I too am designing my brand new brokerage and have the same questions.  If I may ask, what name did you come up with for your brokerage?  I'm open to anyone's wisdom in this endeavor.

Aug 22, 2015 12:34 AM
Tina Comstock
La Rosa Realty - Jacksonville, FL

The industry has become very high in technology that we can be virtually everywhere and conduct our businesses and be successful. I miss the personal aspect of commaraderie and sharing ideas, during the times when all these technology were not yet available and we rely on one another. I suggest that the broker has a monthly activity to gather agents and enjoy one another's  company. We need a break!  :)

Aug 20, 2015 03:52 PM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Mission Viejo, CA
Casta del Sol Realtor®

A terrific lead generating system.

Aug 20, 2015 08:33 AM
Erica Simpson
Erica Homes, LLC - Fort Mill, SC

As an owner of a small firm. I offer the following:

Broker support- Wealth of knowledge due to my current and past experiences- listing foreclosures, short sales, reg retail, understanding financing (more than 30 lenders) 

Web page


Direct Deposit

Profit sharing

Lots Of Training - Multiple times a week

Free Coaching

Marketing Assistance

benefits package (in progress)

No monthly Fees

Transaction coordinator for a low fee


Aug 11, 2015 03:35 PM
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
Energy Efficient And Eco-Friendly Homes in Florida

WhatI would like to see in a new brokerage model is something I saw in Realtor Magazine last year on a Broker who built a business model where each agent owns a piece of the business. That way they are all in and care about each other and building the business. In my perfect dream brokerage, it would include a broker who really cares about the success of each agent and helps them create a business plan and holds them accountable. Met one amazing broker this year who works with one of the coaching companies and pays half of their monthly fee and gets it back on each transaction. That is putting your money where your mouth is and he is loved by his agents. Through his model he has more than doubled his agents over the past year.

Aug 07, 2015 11:16 AM
Shanna Day Team Leader (UT & AZ)
Keller Williams SLC (UT) and Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) - Park City, UT
Keller Williams Realty

Brilliance in negotiations, contract law knowledge and building business models for your agents. 

Aug 05, 2015 04:30 AM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Karen, I can tell you what means a lot to me. Honesty, education, support, assistance, integrity. I want to be recognized for what I do, taught the best way to do things, I want to be shown HOW to earn and be kept abreast of the current real estate trends. I want an office to go to that reflects success, a desk, tools to use in the office. I want a positive work environment, not a negative one. And I don't want to be paying fees every time I turn around! PS, I would work for you in a heart beat!

Aug 04, 2015 05:12 AM
Spring Haigler
Tradd Residential - Myrtle Beach, SC

Personally, I would love to be part of a "niche" focused boutique brokerage again. I was part of one for almost 5 years and the owner/broker had to close for personal reasons after 21 years. I would have stayed there for the rest of my career. I really like some of the hybrid brokerage models. Check out this one when you have a few minutes to read about their business model:


Aug 02, 2015 12:14 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Oversight.  A protocol in place which the managing broker reviews things.

Jul 29, 2015 05:26 AM
Debra Kay Mathews
Debra Kay Realty - Debary, FL
Real Estate Agent in Central Florida, (CDPE)


Jul 13, 2015 04:27 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

I go along with most of the wishes that agents have when searching for the perfect broker. But that goes both ways. Many agents do nothing but take courses, webinars,  stay in front of the computer, ask for leads...in essence, they don't get out from behind their desk that the broker supplies. They are probably shy in a networking situation, are hesitant to give out their cards to one and all. In essence, they are not self-starters and probably won't ever be. I want those with spark, those who will go out and look for clients and come back triumphantly. I will back them up, cheer them on, give them what they need to succeed if it's within my power.

Jul 09, 2015 07:09 AM
Hank Dugie
Brockway Realty, LLC - League City, TX
Mr. League City

mentorship & leads

Jul 07, 2015 01:32 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

An office were all meet three days a week

A coach, cheerleader, prayer leader, legal brain, construction knowledge, marketing guru, computer expert, mediator, problem solver or someone who has access to all the above

Jul 06, 2015 07:29 AM
Roxsan Perez
Highgarden Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Realtor NC/SC 20+years of experience in field

I would have to say a great comp plan and training for sure. I see alot of agents that are lost or feel left out because training is lacking for them to feel confident enough to go out and do this full time. Good luck with your new endeavor.

Jul 06, 2015 05:00 AM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Relevant training, paperwork support, and a generous split that will rise with experience.

Jul 06, 2015 04:39 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

An experienced agent that still wants to learn. 

Jul 05, 2015 10:42 AM
Morris "Bill" Austin
Team Price Real Estate - Dripping Springs, TX
Exceptional service is my standard expectation.

Ahhh...the search for "perfection" is endless.

Jul 05, 2015 04:33 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Picking a team to represent a Broker is essential, therefore, who you select is determined by your business plan. Some Brokers hire anybody with a license. IMO, they hire them for their warm market of family members, friends and associates. 

Working with agents who are filled with energy and attitude and have fun in their business is what excites me. Most agents work every opportunity, some don't and prefer to concentrate on their specific target market, so being selective does have some challenges to a Broker, yet, it's your business or team, so, it's your choice, isn't it? So, it depends on what you want from an agent that really matters, IMO.

Jul 04, 2015 11:59 AM
Greg Mona
Hague Partners/72SOLDHUB - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Hi Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner This is a great post and so many fantastic responses thus far.  Since I am "late to the dance" here with my comments, let me just say when I earned my Brokers license in 2011 it was with the intent to eventually open my own brokerage.  There have been numerous reasons why that didn't happen, but regardless, IF I did go through with it the model would be simple: low cost to the agents, real life and well rounded training/mentoring, a lead generation program that actually works!, always available support, make them part of the business (skin in the game) and get out of their way so they can flourish!

Jul 04, 2015 03:51 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Enjoyed all the great discussion here!  Glad you asked the question Karen. 

Jul 03, 2015 07:39 PM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

There is really no one model for all brokers and agents. I like the answer  Debra Peters gave.

Jul 03, 2015 12:26 PM