Nina Martin, New agent in Chicago and the suburbs

Spam prevention
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Nina, what an excellant question. And this IS the question you should be asking. So, let me take you 'upstrean' in opposition of common practice and convention. 
Lets start where we must with YOU.
1. Without a business plan you won't know you are lost. Every small buesiness onwer is compelled to create a business plan. YOU, as an agent, are a small business owner, NOT AN EMPLOYEE. The MB you chooose has NO OBLIGATIONG to do anything for you. So yo are wise to ask what to look for..
In you business pan you desscribe your product or service. Helping buyers/sellers purchase sfh. Differeant than 2nd home, retirees or veterans, investors, relocation and flippers.  

Your busines plan describes your customer as owners and sekkers of

 (SFH, 2500SF, 300K to 1 m, located in Oakbrook)  and where they are located.
Your business plan describes how you intend to reach this population.
Your business plan defines the dollars you need to make to cover your expenses, a 3 month, 6 month and 12 income goal. And if you have done your homework you will know how many sales are needed to meet that income objective.

Now you are ready for the managing broker. 

What to look for in a managing broker?
Personality and 'makes you feel good' and positity are NOT what a business person should be looking for in the person most important to their success. Based on what you can observe sitting across the table the most reliable observable is near or above 6 feet and height and NOT FAT.  (Obeseity reveals an individual who denies the facts and justifies destructive living habits. The good news is you can SEE it)
There are only 3 things you need confirmaion on regarding the managine broker. They reval EVERYTHING you need to know.
1. Did they ask to see your business plan so they can help you get there?  The managing broker should commit to getting you engaged in transaction alinged with your plan within 30 days. Otherwise you will be forced into the MB plan for you. If the MB does not even inquire do not dismiss that.
2. What is the total number of licensed agents in that office?  All of them regardless of the role or duties they have.
3. What is the total transaction count for that office in the past 12 months.
#3 devided by #2 reveals the effectiveness of the training, support, infrastucture, compensation, moral and cohesiveness of this office leadership. Is the average transaction per agent 3, 9, 15, 25?
The average transaction per agent (#3/#2) is what you should expect.
Is that number above or below averages in the nation, state, county, area? This determines if this is an affice of newbiess, survivers or professionals in the results produced.
With the above apporach you are able to apply OBJECTIVE measures in your decision making rather that foggy feel good SUBJECTIVE measures favored by newbies and survivors.
The most oppressivve franchise with exceptional training is Coldwell Banker
The most deceptive franchise of rogue agents with training by delegation is Keller Williams.
It is perfectly OK to choose one of these and get the training knowing you will be migrating to a office that gives you wings within two years. Remember you WILL be moving so keep your enterprise agile.

Apr 15, 2021 04:39 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

This is one of the most important decisions to make before jumping into a company. I like Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041 objective way to find the right company.


I happen to love the free training at eXp Realty - there are many courses to choose from every day of every week - but other things that are important are mentoring (especially as to how to meet your business plan). Also, what kind of support will you get when starting out when you have questions about how to do a CMA or how to talk to a buyer or seller about a specific issue. I would suggest, when you've got your top choice of a broker, call some of the agents that work there and see what they think. And I'd call the agents who do NOT have a lot of listings or deals. They may be starting out and could have some good insights for you.


Good luck! I chose my first broker because it was a well-known brand with an office within walking distance of my home. That was not a smart choice for selecting a brokerage, but I didn't ask the question you're asking before I did so. And there was NO information in my licensing classes about this topic. Or about writing a business plan.

Apr 15, 2021 04:54 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

This is such a personal decision. What works and is good for one will not work or be good for another.  In my first 9 years, I never did find a truly good fit which is why I became an independent broker.  Some of us are best flying solo. 

I wish you all the best! 

Apr 15, 2021 07:53 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Nina.

   You've gotten a lot of good advice.  Let me add some more:

     When you choose that Brokerage, you will be signing some sort of contract, most likely "Independent Contractor".   Take it home.  Read it, read it again.  Run it by a lawyer, and maybe a CPA, if you don't understand it.  

      Some of the big questions you will have are, "What is the split?"  "Are there desk fees or monthly fees?"  "Does this Broker require a minimum number of sales per month or per quarter?"   "What happens if I want to leave... will I owe money, will I lose any buyers or sellers I am working with, will I get the commission from any under-contracts that have not yet closed?"

     Also, customer service and market presence.   What kind of image does this company have in your market?   Is there a physical office, with a conference room where I can physically meet buyer/seller clients and customers if necessary?   

    Agency Relationships: depending upon your State's Agency Laws (Brokerage Relationships), find out how that Broker prefers to operate.  Do they only offer transaction broker/dual agent?  Or do they allow fiduciary relationships (Single Agency)?   It matters, because if you operate in Florida as a Transaction Broker (the default), you cannot say "MY buyer" or "MY seller", since neither party has your full loyalty or full confidentiality.  

    Also, the word "boutique" is charming and delightful.  But what does it mean?  There is a brokerage in Tallahassee where the agents still call themselves a "boutique office", but they have two dozen agents, and their dollar volume puts them among the top 4 or 5 brokerages in town.


Apr 15, 2021 07:10 AM
Byron K . Jones
Coatesville, PA
List Today - Sold Tomorrow!

Interview Them...they are not interviewing you...if your breathing they want you....ask them questions of what you want and what they are going to provide to assist you for any fees you are paying them,...get all in writing...Congrats and Good Luck!!

Apr 15, 2021 06:40 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

NIna - good luck.  Remember real estate is your "business" and you are "in charge" even when you are working under a broker.  Glean what you can from what you "receive" here as answers.  Interview prospective brokers looking the ideal match based on what is right for you.  

Apr 15, 2021 06:04 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

You are in an area with a plethora of choices. Pick a location where you would like your office. Pick the top 3 or 4 brokerage choices. Interview with the anaging brokers of those offices. Ask about their training and mentoring programs. Pay attention to the chemistry between you and the managing broker. All offices, regardless of affiliation, are not the same.

Apr 15, 2021 05:05 AM
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

Hi Nina,
You can't judge a big franchise by its name because each office is independently operated and management varies widely. I started with Coldwell Banker. They tout their extensive training but the broker did NOTHING for me and, frankly, the training was beyond antiquated.  You have a lot of good advice already so that's all I will say about that. Good luck! It's a tough business and you'll need it.  LOL   😊

Apr 15, 2021 07:36 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Meet with the broker at your local RE/MAX office.

Apr 15, 2021 07:14 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Hi Nina, Great question. Training during the first couple years is paramount. I don't know how it is in IL but here you learn and test on a lot of information and probably use 10% or less of it. I recommend you go with a firm and brokerage that has a history of training great agents. One you should absolutely interview is Keller Williams. I started with a smaller local brokerage and changed to KW. The training for new and experienced agents is excellent. Also, the culture and agent collaboration is something not to be overlooked. I'm now one of several experienced agents who are part of the mastery training program in our office. I wish I had experienced agents willing to share and collaborate with at this level when I started. And, I happen to know a great broker in the Chicago area. She is my personal coach and she is part owner in one of the offices there. I'm sure she would be happy to speak with you and help you choose the best office that fits your needs.

Apr 15, 2021 05:55 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Welcome Nina!  This is a huge decision, take your time, ask a lot of questions before jumping.

Apr 15, 2021 05:53 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I highly recommend KW.

Apr 15, 2021 04:31 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I would talk to lots of brokers and ask to talk to some of their agents also to see what they have to say.


Apr 15, 2021 11:49 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You have such wonderful responses in these comments, that I can only say wishing you a wonderful career in real estate.  Ultimately it is your choice and what makes your heart sing!  A

Apr 15, 2021 07:57 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

KW has won National Awards for its training 

Why aren’t you on a Team being trained and supplied with leads as a Buyer Agent ???????

Apr 16, 2021 02:30 PM
Nina Martin
Autaugaville, AL
New agent in Chicago and the suburbs

Will do thanks! 

Apr 15, 2021 10:57 AM