1. Commission splits
  2. Office Space or Desk Fee
  3. Franchised Brokerages
  4. Websites and social media Marketing
  5. Specialization in Types of Real Estate
  6. Training – Mentor program
  7. Management & Administrative support
  8. Culture, Specialties, Broker’s reputation
  9. Referrals and leads
Cloud based Brokerage – a Newer Concept. Traditional brokerages are under pressure to change. There is no doubt that cloud-based brokerages are the better option.They represent the promise of a more efficient future for brokerages with no expensive offices and related expenses. No staff headaches and expenses. On-line structured support and quick communications with the right support providers allow for better working structures.  1. Commission splits and the New Agent Most new agents believe commission splits are the first place to begin. It’s the most terrible way to choose a broker when you’re just starting out. Any agent that starts this career based on maximum commissions will quickly realize there is no support for them – nobody to learn from so they will learn from their own mistakes over time. This will cost them way more than they will ever realize and most of these agents will simply get frustrated and leave the business. Making bad choices at the beginning will surely make you poorer in the long run. At the beginning, an agent needs all the assistance, training, and hands-on support they can get. Remember your buyers or sellers are making expensive transactions – they want someone who knows the stuff.  Options: You may want to consider joining a progressive team where you will be able to see and participate in the processes, discussions, and actions taken to address the concerns of all clients. It is a priceless experience. The benefits of working with a team can be tremendous. Another option is to partner with a successful real estate professional who has years of experience in the field. The experience of every realtor may not be the same, nor will they specialize in every type of real estate. Make sure you do your research before proceeding. There is also the option of having the broker act as your personal guide. You will learn the ropes from him, help with transactions, and be made aware of everything there is to know about each transaction. Bottom Line: It is imperative that any Team, or Broker, that takes on a New Agent to teach them ‘the ropes’ is adequately compensated.A New Agent can negotiate the terms of engagement and education, but the agent must understand it is a ‘learning curve’ that cannot be duplicated from one agent to another. The only way an agent can say they are experienced and capable of working independently is when they have understand the content and the process. For every successful transaction, agents can be paid a percentage of the commission or a fixed amount. 2. Office Space or Desk Fee Many Brokerages are still stuck in the old ways and maintain brick-and-mortar offices where they lease space to Agents and Teams. Some parts are used for small and large meeting rooms. Covid and the real estate downturn between 2023 and 2024 have taught us that these archaic systems are no longer needed. In addition to being unnecessary, they are also expensive. The fact that agents can work anywhere at any time with an iPad, iPhone, and mobile computer is common knowledge. What impact does this have on the agent? For the majority of brokerages, these antiquated systems and structures are financed by desk fees. It is important to ensure that the brokerage you work with does not add unnecessary desk fees to your expenses. Get a detailed breakdown of your expenses 3. Franchised Brokerages Generally, it’s safe to say that franchise businesses seem to be more acceptable to consumers. This is largely due to the fact that it provides uniformity and some semblance of quality of products. Franchised Real Estate Brokerages have been around for a long time.  It is common today for Real Estate franchises to advertise everywhere how big and good they are for Realtors to join. But nothing is further from the truth. Most franchises offer nothing to Realtors and even less to Real Estate buyers or sellers.Most franchise names offer no training/coaching. Agent support may come from the brokerage itself but nothing from the franchise. You should interview the individual Brokerage, not the Franchise, when looking for a Brokerage, to determine how they can support and contribute to your goals. Each agent’s needs and support must be tailored to their unique circumstances.When choosing a brokerage firm, make sure it caters to your unique needs for growth. 4. Websites and social media Marketing There has been a change in traditional real estate marketing as well as in the mindset of buyers and sellers. In today’s world, both buyers and sellers are well-versed and have access to a wide range of information. This helps them make informed decisions about their pursuits. Which also means that an agent must be better informed in the marketplace. Most real estate transactions start with online research by buyers and sellers. A website that addresses those very needs will yield some legitimate leads for buyers and sellers. With a well-designed interactive website, visitors can not only gather information, but communicate with the realtor in real time as well. A successful transaction can be accelerated with quick responses, information exchange, and promises of service. Having a custom-made website is an absolute necessity for every Realtor. The use of social media has overtaken the use of traditional media such as newspapers and radios. Social media is not only cost-effective while reaching a wide range of people, but it can also be specifically targeted to specific age groups, income levels, and regions. Each Realtor should set up a social media account, a website/s, and a social media marketing plan depending on the type of real estate and the target audience. 5. Specialization in Types of real estate The field of Real Estate is so vast that Agents have started to specialize in some areas of real estate and rightfully so. Although New Agents will usually specialize in Residential Real Estate, it has also become a broad area of expertise. There are so many areas of Real Estate that Agents have started to specialize in some areas, and this is entirely justified. The result is that even though New Agents typically concentrate on Residential Real Estate, there are many other specializations available. Residential real estate ranges from condominium units to freehold homes, vacant property lots, residential home building in older neighbourhoods (Infill Construction) and more. Commercial Real Estate is also a large field of Real Estate and definitely needs specialization. This can only be learned when working in a commercial environment, a Commercial Brokerage, working with a Commercial Team or Broker. Again compensation when starting out in Commercial Real Estate depends on what you bring to the table, the time and support you will need to become proficient in your chosen field. 6. Training – Mentoring program Newly hired agents benefit from in-person training and coaching when held togeather with other full-time agents. The questions and issues raised during these presentations only enhance the learning process.  It is also common for these to be geared towards specialization in a particular aspect of real estate sales or marketing. As such, when choosing the right Brokerage, it is important to ask about all the programs available to you as well as any associated costs. 7. Management & Administrative support It is critical to find out what support services will be provided by the brokerage and the hours of such services. It is important to know who will be the point of contact for all activities related to an ongoing transaction as well as administrative support depicting appointments, drafting paperwork, etc. Hours of operation can be useful As an agent it is imperative that you know all the documentation needed for a transaction. In order to be able to access and communicate with each document quickly, you need to save it on your mobile device. The Brokerages admin and other support structures must work in tandem with your work ethic to ensure a higher success rate of all undertakings. 8. Office culture, specialties and the Broker’s reputation These have long been considered the cornerstones of brokerage success. However, today’s work environment places a lot of emphasis on the individual Realtor, his specialties and his reputation. Any party who hires you to represent them in a real estate transaction is only doing so due to their trust in your service and your abilities. There is no difference between whether your brokerage is part of a fancy brand name franchise or not. Therefore, instead of wasting Franchise Fees or desk fees, invest in better training, better support, and a customized website. It will still be cheaper and money well spent. Referrals and leads Most Brokerages cannot claim to provide leads to Agents, especially New Agents who are not capable of handling transactions on their own yet. Agents are advised to work with experienced Agents when referring such referrals. There will obviously be a negotiation about compensation before you begin working with that brokerage. However, unless a Brokerage is heavily invested in independent marketing and has a huge advertising budget for leads, there will not be any leads coming from the Brokerage. So don’t fall for these lies that some brokerage firms promote. Thus, it is important for every realtor to have their own professionally designed and customized website and to have their own professionally managed social media accounts for maximum exposure and lead generation.