When you work in commercial real estate sales and leasing, a few decisions are required when it comes to growing market share and choosing an employer. Simply put, you should consider working for the brokerage that offers you the best potential market share, ‘territory’ to work within, and commission percentages per transaction.
There are differences between employers when it comes to these things; those differences can impact your income for quite some time. There are also precinct and property differences that you should consider as part of your brokerage activities. Think about your broker employee benefits and opportunities.
Where do you start?
Ask questions when you choose a brokerage. Think about the list below. You may have some questions and factors to add to the list. These are few important factors to consider at the very start of assessing your next employer and your potential in a zone of properties or parts of your city:
- Territory or zone of activity – Know where you will be allowed to generate listings and transactions and on what basis. Will there be any differences to your earned commission if you generate a lead or listing outside of your allocated territory? Will you be able to work with all and any property owners and business owners regardless of location? Simple questions like these will have an impact on your client list and database.
- Property type(s) – Know what your targeted property types are and where you can find those properties. The question for you to explore will be just how much ‘churn and change’ will potentially come from those property types in your allocated territory or precincts. A history of the local area will help you assess those numbers.
- Commission splits – The earnings you achieve across sales and leasing activity, will have formulas applied for both the size of the transaction, the property types, and the involvement that you may have with the client or customers in the transaction. Know the potential numbers and the commission formulas when compared to others in the brokerage, and other agents in your town or city.
- Marketing systems – There are many differences in marketing in commercial real estate. Vendor paid marketing is the ‘norm’ for listings, but other things should be considered such as the cost of personal marketing materials to be used across the year. Those things will include brochures, business cards, and mail outs.
- Database ownership – Who owns your client list? Who owns the data? Where is that data stored? They are key questions to think about, especially when you are the person doing the work to convert clients and listings over time. If you are working as a ‘commission only’ agent or broker, then your database will likely remain in your ‘ownership’ in all things.
- Training – A good brokerage will have a training program or schedule for all employees, so that personal improvements can be made where needed, and weaknesses addressed as required in the team. As the year progresses, there will always be different pressures from the local property market and the local economy. Agents and brokers have some skills to learn and shift as the property market changes.
- Administration support – When you find and convert properties and clients to listing activity, there is a good degree of administrative support that then happens. Who does that work, and how does it happen? You cannot avoid the ‘administrative’ side of our business; some degree of support should be there to process listings, marketing, and client communication.
There will likely be some other things that you can add to this list of priorities and questions in commercial real estate brokerage. Know what is important to you, and then set about asking the questions of your employer or potential employer.
The underlying fact to remember here is that successful agents are (or should be) rewarded in fair and reasonable ways, so they can get on with the business of finding properties and clients for the long term. Good agents do not need hurdles and obstacles to restrict their business activities over time. Choose the best brokerage that removes ‘hurdles’ and provides opportunities.