REALTORMAG. REALTOR.ORG REALTOR® MAY/JUNE 2015 17
happy—comfortably numb might be a
My former broker decided to affiliate
with a national brand, and we ended
up going through sign and branding
changes. The culture also became different. The communication felt less like
a family and more corporate. That put a
burr in my saddle.
It didn’t feel like there was a lot of broker support in the office, and I’d end up
being called on by the newbies to be the
de facto broker. I thought, I’m just being
a surrogate daddy because I happen to
be in the office regularly. I’m never going
to have the business that really excites
me. There were businesspeople in the
company building their empire but they
were not helping me build mine.
Then I heard another broker talk about
how you can control your own business. Instead of having to do more work
because of decisions made above me, I
could go to a company that would help
me take more control of my business.
My new broker got me to focus on being
a businessperson, like how to determine
if incorporating benefited me, how to set
aside money for taxes, and how to run
my business with QuickBooks and other
My message to brokers: I’d affiliate
with any broker focused on how to help
me make smarter business decisions.
Vanessa: Culture Is Key
I’ve been a real estate salesperson for
more than 15 years and was with one
company for 13 years. Two years ago, my
husband and I relocated from one southern state to another.
I affiliated with a large independent
in my new home state, but I realized
early on I needed to switch companies
because I felt so out of place. I didn’t go
to the biggest university in this state.
I didn’t belong to a major sorority, and
my granddaddy didn’t go to school with
anybody in this city. Because I was new to
the market, people assumed I was new to
the business and treated me like a rookie.
They’d say things about my sales skills
and split hairs like, “We don’t call it earnest money here; we call it a trust.” It was
a very isolating culture. I didn’t want to be
known as an agent who jumps from one
broker to another, so I gave it a year. But I
had only five transactions in that time.
One of those transactions involved a
listing agent at my current company, the
local office of a national franchise. The
deal started to head south, and the agent
on the other side was out of the country.
I went straight to her broker and enjoyed
my interaction with him. That’s when I
started believing my new company would
be a better fit. We closed to everybody’s
satisfaction, and then he asked me to
I knew he was going to recruit me.
But I didn’t make a decision right away.
I wanted to give my broker the respect
he deserved and let him know I wasn’t
happy. We had a good conversation. He’s
a great broker and he tried his best. It just
wasn’t a culture fit.
Besides my current broker, I had two
others recruit me. If my decision had just
been about money, I’d have gone to one
of the others. I guarantee I could have
made more money. However, my current
broker reminded me of the people where
I used to live—his mindset and his philosophy. It has all worked out for the best.
In my first four months with my current
company, I had three closed transactions
and three scheduled-to-close transactions, surpassing my sales for all of last
My message to brokers: Money
comes and goes. I had to find a broker
I felt like I could grow with.
Jean: Don’t Wing It
I was with a very small mom-and-pop
shop in a New York suburb for 10 years
before I affiliated with my current broker.
What triggered me to begin looking was
the day I was stung by a bee. I was in the
ER panicked because nobody at the company was free to cover the open house I’d
advertised for the next day.
But it was more than that. The broker
didn’t have office meetings, which was a
big thing to me. They’re a good place to
brainstorm, bounce around ideas, and
build camaraderie. And there weren’t
a lot of policies. The same troubling
situation would happen over and over. If
you’d worked with a buyer previously and
the buyer later called the office, the buyer
would be directed to you. That’s unless
the buyer happened to call in when one of
the broker’s favored agents was working
floor time. Then the broker would say the
person doing floor time gets to claim all
buyers who call in.
Also, my former broker was a selling broker. I lost business because of
prospects I’d generated who didn’t
understand how the business worked
and called in without asking for me. I’m
sure some of them thought their business
somehow also benefited me. I once paid
for a Google ad and later realized I wasn’t
getting any leads. I believe my broker was
taking all those leads.
My message to brokers: Policies,
systems, and meetings are important;
salespeople need information they can
rely on. Also, I didn’t know how much it
bothered me that my broker was competing with me until I realized I didn’t have to
worry about it anymore.
By G. M. Filisko