Why Brokers “Compete” with their Real Estate Agents

Going independent and starting your own brokerage is a great way to accomplish two things: more success and more control over your professional life. It’s also a great way to see the values and ideals that you’d like to see in a firm, actually exist under your watch. Many independent brokers quit the big corporate life because they want to work more closely in line with their own professional values and beliefs, which is something you could have little control over at bigger firms.

While making sure your values are upheld at your own brokerage is important, there is a tricky part to making that transition work, and it’s about competition. Specifically, as you make the transition from agent to broker; how do you make sure your agents are truly feeling the values you’re chasing, and that you aren’t “competing” with them for success? Many wonder why this competition exists in the first place. Although there isn’t a single correct answer, here are a few that tend to be a recurring theme.

Making the transition

A big factor to consider is simply what transitioning looks like. We can consider two versions of this: completing the transition, and letting go. In terms of completing the transition, it’s important to consider that a firm doesn’t just become successful overnight. When starting your own firm, it’s possible to become successful pretty quickly, but it isn’t automatic. For one, you have to recruit and retain agents that can start making sales regularly. Until that happens, somebody has to be closing sales and making sure your brokerage is making money, and that someone is probably going to be you!

The other version to consider is that, for many new agents-turned-brokers, selling is what we know! It can be tough to let go of the selling life because it’s what we know and it’s what we love. If the whole point of opening your own firm is to create a healthier and more supportive space for agents, it can be tough to step away from that position. That’s one big reason why many brokers still sell “in competition” with their agents. Whether it’s a monetary or a mentality thing, they are still making the transition.

Staying fresh

That last point aside, nobody said brokers shouldn’t keep selling alongside their agents. For many brokers, it’s actually a great idea and practice to keep selling, albeit at a smaller rate or scale than before. This much is about staying fresh.

Think about why people make the transition out of the big corporate scene in the first place. For many, it’s because the people at the top have lost touch with the workers that keep the company moving. This creates a divide between the workers’ motivation and the company, and can ultimately push employees out in aims of starting their own firm. However, if we transition fully to brokers and stop selling altogether, we run the risk of losing that touch. Staying in the game and selling—a responsible amount—keeps us familiar with the market and with the conditions of the industry. It keeps us grounded and informed so that we can run a better firm.

Keeping it healthy

The big problem is when this “competition” becomes true competition. In order to make sure your brokerage becomes successful, your agents need to be getting quality leads and closing good sales. While you will likely have to continue selling during this transition, if you’re taking all of the quality leads in order to make the great sales yourself, you’re only limiting your own firm. Whether this is just a short-sighted mistake or a stronger inability to let go of sales, it’s how your power as a broker quickly turns into unhealthy competition with your own agents.

One way to keep this “competition” healthy is co-brokering. Work as a team with your agents. This is the best of both worlds. You’re able to help train your agents to make sure the transition goes more smoothly, but you’re still present to make sure sales are being made and the firm is able to stay afloat. As success starts to build, you can start moving away from this co-brokerage to make sure you’re focusing more on the firm than on the customer service side of things.

This is a tough line to walk. Stay too involved in selling and you might be creating the same toxic environment you’re trying to avoid by going independent. Move away from selling immediately and your firm might not be able to stay afloat. By approaching this transition collaboratively with your team, however, you can ensure that “competition” stays healthy. This will ultimately lead to building a better team and a better company for years to come.




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