So you passed your test, now what?

DISCLAIMER: What works for me may not necessarily work for you.  YOU do YOU.  I’ll do me and share what works for me.  If it works for you, too, awesome! We’re in an exclusive club that includes you and me! Let’s get drinks!  If it doesn’t work for you, I’d love to hear what did work for you!  And now, onto the meat and potatoes…


Welcome to the wonderful world of being a Real Estate Agent!  First thing’s first – there’s a difference between being a Real Estate Agent and a REALTOR®.  A Real Estate Agent is someone licensed to sell Real Estate.  A REALTOR® is also someone licensed to sell real estate, but the big difference is that a Realtor is a member of the National Associate of REALTORS®.

You probably knew that, though, right? If you didn’t, you learned something new.

You are here on this blog for one of two reasons:  1) You’re a newbie agent, you have no idea what the fuck you’re doing. 2) You’re one of my facebook friends or on a facebook group with me, think I’m somewhat amusing, saw my post saying “READ THIS!” and now you’re bored.   I’m hoping it’s reason number 1.

First things first, you passed your test.  If you haven’t passed your test – get studying! YOU GOT THIS! Second thing to do if you haven’t already decided on a brokerage, now is the time to start looking.  Now, I’m not

going to tell you where to go.  I’m not even going to tell you what brokerage I chose (but if you’re really good at the google, you’ll be able to find out).  I will tell you what I looked for.

I chose my brokerage after interviewing several people from different brokerages.  There are a TON of questions you should ask.   For example:

  • What are your commission splits?
  • Do you have office or franchise fees?
  • What kind of training do you offer?
  • What is included in my office/franchise fees?
  • Do I need to supply my own E&O insurance or is that provided for me?
  • How are leads provided?
  • If training is provided, how often and is it in class or online?
  • How many agents are in your office?
  • How do you help promote listings?
  • Is Desk duty a volunteer thing or is it mandatory? If mandatory, how do you split up those leads?

That last one? The expectations?  That’s HUGE.

I was going through the whole interview process with different firms before I got my license.  I wanted to essentially know where I was going to land.  There were several firms that impressed me.  A friend of mine from high school who is a Realtor in Indianapolis said “Hey, check out X!” They have a great training program!  I called our local office and scheduled a meeting.

When I walked in, I had this feeling… It wasn’t a huge office, but there was a coziness that I really liked.  I met with Jackie, who would very quickly become a mentor and a work-sister who talked to me about the brokerage.  It turned out that we had the same passion for shoes, clothes, and all things shiny.  After talking for about an hour, I decided right then and there, this was the brokerage for me.  Yes, I asked the questions, but it all boiled down to HOW I FELT.  I was introduced to the principal broker, Connie, who just happened to be Jackie’s Mom and I was like WHOO HOO! FAMILY BUSINESS!  I’m HOME!!


This was my first lesson – trust my gut.  Yes, you can get into a a big brokerage but are they going to offer you individual attention?

I got my license a few weeks later and on my first day Jackie sat me down and asked me “What are goals?”  I told her that I wanted to do a million dollars my first year.  Most people would have laughed me out the door.  Jackie said “That’s awesome.  Just so you know, that’s really tough to do your first year, but that is an awesome goal.  Now, let’s talk about how you’re going to get there.”

I’d love to tell you that yeah, I did a million dollars.  Nope.  Didn’t come close.  In fact, I only sold like $80,000 in volume that year.  That was two, bargain basement foreclosures.

It didn’t matter, though.  Both Jackie and Connie were super supportive.  Every question I brought to Connie, she’d have me sit down and ask me “What do you think?”  She would ask me “Why do we need to make sure we do this? What is the purpose for that?”  I was constantly being made to not only problem solve for myself, but I was also learning about how everything worked and fit together.

Now, I’ve known a lot of new agents (yeah, I talk to other new agents- we’re like a sewing circle except I don’t know how to sew).  Some new agents may think they feel comfortable at a place only to discover quickly that their Brokerage isn’t all that they thought it would be.  In that case, don’t be afraid to check out other brokerages.  Shit happens, people don’t get along well, whatever.  Find somewhere where YOU feel comfortable!

The first year as an agent is the hardest.  I read that something like 75% of new agents fail in the first year.  Tom Ferry, a well known Real Estate Coach (we’ll talk about Real Estate Coaches in a future post) says that “87% of real estate agents fail in the first 5 years.”  I don’t know about you but I want to be one of the 13% of agents who succeeds.  I’m more than halfway through those five years.   I want to succeed.  I want to help you succeed too.

The Recap:

  • Find a Brokerage where you feel comfortable!  Don’t be afraid to try them out.  What you think might fit, might not.  There’s no shame in going somewhere else.
  • Get yourself a mentor in your office that will be available to answer questions or at least point you in the direction you need to go.
  • You might fail.  I hope you don’t.  I want to help you succeed. Learn from my mistakes, young padawan.

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