Realtors - Tips on Changing BrokeragesPosted by Marc Rasmussen on Friday, October 3rd, 2008 at 10:41pm.
Unless you are a real pain in the neck or don't do any business and will never do any business no Broker likes to see a Realtor leave their company. Here are a few things to think abut before switching brokerage firms.
1. Don't assume that your broker will pay your full commission on pending deals.
Look through your employee manual and/or independent contractor agreement to find out how commissions are split once you leave. Many agreements state that the broker gets a higher split after you leave. If they can take a higher split they generally will do it. If they agree to pay your normal commission splits after your departure try to get that in writing.
2. Don't assume that your broker is going to take the high road.
Even though your decision to leave is based on business reasons and not personal reasons your broker might take it personally. If they are hurt don't assume that they are going to take the high road after your departure. In other words, protect yourself when you can. Put as much as you can in writing.
3. Be strategic about when to leave.
Sit down and figure out the best time for you to leave. Don't rush into it. If you have some closings coming up it is probably best to wait until you get your money before leaving. If your market is seasonal it may be best to jump ship prior to your busy season. If you think your brokerage is a sinking ship it might be best to grab a life preserver and jump before the other Realtors.
There usually is never a perfect time.
4. If you know that you are going to leave and need to list a property make the listing period short.
If you think you might leave your current brokerage and need to list a property make the listing term short. This way you are not trapped. I have known Realtors that want to move but stay because many of their listings are 12 to 18 months long and they fear that they won't be able to take their listings with them.
5. Is Your Broker a sprinter or a marathoner?
In other words do they make short sighted decisions? How did your Broker react to other agents leaving?
Realtors change firms. It is part of the real estate business. Brokers shouldn't get offended by it. The Realtor may just need a change. For whatever reason they decide to leave, Brokers should not burn the bridge. Realtors depart because they thought "the grass is greener" on the other side only to find out that it is not. If the bridge is not burned those Realtors can go back. It is stupid for a Broker to act childish when an agent leaves.
6. Don't assume that you broker will let you take your listings.
Again, some brokers will get hurt by your decision to move and may decide to keep your listings. The listings do belong to the Broker even though they are your client. Be prepared to potentially lose your listings. The threat of keeping your listings is how a lot of brokers scare you into staying with the firm.
Keep these in mind if you decide to leave your current brokerage. You work hard for your money and your broker may try to screw you out of it for stupid reasons.