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Broker Life: What to Ask -and Listen for – When Interviewing a Firm

Taking a look beyond fees and into value, fit, culture and satisfaction no matter what stage of broker life you’re in. A few thoughts from Jennifer Nelson, one of the owners of Seattle’s newest real estate firm on how to sculpt your questions, what to consider and how to analyze the responses you receive. 

At the start of a new year, it’s a great time to be looking forward- at our goals, at our ambitions and at our place in the industry. It’s a wonderful time to contemplate changing firms and finding a fresh perspective as well as a new approach to doing business.

Like any new job situation, it’s important to do a reciprocal interview. Yes, it’s critical that the brokerage interview the potential broker, but it’s also crucial that the broker ask good questions of the prospective brokerage to determine fit.

Take a look at some of our recommended questions that you, as a broker, may consider asking as you navigate a possible move:

  1. What are your fees?
    Here at Metropolist, we are often approached about our company fees as the first question brokers ask. I recommend re-phrasing that questions some and instead asking, “What is your value as a brokerage?

    The cost of something is one thing but really isn’t the question, how will this be of value to me?  When we go to buy a car, if we are interested in a Mercedes but Kia is having a sale, there isn’t a question of price right?  We aren’t just looking at the price tag, we are looking at the value to us of what we get for what we pay for.

    If I were interviewing brokerages today, I would be most interested in having the company articulate their value.  Can they tell you exactly what you are getting for the fees you will be paying? Can they not only rely upon their brand but fully articulate how their particular brand works for you, and how it makes you more money?

  1. What is the culture of the firm?
    Can they talk about their culture and not just use the term “family”?  Can they describe what influence their culture has upon the brokers and upon their productivity? Does this align with the way you want to do business? Is this culture something you want to be a part of and a contributing member of?
  1. What sort of support does the firm offer for their brokers?
    You see many of the brokerages have a desk for you but then don’t manage to take care of many of the details that bog down brokers.  Does the firm market for you? Does it support you in your efforts to grow your business? How do brokers work together, if at all? What kind of client appreciation events or activities are endorsed and/or produced at the firm or by the firm?

These are just a few elemental questions that help frame the conversation you will have as you determine which firm is the best fit for you- and your business. Next week, we will look at how a firm gives you the opportunity to give- a critical component of how we, at Metropolist, set our brokers up for additional and relational success.

Contact Jennifer Nelson at: [email protected].