By Bettina Siochi
Are you thinking about switching brokerages?
Switching brokerages is not unusual in the real estate industry. Yet, most agents think it’s much harder than it is.
Reasons for leaving may vary from agent to agent. But, all you need to do is familiarize yourself with the process.
Steps to Change Real Estate Brokerages
Not every brokerage can meet your needs. When you’re ready for something new, you can always mix things up. Here is how you change your real estate brokerage.
- Do your research
- Call new brokerages
- Interview brokerages
- Inform your current brokerage
- File the paperwork
Now, let’s explore what you need to do during each step.
Do Your Research
It is always important to conduct research when looking for a new brokerage. You can ask people you know who work at other brokerages, interview with brokerages, or do a quick internet search. The idea is that you have to make a shortlist of new brokerages to consider.
Call New Brokerages
The best way to start looking for a new brokerage is by giving them a call. Also, you can use this opportunity to get to know the brokerage and ask basic questions. Before ending the phone call, be sure to book an appointment with them.
Meet with the New Brokerage
When you meet with a new brokerage, recall the unmet needs you have with your current brokerage. Ask questions to find out if this new brokerage is a good fit for you and your business.
If this new brokerage checks every box, then you can start discussing making the switch.
Inform Your Current Brokerage
Once you have found a new brokerage, you will now have to inform your current brokerage of this decision. It’d be best if you were to inform them yourself. As much as possible, avoid informing them of your decision via email or text message.
Discuss your decision to change real estate brokerages with your leadership. Also, make sure you do it with professionalism and without offending them. Explain to them your reasons for leaving and be articulate as possible. The last thing you’d want to do in the real estate industry is to burn bridges.
It is important to note that not every discussion is smooth. Your leadership can talk you into staying but you have to remain firm in your decision.
File the Proper Paperwork
Once you informed your leadership of your decision to leave, you have to file the paperwork. There are 2 ways to do this.
Your first option is via the Department Real Estate (DRE.)
You start by getting the form RE-204 from the DRE. This is the application form for changing brokerages.
Once you have obtained the form from the DRE, both your current and new brokerages will have to sign this. After it’s signed by both parties, you can send it back to the DRE.
Your second option is via the DRE website.
Fill in the form and answer the questions on why you’re switching brokerages. The website will forward this form to your current brokerage for their confirmation. Once your current brokerage confirms the form, input your new brokerage’s information.
Why Change Real Estate Brokerages?
There may be many reasons why you are considering a brokerage switch. More often than not, it’s because your expectations are no longer met or satisfied.
One of the reasons why an agent switches brokerages are the financial deals offered.
When you started working with this brokerage, they gave you a flat commission split. That may have worked to your advantage.
But, now that you have grown, you are closing bigger deals and a flat fee no longer works for you. Also, it’s possible that the commission split seems unfair to you.
How well does your brokerage treat its agents? Are their values still aligned with yours? Is it still a healthy work environment where you feel happy?
Sometimes, your reasons may not be financial. If you have been with your brokerage for years and something feels off, then it may be a problem with cultural fit.
There could have been a change in leadership. Now, this new leadership no longer provides the support that you need.
It’s possible for agents to feel that their work is not acknowledged enough. Also, it’s possible that there is a lack of transparency between the leaders and their agents.
Poor leadership can drive real estate agents to make the switch.
Training and Education
Continued training and education are crucial to a long-lasting career in real estate. If you are no longer getting the training that you need, then it’s time to move on.
Growth is a cornerstone of progress in this career. The best way for agents to grow is through training and education. If a brokerage no longer offers these (or never had) then seeking them out should be a priority.
Technology plays a crucial role in the day-to-day lives of real estate agents. Outdated technology can lead to poor performance and workplace happiness. Whether it’d be slow processing of data and paperwork or not having the right data at the right time.
These are small things that can make or break a deal. When you change real estate brokerages make sure to seek out one that’s savvy to the times.
In an industry where trust and relationships are the names of the game, reputation means everything. If your brokerage has a bad reputation, it can affect your business.
Sometimes a brokerage can have a poor reputation that deters agents or clients. This is why finding a brokerage with a great reputation (and Google review) will work in your favor.
Growth can come in many shapes and forms. In real estate, it can be in the form of expanding your business or network.
One possibility is that you want a new mentor who can help you build your expertise. Maybe you’d like to expand to a new community or neighborhood. It’s also possible that you’d want to venture into a new segment of real estate.
At the end of the day, you have to remember that you are an independent contractor. As an independent contractor, you have to look out for yourself and what’s best for your career.
Final Thoughts on Changing Your Real Estate Brokerage
Switching real estate brokerages is not unusual and is sometimes necessary. There are plenty of reasons why you should change real estate brokerages.
If you’re no longer happy and your expectations are no longer met, then it’s time for you to move to a different brokerage.