Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Brokerage

It's not unusual for first-time real estate professionals to have questions about how to find a brokerage that's right for them. RECA has prepared this list of questions to help new real estate professionals consider what's important to them when choosing a brokerage. Consider the following questions when interviewing potential brokerages to help you make this important decision.

For a printable PDF checklist, click here.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Brokerage

Brokerage:  _____________________
Location: _______________________

Interviewer: ___________________
Date of Interview:_______________

 

Brokerage Preference of Professionals to Recruit

  • Which type of professional does the brokerage cater to?
  • What percentage of its professionals have been in practice less than 3 years?
  • What percentage of its professionals have been in practice between 3 and 5 years?
  • What percentage of its professionals have been in practice more than 5 years?
  • What is the broker/delegate ratio to its professionals?

 

Brokerage Training and Support for New Professionals

  • Does the brokerage have systems to support its new professionals 24/7/365?
  • Are there any costs associated with brokerage training or support?
  • Who at the brokerage offers training and support to its new professionals?
  • What training and support is offered to new real estate professionals? (i.e. review listing presentation, help draft contracts or conditions)?
  • Does broker/delegate review service agreements and trade documents while the transaction is taking place?
  • Is there a limit to the number of times or hours available for support?
  • Does the brokerage have automated oversight processes to prevent errors?
  • Does the broker/delegate explain incorrect or incomplete documentation?
  • Does the brokerage provide marketing training opportunities?
  • Does the brokerage provide an in-brokerage marketing material designer?
  • Does the brokerage have a mentorship program?
  • If yes, is there a special program to be followed? (details)
  • If yes, who are the mentors?
  • If yes, what is the cost to the professional being mentored?
  • If yes, how are the mentors compensated?
  • If yes, when is the mentorship program completed?
  • If yes, what happens if the professional and the mentor don’t get along?

 

Brokerage Continuous Learning Opportunities

  • What types of continuous learning opportunities does the brokerage offer?
  • What level of professional are continuous learning opportunities geared towards?
  • How often are continuous learning opportunities offered?
  • How is continuous learning delivered? (i.e. e-learning, video, classroom, webinar)

 

Brokerage Compensation Packages

  • Does the brokerage enter into employment or independent contractor agreements?
  • What compensation packages does the brokerage offer to professionals?
  • What services are included in the brokerage fees or commission splits?
  • Does the brokerage offer benefit programs?
  • If yes, what does the brokerage offer?
  • If yes, who pays the cost?
  • Are there any fees in additional to the fees packages, compensation packages, or commission splits?
  • Does the brokerage provide in-house advances on commissions? 
  • If yes what are the terms for in-house advances on commissions?
  • What are the termination terms for the employment or independent contractor agreements?
  • What happens with service agreements for clients recruited by the real estate professional?
  • Does the brokerage have any restrictions regarding employment outside of the brokerage?

 

Brokerage Services to Its Real Estate Professionals

  • What technologies does the brokerage offer and what is the cost to use them?
  • What is the timeframe in which for commissions are paid to professionals?
  • Does the brokerage pay commissions by cheque or direct deposit?
  • What signs are available and what is their cost (i.e. for sale signs, open house signs, sign installation)?
  • Does the brokerage provide real estate forms? If so, what is their cost?
  • Does the brokerage provide materials for listing presentations and property listings?
  • Does the brokerage provide materials for working with buyers?
  • Does the brokerage provide access to client meeting rooms?
  • Is the brokerage part of a real estate referral network?
  • If yes, how are network referrals disseminated at the brokerage?
  • If yes, do new real estate professionals receive network referrals?
  • If yes, is there a cost to receiving a referral from the brokerage?
  • Does the brokerage work with relocation companies?
  •  If yes, how are relocation referrals disseminated at the brokerage?
  •  If yes, do new real estate professionals receive relocation referrals?
  •  If yes, is there a cost to receiving a relocation referral from the brokerage?
  • Does the brokerage have an on-duty system to handle general inquiries (i.e. walk-ins, call-ins, online inquiries)?
  •  If yes, what is the likelihood of new professionals getting clients this way?
  • What marketing materials are available for professionals (i.e. pre-designed brochures, folders, moving tip sheets)?
  • If so, is there a cost for brokerage provided marketing materials?

 

Brokerages Preferred Area(s) of Practice

  • In which area(s) of real estate does the brokerage usually practice (i.e. residential, commercial, rural, property management)?
  • What are the brokerage’s preferred practice area(s)?
  • Does the brokerage prohibit practice in one or more real estate areas?
  • What expertise does the broker/delegates have in the brokerage’s practice area(s)? 
  • In what geographic location does the brokerage operate?

 

Brokerage Business Model

  • Is the brokerage part of a franchise system?
  • If yes, how does being part of a franchise benefit its new professionals?
  • If yes, do I have to pay franchise fees?
  • How does the brokerage market its image and brand?
  • Do the brokerage professionals pay for or contribute towards its marketing?
  • If yes, what are the fees paid by the brokerage’s real estate professionals?
  • Does the brokerage practice designated agency or agency according to the common law?

 

Brokerage Culture and Health

  • How long has the brokerage been in business?
  • How many professionals does the brokerage have working for it?
  • How does the brokerage communicate with its professionals (i.e. online, in person)?
  • How many brokerage offices does the broker manage and where are they located?
  • Does the broker/delegates also trade in real estate at the brokerage?
  • Does the brokerage have comprehensive and clear policy and procedures manuals?
  • Does the brokerage hold brokerage meetings?
  • If yes, how often are brokerage meetings held?
  • If yes, what are the usual meeting topics?
  • If yes, is attendance at the meetings mandatory?
  • If yes, where and how are meetings held (i.e. virtual, in person)?
  • How does the brokerage use technology (i.e. websites, online forms, online leads)?
  • What are the brokerage policies on its professional’s personally trading in real estate (i.e. buying, selling, leasing properties)?
  • How does the brokerage deal conflicts between its professionals?
  • How does the brokerage deal with conflicts between professionals and clients?

 

 

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