3 Considerations When Selecting a CRE Brokerage

Working in the CRE industry demands both teamwork and personal initiative. We all have our professional niche, be it startup office space, mixed use properties, hotels, retail, etc.

As our expertise develops we are best served by working in an organization that matches (or at least accommodates) that niche and helps us to meet our own professional goals.  The first step to choosing the right office is to understand your own preferences with regard to some major characteristics of a given brokerage firm.

Look at the major options

When you’re evaluating companies, there are 7 areas where you may have a preference. Choosing only firms that line up with these preferences will help you to narrow your search:

  • Size and prominence
  • Location and facilities
  • Training and administrative support
  • Culture
  • Areas of specialization
  • Management
  • Commission schedule

Understand the goals of the firm

If you’re considering moving into a new brokerage, the first step is to find out what you can about the company’s goals and performance. This will allow you to eliminate firms that may be great at what they do, but don’t do the things you’re interested in.  This information can come from a wide variety of sources:

  • Opinions of friends and contacts
  • The firm’s level of activity in the area: how effective is their advertising?
  • The reach of the firm: is it nationally known?

Get a detailed picture of the office practices

If the firm appears to participate in your chosen markets and to have an effective and energetic image, you can move on to more detailed information about the day to day workings of the office. These can make a big difference in your ability to work effectively within the company. Ask these questions to judge how the firm will fit:

  • What sort of clerical support and technology does the firm provide?
  • What’s the overall size of the firm? What’s the number of brokers? How experienced are they?
  • Does the firm provide a mentor or training?
  • How is marketing handled? Is there support in this area?
  • How flexible are the hours?

If these answers suit you, look further by asking about the market share that the brokerage enjoys and the split schedule it offers to brokers. You should get this information before you accept an offer; it directly affects your compensation. Any lack of clarity from the firm on these points could indicate a problem.

By considering your own preferences as well as the firm’s practices and its larger goals, you can determine which office is the right fit for you. It’s worth taking the time to do a thorough investigation; the right decision will help you meet your professional goals.