Whether or not you’re new to this industry, trying to decide what brokerage to work with / for isn’t always a simple decision. There are a number of factors for you to consider when identifying the best fit.


From company culture to commission schedule, let’s take a look at eight things to consider when choosing a real estate brokerage to work for.



First off, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work for a massive national franchise/brand, a boutique brokerage, or a perfect blend of big business and boutique such as Pemberton Holmes.


At a national franchise, you’ll be one of many agents working out of anyone one of a number of offices. There will be a lot of moving parts and likely a lot more restrictions on things like personal branding and function attendance, so if you’re interested in that kind of hustle and bustle, this will be for you.


Meanwhile, at a boutique brokerage, you’ll be able to enjoy a closer-knit work environment. Collaboration and cohesion are key to your success in these kind of offices as well as developing as many community ties as possible.



Naturally, a brokerage’s brand will play a huge part in who you decide to work with. It will also affect the way in which you conduct business on a day-to-day basis.


For instance, when working for a big brand, you’ll have recognition on your side, helping you get your foot in the door when speaking to potential client. At the same time, you will be competing with people from you own office more often than you would at a boutique brokerage.


On the flip side, when working for a lesser known brand, you may not have as many resources, but you will have the freedom to work the way you want to and a little more flexibility in the way you portray yourself.


Consider too the difference between a national or global brand vs a local brand.  Is your community more likely to support a business they recognize as entirely local?



Before signing any kind of brokerage contract, make sure to identify a business’ trajectory. If the brokerage is new, do they have plans to grow? If it’s already well established, is it growing or trending downward? These kinds of questions are especially important if you’re new to the industry and are in need of a more hands on management style. For example, Pemberton Holmes is growing, and has been growing steadily for years.



Training plays a big part in any profession, but will differ depending on what kind of brokerage you end up at. At a larger company, there might be less hands-on instruction but more resources for you to train or take courses at your own pace. At a boutique brokerage, you’ll be able to ask for more help and be guided through all kinds of worthwhile moments. You will also likely get knowledge directly from the higher ups at a smaller brokerage.


Pemberton Holmes has a reputation amongst our industry colleagues as offering some of the best training programs around.



You’ll also have to consider what kind of management you’re interested in receiving. At a national franchise brokerage, you’ll likely be managed by a salaried manager who will have plenty of time to consider any comments or questions you may have. At a boutique brokerage, your boss may also be selling real estate, meaning they may have less time to coach you or provide feedback.


Then again, there are managing brokers within national companies that are also REALTORS® and there are owners or managing brokers of local brokerages that may not necessarily be a practicing REALTOR®. You must decide the brokerage management style you want to operate under and seek that out.



When deciding where to work, location is another key thing to consider. How conveniently you can get to work is one thing, but you’ll also need to think about how easy it is for your clients to find you, and how much time you will spend on the road versus in the office.  Be sure to check out the parking situation, clients may not want to circle the block a dozen times only to end up paying a meter.



Company culture is a huge deal, and can have a lasting impact on your happiness as an employee. During your interview, ask about the values the business holds and what they do to show their agents appreciation.  If a social environment is important to you, find out about social events put on internally, such as an annual golf tournament or family picnics.  What about the brokerage’s involvement in the community?  Are there opportunities to be involved? Do all the research you can, even contacting current REALTORS® if possible.


Commission Schedule

Last but not least, you’ll need to think about how you’ll be getting paid. Depending on what company you work with, they may treat commissions differently.


A traditional model would pay a portion of the commission to the REALTOR®, and the brokerage would keep the rest to pay for various operating expenses, plus a profit. That said, as your sales increase throughout the calendar year, your portion of the commission could



If they employ a hybrid model, you could be charged fees to cover company operating expenses, and a somewhat assured profit. In return for agents sharing the overhead, the company splits the commission at a higher percentage.


Pemberton Holmes is pleased to offer a split commission plan as well as a 100% plan, allowing agents to choose which will work best for their business model.


Take the time to think about each of these different aspects before deciding on the company and brokerage to work for. We recommend interviewing several brokerages before deciding, and be sure to bring a list of questions.  Remember to ask as many questions as you can during the interview, or even before your interview. If you’re interested in talking to someone at Pemberton Holmes about this industry or about practicing real estate with us, contact us today.