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The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
01-27-2012, 02:35 PM
Post: #11
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
That's a tough one, Laura.

Why are you reluctant? What are you sensing that is making you hesitate? What is it about the office that makes you wonder if you're a good fit?

(I'm sure you know I'll tell you to trust your gut, but let's dig in a little deeper first, k?)

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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01-30-2012, 08:50 AM
Post: #12
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
(01-27-2012 02:35 PM)Jennifer Allan Hagedorn Wrote:  That's a tough one, Laura.

Why are you reluctant? What are you sensing that is making you hesitate? What is it about the office that makes you wonder if you're a good fit?

(I'm sure you know I'll tell you to trust your gut, but let's dig in a little deeper first, k?)

Tough question, Jennifer! It's partly my gut, but I was a little concerned when my friend told me that he had brought other friends on board and then felt snubbed when several of them left to join other agencies. When I asked for reasons why they left, the answer was a little vague---"oh you know, they always think they can get a better cut somewhere else." My concern is less about the cut than the possibility that they used the money as an excuse to leave an unsatisfying arrangement. I got the sense that a "business" decision also caused an irreparable rift in these friendships.

And then there's the company that my friend is affiliated with (I'm not sure if there's a forum policy about mentioning names, so I won't because I don't want to risk offending anyone). Their market share in my area has been steadily increasing, and I know they have a very good reputation. That being said, I'm a little turned off by their corporate "belief system"---the philosophy they espouse might be refreshing to some people, but the more I read, the more I find that it rubs me the wrong way.

Many years ago, I went into business together with one of my very best friends, but we didn't collaborate well as business associates---just different work styles. I couldn't have predicted that I'd have trouble working with someone so close to me (especially since I pride myself on being able to get along with anyone in the workplace), but there was too much at stake. Fortunately, we were able to end the venture amicably, but I worry about finding myself in a similar situation here.

I'm thinking that I should probably explore my options and, armed with knowledge, go back to my friend with some concrete talking points---"look, I'm just doing my due diligence. I met with Brokers X, Y, and Z---I like this about X, and that about Y and Z, can you offer me these things?" and see how it goes. It just seems like such a slippery slope!
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01-30-2012, 10:37 AM
Post: #13
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
DEFINITELY explore your options. Maybe this is a good situation for you, maybe it's not. And if you aren't comfortable with the office culture, that might be a big deal. I have agents coming to me literally in tears because the culture of the office they're in is beating them down so badly because they don't want to do things "their" way.

Tell me this - are you considering this approach because you want the "leads?" Or do you want to be a part of a team for other reasons?

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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01-30-2012, 11:04 AM
Post: #14
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
To be honest, the lure of the leads is enticing. Smile Of course, I do think my friend would be supportive---plus there's also something to be said for "the devil you know." That being said though, geography may also play a role. I live in an area in which the the local brokers are defined by their expertise in 4 irregularly shaped townships (populations 20K to 45K). His office focuses on townships A and B, which are more rural and include lakefront log homes, whereas I consider myself to be more familiar with the less rural townships C (lots of condos and townhomes) and D (quaint historic homes and luxury homes).

Another factor I need to consider is that my husband is self-employed, so for the past 8 years, I've supplied the family's medical benefits. I have low expectations for what type of plan I'll be able to purchase as an agent, but it's still something I need to remember when I'm considering my options.

Thank you so much for allowing me to think out loud---you really have my mind going!
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01-30-2012, 06:10 PM
Post: #15
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Hot topic!!

An agent I met today (a VERY successful one whom I respect a great deal) advised that I try hard to make a decision NOW, while I'm doing my courses, about the environment I want to work in. Not just around the broker's culture but the actual working situation. i.e. Do I want to:

1) Go it alone (under a broker of course) w/relatively little support
2) Work with a close knit team (not necessarily in the broker's office but with a few other associates and some support)
3) Work with the bigger team at the broker's office in which case you're subjected to a lot of distractions and possibly get to be the lackie for the older/more experienced associates (oh yay ... sign me up. I'm sure this isn't always the case but it DOES happen.)
4) Open a brokerage (well ... that's not gonna happen quite yet nor do I think I want that necessarily)

So, for example, number 2 is interesting to me. What happens is an associate is affiliated with a broker but s/he decides to set up his/her own little "sub" office with his/her own support team in place, possibly including working closely with another associate or two). I like this idea a LOT (fits my working style) but then there's still the decision whether to hook up with an existing unit like this or try to build my own little team off the hop ...

Hopefully I've explained this in a way that makes sense! Smile

Thoughts?
Karri
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01-31-2012, 05:39 AM
Post: #16
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Teams are TOUGH. But then again, I'm not a team player. I want to run my own show without having to worry about whether someone else is happy with what I'm doing, or if they're pulling their weight. All those personalities and life crises and drama... eh... no thanks. I'll do it myself. Even when I was selling dozens and dozens of houses, I realized that having "help" was more trouble than figuring out ways to be more efficient myself.

I vote to go it alone and find the support you need, but don't be committed to it, if that makes sense.

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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01-31-2012, 05:48 AM
Post: #17
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Laura - have you looked into health insurance? It's tough to get on your own - make sure you're all set before you make the leap and then NEVER go to the doctor for anything elective. I learned the very hard way that when you're self-employed, ANYTHING on your medical record can make you uninsurable for years... it's really a serious issue...

About your geography question - you sound so much like me! My first office was in the foothills outside of Denver which I thought would be very glamorous and exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't know anything about the area, the housing styles or the people who wanted to live there so I ended up focusing on in-town properties and fairly quickly changed offices to one that better fit my interests, expertise and commuting preference. Work where you know... I think you'll be a lot happier in the long run.

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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01-31-2012, 12:12 PM
Post: #18
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Good point Jennifer. I was always the kid in school who dreaded "group work." LOL. Not that I COULDN'T play nice in the sand box and I certainly had friends 'n all that. But if one kid was riding on my coat tails to get a good grade, I totally resented it. This even happened in university. I'd practically run out of the classroom screaming the moment the prof announced there would be a giant group project that was worth 40% of our mark. LOL. HATED it.

I guess I'm a little freaked about how to find that balance between having a couple colleagues you can trust/rely on for a little pinch hitting or help now and then and getting sucked into to yucky office politics. When I was in corporate I was SO not good at towing the party line. And now that I've had my own biz for the last 7 years, well, I'm used to doing whatever the heck I wanna do!

Perhaps you're right though - going it alone is probably the best route for the first while. Less risk of committing to something that isn't a fit (besides the brokerage which you can change if HAVE to). And you're paying the desk fee anyway so it's not like there isn't someone there answering the phones or pushing paper in a pinch, yes?

And more logical to slowly scale UP with support than scale down ...

Karri
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01-31-2012, 12:17 PM
Post: #19
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
Karri - you're echoing my thoughts; in fact, I'll probably write more about this sometime today in the general Selling Real Estate with Soul board... so watch for it!

"The Secret of Joy in work is one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." Pearl S. Buck
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01-31-2012, 12:27 PM
Post: #20
RE: The Rookie SWS'er Guide to Broker Interviews
(01-31-2012 12:17 PM)Jennifer Allan Hagedorn Wrote:  Karri - you're echoing my thoughts; in fact, I'll probably write more about this sometime today in the general Selling Real Estate with Soul board... so watch for it!

Can't wait!
Karri
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