The Short List: Lee Davenport on Selecting a Realty Firm

by Atlanta Agent


Lee Davenport

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Lee Davenport, who shared her views on what agents should consider when selecting a realty firm.

3. #TEAMYOU – As an agent, you need to be supported by someone who has greater real estate resources and connections than you, and who is willing to deploy those resources on your behalf. That may include: extensive office training classes (whether in office, online or by phone); one-on-one mentoring/coaching sessions; direct, open access to real estate attorneys, inspectors, lenders, and other industry experts; and a willingness and structure in place to connect you with experienced agents at the realty office for on-the-job shadowing.

Questions to ask when visiting your potential new realty home include:

  • Is there a managing broker or team leader at this office who I can directly contact? If not, do they assign an agent as a mentor/coach?
  • What training topics have been taught in the past year? Ask to see a schedule of training topics that have been taught in the past as this will give you a good indicator of trainings in the future.
  • How are trainings offered (i.e. online, in office, by phone, shadowing on an appointment, etc.)?
  • With what real estate professionals (i.e. attorneys, lenders, etc.) does this office have business relationships and what is their level of involvement with office agents?
  • What do other agents in the office have to say about the responsiveness and support provided by management?

2. Time is of the Essence – There is nothing worse in a time-sensitive real estate transaction then to have a delay because something at your real estate brokerage was handled at snail speed. The real estate process is already convoluted enough that you will not want a slow realty office staff to hurt your business before you really get going.

Unacceptable office delays include:

  • Taking days to enter sales listings
  • Waiting too long time to release undisputed earnest money
  • Slowly processing commission checks
  • Having a severe lag time in relaying call messages

Questions to ask when visiting your potential new realty home include:

  • Ask the office staff what their turn-around time and policies are for returning earnest money, entering sales listings, relaying messages and cutting commission checks.
  • Ask agents at the office their level of satisfaction with the office’s response time regarding the above mentioned items.

1.  You’re with Who? – The Internet makes the world smaller, which may be good or bad depending on the real estate firm you are interviewing. Associate yourself with a brand that has a positive reputation and is known for operating with high customer service and integrity. There are realty brokerages that are locally based, nationally based and globally based that fit the bill with which you can proudly associate.

You will have to decide if you want to stick with a local, national or global firm. Keep in mind with national and global firms there may be more expenses, such as franchise fees or national marketing campaigns. However, national and global firms can be beneficial, should you need to relocate as you can relocate to an office that may be similar and familiar. Furthermore, national and global firms may bring satisfied clients from other areas that are seeking the same overarching company. However, local realty leaders many times have no problems converting the loyal followers of the “big guns” if the local realty firm is highly praised for outstanding service. Thus, there can be advantages to local and national/global realty firms, but hopefully the criteria of the earlier pages of this e-book will help you select your realty office, whether national/global or local.

Questions to ask when visiting your potential new realty home:

  • What do the online reviews say about this realty firm? Look for reviews from agents, buyers and sellers, considering this may determine how potential clients see you.
  • Ask agents what specific benefits they have gained from working with a local firm, compared to working with a national or global firm.

Lee Davenport was ther managing broker at RE/MAX Around Atlanta, and she now trains real estate agents and brokerages on using technology in their business. A member of ABR and SCIP, she also contributes feature articles to the Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Realtor Magazine.

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