Beware of Hooks & Handcuffs

IIt may feel like you are applying for a job when interviewing brokerages. Your mindset may be ‘Will they like me and hire me?’ You may feel nervous and intimidated. Fear not!

The reality is that if you are a good sales person, then everyone wants you because you will help pay the bills and allow the brokerages and offices to make more profits. It is more about you wanting them, than them wanting you, and they hope you will choose to work for them and become successful for the good of the brokerage. Brokerages have few expenses ‘hiring’ you compared to traditional ‘employment.’

In business it is all about recruiting and retaining talent. Cynically, we could say that in real estate it is about hooks and handcuffs. Hooks entice you to choose the brokerage; handcuffs keep you bound to them when you are successful.

Common Hooks

  • “We offer ‘state of the art’ technology including high speed internet, an intranet full of features and information, and a website ready for you to go public. We have email signatures, market data reports, scripts and templates, and property valuation tools. We will give you a ready-made database management tool, your own email address, and a ‘direct’ company phone number.” And the list goes on and on. The question for you to wrestle with is “At what cost to you?” Free? Think again. You may be paying way too much for ‘free’ bennies!
  • We have exceptional educational classes, personal training, and individual mentoring to help you get a quick start and develop fully.”  The #1 complaint I have heard from agents thinking about a change was that this claim had no substance whatsoever. Your best authority: ask their agents and their former agents!
  • “We have a transaction specialist who will manage your transaction and the paperwork so you can sell more.”  How will you ever become an experienced and well-rounded professional? If you always need the brokerage to do this for you then you are tethered to them for life.
  • “We have a marketing person to do your ads. In fact, we will advertise you and your properties so you do not have to.” (and we know you do not have money to do so). Again, at what cost? And would you be better served to do it your way and develop your own leads? Perhaps their marketing is just providing generic leads for someone else to benefit from???
  • “We have an impressive national or regional company and brand with world-wide recognition and reach.”  See the articles about the changing nature of our industry. Can you not do it better yourself?
  • “We give a lot to local charities which is good for you.”  Why don’t YOU become successful, keep more of your money so YOU can give to local charities rather than giving it to someone else to do that?
  • “We provide world-wide referrals to you and have an exceptional relocation program that will get business for you that you could never get on your own.”  And how much will these referrals cost you? 35-50% of your commissions and more.

Common Handcuffs

  • Real estate law and brokerage policy allows brokerages to keep your listings, your clients, and your transactions should you try to leave the brokerage. Even your commission splits for current transactions can be changed to favor the company when you make your intentions known. That is hard to leave when you become successful.
  • Technology tools and software allow brokerages to keep your clients from the database they gave you; your calls because your ‘direct’ phone number is redirected to another broker, your emails because they are also redirected to someone else. Come to think of it, no one ever had your personal email and cell number! These are the ‘iron handcuffs’ that you cannot afford to leave behind.
  • In some brokerages, leads, referrals, and relocation clients are strategically handed out like drugs to keep Realtors mesmerized and unable to leave; these are the ‘golden handcuffs.’

Bella Casa Real Estate Group wants you to become independent and autonomous.

We want you to be free to choose to work together with us because of the professional value gained. This is in best long-term interests for your income, the breadth of your success, and your retirement years. It may be more challenging at the beginning, but we are glad to offer everyone a hand up. We all needed it, and so do you. But if that help creates a dependency on us, then you will never be free to accomplish what you might achieve. You will never become more than a dependant ‘employee,’  handcuffed to an office which does not want you to grow wings and fly. You’ll never learn to feed yourself, expand your skills, increase your knowledge, and so you remain dependent on the company for your success and you get what is leftover after more people make money off of you. The result is that you are limited by all the ‘benefits’.

All of the hooks mentioned above are available to you on the open market, and we maintain that it will cost you a lot less to get them yourself. You must learn to be a professional, to buy your own tools, learn your own software, and build and advertise your business in a way that is custom to your design and desires, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Our policies treat you as a professional colleague and an equal in business. Your business and your clients belong to you and should you leave the listings and clients go with you – it is our policy.

Only the in-process transactions are completed at BC. We have no tricks to bind you to us. We want you to become successful, not experience success vicariously through someone else.

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
503-310-9147