In the competitive world of Boston real estate, the relationship between agents and their brokers plays a crucial role in determining financial success. The title of our article itself is often a huge issue of contention for new and experienced agents: Are you competing against your broker instead of working together toward mutual prosperity? We’ll explore the disparities and problems within the industry. It’s important to shed light on the crucial importance of aligning with a broker or office that actively invests time, money, and resources to put their agents in the best position possible to close the most deals. We will also discuss how competing with your broker for leads can often lead to significantly diminished success for any agent – especially considering our low inventory and high-interest rate environment.
Lead Distribution Disparities
In many real estate circles, it’s very common for brokers to retain the cream of the crop leads for themselves. Think about it. This problem is especially acute at traditional real estate offices with poor SEO, outdated technologies, and virtual offices with no high-traffic storefront locations. Let’s be honest, many traditional brokerages severely skimp on marketing or lack the technical know-how to drive traffic to their platforms. They may offer you a higher split- but that’s about it. When a lead does come in – the broker is often more concerned about self-preservation and their bottom line first.
This puts agents in the perilous spot of building their client base from scratch and/or spending a vast sum of their own money to try and generate leads. Now that higher split is shrinking fast. Not to mention all the time and headache you have to put into marketing yourself which keeps you from showing and closing deals. This creates an asymmetry where some agents may find themselves financially struggling while their broker vaguely tells them to “work harder” or go prospect more. The financial consequences of having few leads and listings to work can often be dramatic. This can affect an agent’s ability to close deals and achieve the financial success they aspire to.
A particularly concerning red flag within this realm is when brokers not only hoard all the good leads but then dubiously tell agents to exhaust their network. When your broker seems to have leads coming in but keeps telling you to work on your “circle of influence” without providing adequate marketing support. There is also your competing broker telling you to keep calling expired listings yet why do they always seem to have leads that do not come from that source? Hmm. Are you starting to feel like you are getting sold a bag of rocks?
Perhaps your broker is spending just enough on marketing to get leads to fill their pipeline – but not much more. Is it possible that your broker takes all the 1 million and up leads but gives you the small 300k leads? What about all the high end rentals? Does your broker give you the crappy rental co-broke leads while they take all the direct leads? Is that fair? While it’s reasonable for agents to leverage their personal connections, a broker pushing agents to solely rely on their own network without supplementing it with quality leads raises serious concerns.
What is your broker actually doing for you?
Does your competing broker keep telling you how great their brand is yet the phones are dead in the office? Some offices don’t even have an office line- what does that tell you? Did your broker trick you into working at an office by providing you with a slightly higher split but then left you high and dry on lead generation? Did they promise you leads but somehow they never materialized? How is that working out for you? 80 percent of nothing is nothing. Doing paltry co-brokes means you are already down 50% before you even got the lead. What would it be like to work at an office where your broker never took your leads but instead gave you leads? If your broker never competed against you? What if your broker spent hours on the phone aggregating leads, listings and landlords for you?
The Power of Pre-Qualified Leads
Pre-qualified leads are the lifeblood of success in the real estate industry. They save time, enhance efficiency, and increase the likelihood of closing deals. Top-performing brokers understand this and go the extra mile to ensure their agents receive a steady stream of high-quality leads. Whether through referrals or meticulously crafted marketing strategies, these brokers are dedicated to providing their agents with the tools they need to thrive in the competitive Boston real estate market.
Having a steady source of leads not only provides a powerful positive mental mind focus – but it also let’s you get in more repetitions with your customers so your skills stay sharp. Agents with the highest closing ratios are nearly always those that have a constant supply of fresh customers.
Ask What Your Brokerage Can Offer You
When considering a brokerage in Boston, aspiring real estate agents should prioritize those that demonstrate a commitment to a lead-centric approach. This commitment manifests in the proactive generation and distribution of pre-qualified leads, setting the stage for agents to flourish in a competitive market. You are not only going to want to ask how many leads they can provide to you each day – but also the quality of the lead. Ask if they give out co-broke leads or are they giving you customers where you can make more money by working directly with the customer.
Does your agency provide the sourcing technologies at your fingertips to do direct deals where you keep a much larger percentage of the commission and not split it with another office. Never be afraid to ask your competing broker where and how they go their lead on the ones they closed. Start to notice a pattern? Does your broker always seem to give you that far away customer, the one where you have to drive 20-30 miles but they always seem to have great leads around their office? You starting to see a pattern? Is your broker giving you the leads they don’t want at all? Agents might want to consider working at an office where the broker does not compete against you at all.
Choosing the Right Brokerage
For Boston real estate agents, choosing the right brokerage is akin to laying the foundation for a successful career. It’s imperative to consider factors beyond commission structures and office aesthetics. You must ask about their marketing budget. You need to ask them their proficiency in search engine optimization and master lead generation technologies. You are going to want the most leads possible in the shortest period of time.
Is your broker willing to pay monies to bring in leads for you? Equally important is your brokerage going to charge you for that lead? So they offer you 70 percent commissions but then they decide for each lead that they give you that they close they charge you 30% for that lead. How is your check looking now? With that horrible 6% percent transaction fee they bang you for; now you are down to 34 percent. Wow. So your going to want a lot of leads but not get buzz sawed in the process by both your broker and their fees. You are going to want lots of high quality leads and have data and technologies to source your own options quickly where you can keep far more of your commission.
Agents should also seek brokerages that value collaboration, actively support their growth, and have a track record of nurturing successful agents. By making an informed decision at this crucial juncture, agents set themselves on a path toward long-term success.
Finally, research the brokerage’s track record in nurturing successful agents. Testimonials and success stories from current or former agents can provide insights into the level of support and opportunities offered.
Agent-Centric Brokerages in Boston
Fortunately, not all brokerages are created equal in Boston’s real estate landscape, and there are brokerages that prioritize their agents’ success. Success stories abound of agents who have thrived in environments where brokers view the agent-broker relationship as a partnership, not a competition. Such brokerages foster a culture of collaboration and create an environment where both parties can flourish. The bottom line, there are only so many leads in a highly competitive state such as Massachusetts and if your broker is taking the 20 best leads per month – that is twenty less great leads for you. If you keep seeing your broker as the top producer each month but they won’t tell you how they got their leads – it might be a time for a change. Pay special attention to where and how they are getting their leads.
Sharing of Knowledge is Essential
Open and transparent communication and support of real estate agents is a hallmark of agent-centric brokerages. These establishments keep their agents informed about changes in policies, market conditions, and other relevant information. Brokers that spend most of the their putting thought and effort into lead generation for their agents shows that they care about them. Whether agents have questions about a specific deal, need guidance on a challenging negotiation, or simply seek advice, an agent-centric broker is committed to being available.
If your broker is running around six days per week trying to close deals; how often are they actually in the office to answer any of your questions? Does your broker send you to voicemail all the time and/or call you back the next day? Hmm. Beyond conventional mentorship, agent-centric brokerages go a step further by guiding agents towards becoming not just real estate agents but savvy investors. Brokers in these establishments understand the importance of financial literacy and provide mentorship that extends to investment strategies, wealth-building, and long-term financial planning.
Empower Your Success: Boston Real Estate Agents, Don’t Compete Against Your Broker, Choose One Who Invests in Your Growth!
Collaboration between agents and brokers is not just a buzzword; it’s a cornerstone of success. A supportive broker can do more than just provide leads – they can enhance an agent’s skills, boost their confidence, and contribute to their overall success. Great brokerages put their players in the game. The best brokerages have their broker coaching to win – not jumping in the game trying to score the most closing touchdowns for themselves.
A true real estate broker generates the most leads for his agents and is far beyond competing against his own team. In this low inventory and high interest rate environment; seek an agency that has provided the most leads to their agents in the history of New England. Maybe it’s time to work for a brokerage that puts you first.
If you feel you deserve more leads, listings and support than you are currently receiving – please feel free to reach out to me directly.
Published December 11, 2023
Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.