Considering changing brokerages? Real estate agents leaving a brokerage should stop and consider these 5 important points.

Real estate agents change brokerages for plenty of reasons, but, sometimes, it’s better to fix the ship you’re on than jump ship, experts say.

“Certainly, it is the norm for any of us to make a few upward moves over a period of time as we ascend in our profession,” writes Spyro Kemble in a recent Inman.com article on questions to ask before switching brokerages. “But there’s a difference between chasing the greener grass and authentic shifts toward career success.”

Making the switch from one brokerage to another might seem like an easy transition, but, in reality, it’s much more than changing business cards, according to Richard Gallegos, DREI, CDEI, education manager at OnCourse Learning Real Estate.

An agent who has been with a brokerage for some time and has strong experience and a track record with that brokerage might find the change is disruptive for not only the agent but also clients, Gallegos says.

“The longer the time, the more clients, paperwork, etc, and switching [all those, including clients] to a new brokerage can be cumbersome. Not all clients will be comfortable with change,” Gallegos says.

Despite the disruption, sometimes, change is inevitable. For example, if a real estate agent is with a brokerage that offers only residential real estate and the licensee wants to expand into commercial, a change would be necessary. But, often, real estate agent restlessness with a brokerage is more tied to what might be modifiable issues—from financial dissatisfaction to a perceived lack of support. Some agents simply want change, Gallegos says.

Switching brokerages should be a long-term consideration—one that the real estate agent makes after doing research and weighing the pros and cons.

5 Considerations for real estate agents leaving a brokerage

These five considerations can help agents make career-enhancing moves, versus changes that could erode agents’ personal brands and client confidence.

1. What are the real reasons for your wanting to change brokerages, and could those changes occur where you are, without having to move? This takes some introspection. Once you determine why you want to change, you might consider making those changes where you are, or at least trying. Kemble recommends clearly talking about the needs with your current broker. If the broker agrees to the changes, make a timeline for implementation. You can always make the switch if it doesn’t work out.

2. Have you really looked at what the other firm has to offer? Luring agents with a carrot, like access to artificial intelligence or more marketing support, sounds promising, but is it? Agents should research a brokerage’s track record with other agents and clients, as well as if that brokerage fits the agent’s personal brand. A large company in which the agent has access to high-tech bells and whistles but is only a cog in a big wheel might not be the right fit for an agent that likes the family-feel of a smaller brokerage.

3. Have you analyzed the really big stuff? For example, according to Gallegos: Have you compared your current commission structure to the new one? Have you verified a smooth transition with technology, email and more? “Make sure that you are organized for a move,” Gallegos says. “Consider any client or contractual obligations, and double check municipal compliance for such.”

4. What’s in the small print? In other words, what happens if the agent doesn’t perform at the new brokerage or is slow to get up and running? Kemble notes, “Can your new company guarantee your needs will be met?”

5. Finally, Kemble asks if the decision to leave is fear-based; a short-term fix, versus a long-term solution; or has to do with ego, rather than clarity and strategy? Changes for any of these reasons might lead to a never-ending game of musical brokerages, according to Kemble, a Realtor in Orange County Calif.

OnCourse Learning Real Estate​​

OnCourse Learning Real Estate is a trusted source of training, licensing and continuing education. It has helped more than 750,000 real estate, appraisal and home inspection professionals begin and advance their careers through a blend of e-learning, instructor-led courses and textbooks.