You’re not alone if you feel like everything about getting a real estate broker sponsorship is confusing. It can be complicated. But after this article, you’ll have the clarity you need to take the best next steps.
Read on if you want…
- A simplified checklist to kickstart your real estate career
- To learn about how the process works
- Peace of mind about finding the right sponsoring broker for you
- Tips and guidance for the application process
Let’s dive in!
Are You Required To Get a Real Estate Broker Sponsorship?
The short answer is that it depends.
The long answer is…
The requirement for an agent to have a real estate broker sponsorship varies depending on the laws and regulations of the specific jurisdiction in which the agent is operating. In many places, agents are required to work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker, and they need to have a broker sponsorship or affiliation to legally conduct transactions.
A real estate broker sponsorship typically involves a licensed broker taking responsibility for the actions of the agent, providing guidance, oversight, and ensuring that transactions are conducted ethically and in compliance with local laws. This arrangement helps to protect consumers and maintain professional standards within the industry.
If you’re wondering whether you need to find a sponsoring broker, this next part is for you.
How To Find Out
To find out whether you’re required to have a real estate broker sponsorship in your state, you can follow these steps:
- Contact Your State’s Real Estate Commission: The first and most direct source of information is your state’s real estate regulatory authority or commission. You can typically find their website through an online search using terms like “[your state] real estate commission” or “[your state] real estate licensing board.” On their website, you’ll find information about licensing requirements, including whether broker sponsorship is mandatory for real estate agents.
- Review State Laws and Regulations: Many state real estate commissions provide downloadable resources, guides, and documents that outline the requirements for licensure. Look for documents that provide information specifically about becoming a real estate agent and any associated requirements for broker sponsorship.
- Reach Out to Local Real Estate Associations: Local real estate associations or REALTOR® boards often have valuable information about licensing requirements in your area too. They might also offer resources or support for individuals looking to enter the real estate profession.
- Consult With Real Estate Schools: Real estate schools or education providers in your state can also be a helpful resource. They often have up-to-date information about the licensing process, including whether broker sponsorship is necessary.
- Attend Information Sessions: Some local real estate associations may hold informational sessions or seminars for people interested in becoming real estate agents. These sessions can be a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the requirements in your area.
- Seek Legal Advice: If you’re still unsure after conducting your own research, consider seeking legal advice from an attorney who specializes in real estate law. They can provide you with accurate information and guidance based on the specific laws and regulations in your state.
How To Get the Best Real Estate Broker Sponsorship for You
If you find out that you are required to find a sponsoring broker, the guidance provided in this section will help you find the clarity, motivation, and peace of mind you need to move forward. This isn’t about checking a box. It’s about how to find a sponsoring broker that will set you up for success.
Step 1: Take Some Time To Self-Assess
This is a big decision. Finding a sponsoring broker can be about more than just fulfilling a requirement and finding a home for your license.
The right sponsoring broker can provide support when you need it most (especially during the crucial early stages of your career), which helps you establish the solid foundation you need to grow your business year after year.
On the other hand, having a sponsoring broker that isn’t a good fit for you could make your life harder, and it could lead your career down the wrong path.
The point is – the payoff that comes from doing a bit of “soul searching” and research to pursue the best real estate broker sponsorship is well worth the time and effort it takes.
To jumpstart your self-assessment, here are some important “conversation starters” that will help you learn more about yourself and what you need from a sponsorship:
- What skills and strengths do I possess that would make me a successful real estate agent (e.g., communication, negotiation, organization)? And how can I leverage these skills to provide value to clients and close deals?
- What aspects of the real estate business might be challenging for me (e.g., handling rejection, managing time)? And how can I work on improving these areas?
- What are my long-term career goals? Do I see real estate as a long-term career or a stepping stone to another profession? Do I want to work full time or as a part-time real estate agent?
- Am I willing to work under the guidance and regulations of a real estate broker?
Step 2: Ask These Questions To Help You Narrow Down Your Options
Once you’ve figured out what your goals, needs, interests, and skills are, it’s time to figure out how to find a sponsoring broker that will be a good fit specifically for you.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What kind of company culture and values am I looking for in a brokerage?
- Do I want to work in a large corporate brokerage, a small boutique agency, or an independent office?
- Do I want a broker who will provide guidance and support as I start my career? If so, what kind of training and mentorship opportunities would I need?
- What commission split structure do I find acceptable?
- Which brokerages have the best reputation?
- Do the brokerages I’m interested in specialize in my preferred market?
- Are the brokerages I’m interested in experienced in the type of real estate market or niche I’d be serving?
Checklist (& Tips) For the Application Process
At this point, you know how to find a sponsoring broker. Now let’s say you’ve narrowed down your list of favorites. It includes three to five solid options that are a good fit for you culture-wise, they’re in your preferred market, they offer your preferred commission split, and they’ll provide the kind of training opportunities you need.
Here’s a checklist you can follow that will guide you through the next steps:
✅ Contact the Brokerages for Information
- Reach out to each brokerage on your list to request detailed information about their sponsorship program and agent requirements.
- Attend any informational sessions, webinars, or seminars offered by the brokerages.
✅ Review Brokerage Agreements and Contracts
- Read all of the fine print to make sure all of the agreements and contracts would work for you.
- Pay close attention to commission splits, fees, responsibilities, and any exclusivity clauses.
✅ Complete Licensing Requirements
- Ensure you have met all the educational and licensing requirements mandated by your state’s real estate commission.
- Obtain your real estate license if you haven’t already done so.
✅ Get All of the Paperwork Together
- Collect and prepare the necessary documents for the brokerages you’re interested in. That may include your real estate pre-license certificate, application forms, identification, and any other required paperwork.
- Pro tip – Include a high quality headshot in your application submission to create a professional, trustworthy, and memorable first impression. (Don’t have one yet? Get tips and examples of the best real estate headshots.)
✅ Submit Your Application Package
- Compile all required documents and submit your application package to the selected brokerages.
- Follow the submission guidelines provided by each brokerage.
✅ Nail the Interviews
- Did you get the call to interview or meet with representatives at one of your favorite brokerages? Congratulations! Now it’s time to stand out and show why you belong.
- This is also the time to ensure the broker sponsorship will be a win-win. Use this opportunity to ask questions, clarify expectations, and gauge the compatibility between you and the brokerage.
8 Essential Questions To Ask During the Interview Process
1. Do you offer any training or mentorship programs?
If you’re just getting started in the real estate industry, support and guidance are vital to your success. But even if you have some experience already, continuing your education is going to be very important for establishing yourself as the area’s expert.
2. Which expenses are covered, and which ones do I pay?
Of course, understanding fees and costs will help you plan your real estate career, budget, and financial goals. Ask about specifics such as desk fees, a real estate CRM, marketing costs, overhead costs, service providers or other third-party vendors you have to pay for, and lead generation.
3. Will I be an individual agent, or will I work as part of a team?
Their response to this question will help you know more about what your responsibilities will be. If you’ll be part of a team, make sure you ask about commission splits and how your role fits into the brokerage as a whole.
4. Will the brokerage provide me with my own personalized website?
If they will provide you with a website, ask if you can see an example. Having a high-quality website is an essential part of lead generation and lead nurture.
If they are not providing you with a website, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. With Market Leader, you can get a robust, fully responsive real estate website pre-built for you. But it’s helpful to learn whether you’ll need that up front so you can add that to your list of startup expenses.
5. Will I be responsible for generating my own leads?
If they’re providing leads, make sure the distribution systems are clear and fair. If you’ll be responsible for generating your own, you’ll definitely need to start out with a quick, reliable lead source.
With Market Leader, for example, you can get a steady stream of exclusive buyer and seller leads in your target market delivered to you every month.
6. Are there quotas to meet?
This is an important question to ask because it can have a direct impact on the relationship you have with the sponsoring broker. Too high of a quota can lead to frustration, stress, and burnout early on in your career.
7. How are the commission splits determined?
There are many different structures a brokerage can have when it comes to commission splits. Make sure you’re 100% certain about how it all works so you can take those factors into consideration as you compare real estate broker sponsorships.
8. How would you describe the brokerage’s culture?
Good cultural fit can greatly impact your satisfaction and overall success. A positive culture can make you feel comfortable, motivated, and connected with your colleagues.
So ask plenty of probing questions related to work-life balance, growth opportunities, collaboration, management styles, and company values.