Real estate company culture

Company Culture & How It Can Impact Your Real Estate Career

by The CE Shop Team

Why Does Company Culture Matter?

You completed the first major hurdle of your new real estate journey by passing the real estate exam. But that’s only the beginning. To become an active real estate agent, you’ll need to join a real estate brokerage. Choosing your brokerage and joining a new work environment is a major decision that will impact your real estate career. This guide will cover the factors to consider when choosing a real estate company for which to work.

8 Things to Look for When Seeking the Right Broker Company Culture

One of the most crucial factors in deciding which brokerage to join is the company culture. Why does company culture matter? You want to choose a company that is right for you and prioritizes employee wellness. The list below provides a good starting point to determine whether or not your prospective brokerage, its overall culture, and its mission statement align with your preferred work environment.

Work-Life Balance Is Essential to Company Culture

Over the last decade, work-life balance has become paramount to company culture. Gone are the days that people lived to work; your work is only a part of who you are, and it shouldn’t infringe on other aspects of your life. Whether or not a brokerage enables positive work-life balance for its real estate professionals says volumes about its company culture. Yes, the real estate industry is unpredictable and you never know when you’ll be needed. But the same is true with life. If a real estate company expects you to be on call at a moment’s notice to close a sale, the same should hold true for when life happens. The real estate brokerages that believe in work-life balance set their team members up for success. Employees want to work for companies that care about them, and they may work harder if their work-life balance is respected. After all, a company that focuses on work-life balance essentially acknowledges that their agents matter beyond how much they earn.

Finding Company Core Values That Align With Your Own

If your first impression of the brokerage’s company culture doesn’t match what you want, you should keep looking. If a brokerage you’re interested in doesn’t have core values or they aren’t clearly defined, that’s not a good sign. Similar to work-life balance, a real estate company’s core values and mission statement define their priorities, both in terms of their employees and their community. The last thing you want to do as a budding agent is to work with a company that doesn’t share your professional beliefs.

Take away the initial excitement factor and dig deeper. If you don’t see a future where a positive company culture helps you grow as a professional and instead see potential potholes on your real estate journey, keep searching for a brokerage company that promotes the same core values as you - or at least checks as many of your boxes as possible.

Realistic Performance Goals Promote a Positive Culture

In any industry, one of the best ways to grow and learn is to track and analyze your performance metrics. That is especially true within brokerage culture. Each company typically assigns short-term and long-term performance goals for its employees. But ask yourself: Are they realistic?

If the brokerage maintains performance goals but expects too much of their team members, they’re likely to spoil their work environment. Of course, when a brokerage outlines performance goals, it helps to have incentives tied to their completion. If you meet your six-month goals, do you get a bump in your real estate commission? Do you get more real estate listings? Those are all important follow-up questions to ask as you search for the right brokerage or realty firm.

What Does Commission Say About Company Culture?

Speaking of real estate commission splits, what is the split offered by your prospective brokerages? If commission is slanted 70/30 (you’re the 30%), that’s not great. As a new agent, you can’t expect to see a 50/50 split, though that’s not entirely out of the question. If you’re offered such a commission split, take it! But expect to prove yourself, regardless of the brokerage you join. That said, only you can decide which commission split is best for you. If they present a number you can tolerate and you know you’ll crush it, take the lower split initially and revisit it once you’ve gained more experience. These types of negotiations are where performance goals can come in handy. They hold you accountable and give you something to work toward, but the same should be true for the company. The combination of fair, incentivized performance goals and great commission split are huge factors in finding the perfect real estate company for you.

A Sign of Positive Brokerage Culture: Mentor Programs

When you talk to real estate professionals, they’ll tell you a mentor is paramount to your immediate and future success in the real estate business. You can shadow your mentor and see how the business truly operates. If a brokerage doesn’t offer mentoring programs, that may tell you it doesn’t care about the development of its employees, and the brokerage company culture doesn’t point in a positive direction. This can’t be stated enough: Finding the right mentor is crucial to your success in real estate. If a company skirts on mentor programs, some agents may view that as a non-starter.

A Supportive Company Culture: Lead Generation and Opportunities

The ability to grow as an agent isn’t just about following a mentor. It’s also reliant on leads and the opportunities to earn more income. Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons people get into the real estate industry is because of the earning potential this business brings.

As the old saying goes, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” In real estate, that could be changed to, “The harder you work, the more money you can make.” But that’s only true if the brokerage you work for provides lead generation and offers a supportive company culture. You want a real estate company that gives you the freedom to find your own prospects and try new things while offering support and guidance as needed.

What Reputation Does the Brokerage Have?

Only actions speak louder than reputation. If the brokerage you’re considering has horrible reviews from both clients and employees, that says a lot about their company culture. As you look for your ideal brokerage, researching real estate companies is especially useful. Look at various online reviews for the brokerages that interest you. If the reviews mention the company benefits, how employees are treated, and a positive work-life balance, that can be enlightening. Also, if a company has great employee retention, keep that in mind as it speaks to how they nurture and maintain their team. All of these aspects will give you greater insight into the company that you won’t get anywhere else.

It’s important to note that online reviews are just a synopsis and are a matter of opinion. While they can be helpful, always read reviews with a skeptical eye. If you know other professionals in your specific real estate market who have worked for or with a brokerage, ask for their opinion, especially if you trust them. Ultimately, though, reviews on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn should only be a part of your final decision. Don’t base whether you’ll join a specific brokerage on their reputation alone. Instead, weigh their reputation alongside the other factors included in this guide.

The Culture of Growth Opportunities

How far can you advance with this brokerage? If you crush your sales and you decide to become a real estate Broker, will the company help you? If there’s potential for you to get stuck without being able to advance your real estate career, that’s not a great company culture. If the brokerage can give you concrete examples of people who started as newbies and advanced into flourishing agents and Brokers, that speaks to their dedication to employee success. Companies may do a lot of talking, but actions always speak louder than words.

How to Find the Truth About Real Estate Companies and Brokerages

As you search for a brokerage to join, it’s difficult to know how companies will operate day to day from an interview alone. For this reason, use the tips below to find out the truth about the various companies in which you’re interested and their brokerage culture to see if they align well with your professional goals:

  • Glassdoor is an online job site that allows employees (current and past) to leave reviews of the company. This site lists the benefits the company offers along with growth opportunities and how employees are treated. To get the most out of Glassdoor, you’ll need to create an account. Don’t fret, it’s free.
  • Looking at client reviews is a great portal into the company culture. In a customer-focused business like real estate, customers’ opinions are vital. If a brokerage offers reviews on its own website, that demonstrates confidence in its reputation. But Google reviews are where most people leave their comments, so don’t be afraid to Google your prospective brokerages, too. As noted earlier, read all reviews with a skeptical eye, especially negative ones.
  • During your interview, ask questions about the company culture. In fact, ask lots of questions. You should be interviewing the brokerage just as much as they are interviewing you.
  • Don’t forget to ask about growth potential. There’s no better way to know what the future holds for you at a certain brokerage than by asking. And, if the company can back up what it says with proof, that’s even better.

Finding your perfect brokerage culture fit takes time and effort, but we hope that these tips help you feel confident in your search. And, if you’re nervous about the interview process, check out our free ebook, How to Successfully Answer Brokerage Interview Questions.