What Should Every Commercial Real Estate Agent Be Asking Themselves in 2016?

Every New Year I like to take some time and reflect back on what the past year has been like, and what opportunities and changes the New Year brings. As I reflect on personal goals and achievements, I also consider how they align with my professional life. I am lucky to be in an industry where I help people achieve their goals every day and when I started my own business 10 years ago, I wanted to create a company that shared the same goals, one that looked to not only be profitable, but also to help others, including our team of agents.

As CEO of a commercial real estate brokerage, I believe any agency should not only have their clients’ best interests in mind, but should also have their agents’ best interests in mind.  To that end, I challenge every agent in 2016, to reflect & ask the following questions of themselves and of their company:

Does your company roll back commissions at the beginning of every year? Are the splits you receive fair? 

Does it seem fair that you worked all year to get a higher percentage, and then be penalized because your closing took place on January 1, not December 31?  At CBI, the commission percentage you set during the previous year is carried over to the New Year. 

Is your company’s profit sharing plan really just golden handcuffs? 

Many companies offer profit sharing for their agents; however, many profit sharing plans are structured so that they are just golden handcuffs, allowing them to share in profits only as long as they are with the company. Instead, an agent should look for a plan where once they’ve vested in the plan, they don’t lose their hard earned vesting status just because they need or want to leave. At CBI, our profit sharing plan gives you a vested interest (through title) in real estate that we acquire through our profit sharing plan.

Does the company offer continuing education? 

Continuing education for your business is very important, but of even more importance is the type of education, one that allows you to grow and expand your business.  A company that has the support of their agents will have systems in place so that an agent can learn and become proficient in all aspects of real estate, which include understanding the required paperwork, creating value, marketing, and growing their business by using innovative methods. A company invested in the agent as a partner, will have all of these continuing education and advisory services, while those that do not may try to compartmentalize many aspects of their job so that they create a dependency of the agent to the company so that the agent feels that they cannot leave.

Lastly, I always ask… Do I enjoy working here? Will the company I choose to work at, allow me to grow as a person, and also my business? 

After all, none of the above would mean a thing if you don’t like the people you are working with or worse yet, can’t trust them. A company should promote a positive work environment where everyone, from the newest agent to their most senior agent has respect for one another and looks to see everyone succeed.  With the successful agent spending upwards of 10+ hours a day on the job, this is a crucial component to finding the right company for you. After all, no one has time for office politics.

So in conclusion, with the New Year, I challenge everyone that instead of just making resolutions, take a step back and ask yourself:  Are your goals, philosophy and ethics aligned with your company’s? If not, then it may be time for a change.