Are you considering taking a new opportunity with another broker? Or maybe leaving the real estate game all together for a career change? You’re not alone in your desire for leaving your broker. According to the National Association of Realtors, an agent spends an average of three years with a broker before moving on. Keep reading to know how to keep loyalty intact and not let your emotions keep you from future opportunities. In this article we will explore five tips to break up with your broker professionally.
1.Be Sure You are Ready to Leave
Are you certain you’re willing to move on from your broker? There’s nothing wrong with leaving. But before you do, take a deep dive into your current brokerage to figure out what is motivating your decision. Sometimes, the issues that might be driving you away can be resolved. For example, many real estate brokers are willing to negotiate a new commission split with their agents. If that is your main area of concern, it’s worth exploring with your broker. This is especially true if you are a top-performing agent. Brokers prefer to keep quality agents rather than recruit new ones. However, if you are a top-performing agent who is not interested in negotiating and is ready to move on, be prepared for your broker to do everything in their power to keep you. Make sure you are certain about your decision and ready to stand against any tactics they might use to keep you from walking out the door.
2.Review Your Contract
So, you know you’re actually read to leave. Remember back to when you signed an ICA (independent contractor agreement) when you first joined your real estate broker? Go back and carefully review that contract before you take any steps to leave. There might be a clause in the agreement that requires you to stay for a certain amount of time, or you’ll have to pay back the cost of your educational training. Probably the biggest question you will want answered is ‘how will commissions be handled if you have any deals that close after you leave?’ Corollary to that is, ‘will the broker release your listings for you to take with you or will they try to keep your clients at the brokerage and transfer them to a different agent?’
The contract will also outline logistically what you can take with you and what you’ll have to give back. However, nothing in the contract can actually prevent you from leaving. In fact, brokers are required to hand back agents their real estate licenses in a reasonable amount of time once they communicate they are leaving.
3.Know What the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Has to Say
The TREC lays out proper steps that must be followed in their rulebook before you leave. Rule 535.121(b) and (c) states that if an agent intends to terminate sponsorship by their broker, they must notify their broker in writing immediately. If you plan on having a conversation with your broker to communicate your desire to move on, make sure that is in writing as well so you are not in violation of TREC rules.
4.Time it Right and Do it Well
Real estate agents are known for moving around. And who knows, maybe one day you will be back with your current broker. Even if you never work under your current broker again, there’s a good chance you could be working with other agents from the brokerage on real estate deals in the future. That being said, the way you leave can have a ripple effect. Giving proper notice in advance is a sure way to not make things difficult later down the road.
Even though the TREC requires real estate agents to notify their broker of their desire to leave in writing immediately, making the mental decision to leave doesn’t mean you need to quickly blurt it out and move forward. Once you’ve made the decision to leave privately with yourself, share this information with no one. You don’t want your broker to learn of your desire to move on from someone else. You can keep loyalty intact with your broker by letting them be the first to know of your decision once you are ready. Plus, if they’ve heard from the grapevine you’re on your way out, they may decide to send you fewer clients. You should also consider your current clients and upcoming closings before you leave. And as with most jobs, make sure you have the offer in hand from another broker before you officially terminate the contract with your current one.
5.Don’t Feel Guilty About Leaving
Remember, real estate agents are independent contractors. You are not obligated to stay with your current broker. You might feel like you owe your current brokerage plenty of hours for the ways in which they have helped you grow as an agent and you might even count them as a friend, but you don’t owe them your life. At the end of the day, you have to make the decision that is best for your career and your family’s future. A good real estate agent is always learning and growing, therefore creating new and exciting opportunities. Sometimes finding a better fit with a different broker is a surefire way to improve your success as an agent and might even help you grow personally and professionally.
Brokers know real estate agents come and go. Chances are, yours won’t be surprised. I have been in the real estate industry for more than a decade and I’ve seen a few things in my time. I love helping realtors learn more about the journey of real estate and how to flourish in their career. For my best tip on becoming a successful agent, click here!