Agents don’t switch real estate brokerages as often as you might think. Real estate agents should look out for their business above all, and sometimes they have to make the tough decision to leave when things aren’t working out. While it isn’t an easy choice, especially if you’ve been with your broker for a long time, moving to greener pastures enables your business to keep growing. 

Our team at Local Leader® is always looking for ways to help real estate agents succeed, so we’re sharing the five most common signs that it’s time to switch brokerages and how to make the transition go smoothly. 

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Why Do Agents Switch Real Estate Brokerages?

Brokers are invaluable resources for real estate agents, providing mentorship, lead generation, marketing materials, and other benefits for your business. The brokerage that worked well when you were new to the industry might start holding you back, whether because of finances or cultural differences.

When real estate agents switch brokerages, it’s usually either to escape a situation they don’t like or to reach for something better. If you feel the itch to move on, begin by making a list of the issues you have with your current broker and your must-haves for a new brokerage. If your current brokerage can’t resolve the things on that list, it’s time to find one that can.

5 Signs It’s Time to Switch Real Estate Brokerages

image of a man submitting his resignation letter, representing that he is switching real estate brokerages

While it’s true that you are your own business, switching brokerages can feel like switching jobs, which is always a daunting step to take in life. Before you jump ship, consider the typical signs that it’s time to switch brokers and determine whether you see them in your current position.

1. Not a Good Culture Fit

When your values and beliefs don’t align with the company culture, job satisfaction can plummet. If you feel that your broker doesn’t value your opinions or you often don’t agree with theirs, the brokerage might not be a good culture fit for you. 

2. Lack of Growth Opportunities

Access to training resources, mentors, and education courses is crucial for the ongoing growth of your real estate business. If your brokerage doesn’t offer resources and connections to help you succeed, stagnation can set in. Ask yourself how much the brokerage has helped you expand and how much farther it can take you.

3. Inadequate Financial Agreement

Conflicts about commission and other financial agreements are among the most common reasons real estate agents switch brokers. You might consider transferring to get a better commission split, but it’s important to know all your income options first. 

Some brokerages forgo commission in favor of a flat transaction fee on each deal, which could be a better fit depending on your goals. You could also make passive income through stock options with certain brokerages, adding a significant boost to your earnings. 

4. Lack of Support

Brokerages typically provide the resources real estate agents need to run their business, such as marketing materials, client management software, and help with promotions. You should also have access to connections in the real estate industry and affiliate contractors and businesses. Not having enough support in these areas from your brokerage is a red flag.

5. Issues With Leadership

Poor leadership in a brokerage often comes with many of the above signs and can result in a toxic work environment. Warning signs include leaders not recognizing agents for exceptional work, not sharing their business goals, not connecting with agents beyond the minimum, and poor reputation in the local industry. 

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Steps To Take When You Switch Real Estate Brokerages

image of a man's hand handing over keys to a woman's hand, as part of a real estate transaction with a real estate brokerage.

If you’ve seen the signs and have decided to make the switch to a new brokerage, it’s best to do so as gracefully as possible. The real estate industry thrives on connections and personal interactions. Since you’ll likely deal with your broker again in the future, it would be wise not to burn bridges if you can help it. 

Identify Your Needs and Wants

Before you go, make sure you have a solid idea of what you do and don’t want in a brokerage. Make pros and cons lists and talk with other real estate professionals to help ground yourself in reality before you get carried away. Taking the time to complete this step will ensure that you won’t move to a brokerage that’s just as bad or worse than your current one. 

Find a Suitable Brokerage

Using your list of needs and wants, start looking at as many brokerages as you can. Check for the unhealthy signs above and decide if the new broker can help you reach your business goals. It’s crucial not to compromise on anything that will put you back in the same situation you were in before. 

For more tips, check out our guide on how to find a broker to work for.

Inform Your Clients

Before you transfer your business, let your clients know you’re moving to a new broker and that your brand is changing. You should also inform your industry connections, including affiliates and other professionals you often work with. It’s essential for them to have your contact information, and they’ll appreciate your dedication to the relationship. 

Discuss With Your Current Broker

Talking with your current broker about leaving is generally the hardest step, particularly if you have a close relationship. Fortunately, they have to let you go, but they might try to counteroffer. It might be tempting, but unless you’re extremely trusting of your broker, it’s usually not the best option to accept it. 

You should also discuss your current listings with your broker. Usually, the brokerage keeps your listings and gives you the commission, but you might have the option to transfer them for a fee. 

Find Out How To Grow and Succeed in Real Estate

Switching real estate brokerages can be a challenge, but hopefully, this article has helped you find a clearer path forward. At Local Leader®, we provide free online guides for real estate professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter today! For more tips on expanding your real estate business, read about switching from solo to a real estate team.