Starting a Brokerage: Why Do It?
In the first of a three-part series, a new broker-owner explains the why, what, and how of starting a real estate company.
December 29, 2016
Recently, I said out loud for the first time that I am a broker. It was during a conversation with a client, and it was a pretty cool feeling.
My journey from being a college graduate to a licensed real estate agent and then running my own brokerage wasn’t something I could have predicted even five months ago. Yet it seems like my business life is exactly where it should be.
I didn’t always aspire to own my own real estate company; I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be an agent. But once I sold my first property five years ago, I knew that real estate was the career I wanted for the rest of my life.
There are countless reasons why I wanted to become a broker, but these are the six that motivated me the most.
1. Creating Something From Scratch
Since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved to build things. Whether they be physical like a Lego set (or more recently, a garage storage system) or digital like creating and selling mix CDs to my classmates in sixth grade, I’ve always enjoyed making something from nothing. There’s a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you complete a task. You can step back, take in all you’ve done, and give yourself a pat on the back.
I get this feeling every single day when I go to work. I can look around and see the small and large things I’ve accomplished, from hanging my first For Sale sign with my brokerage name to helping my agents implement the mission of our company. I’ve had a hand in creating everything in my business, whether I did it myself or helped others do it.
2. My Leadership Style
When I started as an agent, I enjoyed my job. I liked working with buyers, sellers, and other agents to get a deal closed. But it wasn’t my favorite thing to do, and it wasn’t what I was best at either.
My favorite thing — and what I would say I did best — was helping other agents when they had questions. Even though I started out being significantly younger and less experienced than a lot of the agents I helped, I’m a quick learner who was able to teach complex subjects to other people in a simple manner. I took a personality test a few years ago, and it revealed that I have the qualities of a coach. Being able to apply these personality traits in honing my leadership style is a big reason I started my brokerage.
3. Being My Own Boss
I was attracted to real estate for the ability to be my own boss. But even as an agent and independent contractor who thought of myself as a small-business owner, I had a broker to answer to. Being the broker means you truly are your own boss — especially as an independent broker, unaffiliated with any franchise. The only people that I must answer to are my clients (and my wife).
4. Having a Salable Asset
As much as I love what I do, and as much as I see myself working for the foreseeable future, there will come a day when I’ll be ready to retire.
If I retired as a real estate agent, the only asset I could sell and earn residual income off of is my book of business. While this certainly can work for some, I don’t see it as a significant benefit.
As a broker, I can create assets ranging from physical elements, such as office space and signage, to digital possessions, such as websites, educational tools, and more. Plus, not only would I be selling my own book of business but also the books of business belonging to all the agents that work at my brokerage.
5. Making a Difference
As a broker, I can have a bigger impact on my community than I can as an individual agent. When it comes to volunteering at a local charity or nonprofit, deploying my team of 25 agents goes much further for the cause. The same is true when it comes time to making a donation. While one person contributing to a cause is great, matching the donations of all my agents makes an even bigger impact.
6. Inspiring Agents
Every day, I remind myself that my business not only provides for my family but is a platform for other people to also provide for their families. A web of influence is created, and a small business can grow exponentially when others are counting on you to succeed. I want to have a positive, meaningful impact on the lives of other people. If I can do that, I will consider myself a success.
My advice to anyone who is considering opening his or her own company: Start with “why.” Why do you want to do this? If you can successfully answer that question, the rest will fall into place.