What Is A Competing Broker?

Let’s say you work for Broker Bob Realty.  The office consists of Bob and several real estate agents.  In a non-competing brokerage, Bob does not take listings nor work directly with buyers.  His primary role is to run the office and work with his agents to help them succeed.  In a competing brokerage office, Bob is actively engaged in working with buyers and sellers.  In other words, Bob is competing with his own agents for business.  This is what is referred to as a competing brokerage.

There are pros and cons for both ways, but I’m going to tell you way I choose to work for a non-competing brokerage.

In a non-competing brokerage, the broker has time to manage the office.  In a competitive brokerage, Broker Bob is spending half is time getting listings and working with buyers.  He spends the other half of his time running the office.  In other words, he has two part-time jobs rather than one full-time job.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m working full-time, I want a boss who is available full-time.

When everything is running smoothly, you can get by with a part-time broker.  If every deal went perfectly – the buyer liked the first house and the offer was accepted, the home inspection was perfect, the lending process was smooth, and there were zero issues at closing – then real estate would be a part-time job.  But of course, every deal isn’t perfect.  In fact, no deal is perfect.  It’s the same with running a brokerage.  If everything were perfect, then all the broker would have to do is sit on the couch and watch the money roll in.  That is so unrealistic that is doesn’t even happen on TV.  In real life, you have people.  People – whether it’s buyers, sellers, agents, cooperating agents, mortgage brokers, title companies, or anyone else – make things more complicated.  That’s why being a broker isn’t a part-time job.

Another reason I don’t want to work for a competing brokerage is that I don’t want my broker to compete with me, I want him to support me.  Your broker cannot be on your team and be your competitor at the same time.  That is not possible.  You can’t play on both sides of the tennis match.  If Broker Bob is competing with me, then when someone calls the office looking for an agent, is he going to refer that customer to me?  Or is he going to take the customer himself?  Naturally, it’s in his best interest to take it for himself.  But in a non-competing brokerage, he will say, “I’m going to refer you to one of our best agents.  Karen is going to help you get your house sold.”  Will you get a lot of leads that way?  Probably not, but it depends on the office.  Different offices have different rules about floor time, desk duty, in-house leads, etc.  But one thing I know for certain, it is cleaner when the broker is not distributing those leads to himself.

There is plenty of competition in real estate.  In fact, you are competing with other agents in your office.  You don’t need to also compete with your broker as well.

Or consider this … I’m representing the buyer in a transaction and my broker is representing the seller.  Florida is a transaction broker state so this is legal, but what if something goes wrong and I need my broker’s help.  I have to ask the agent (my broker) who represents the other side of the transaction for advice?  That doesn’t sit well with me.

But don’t you want a broker who has their ear to the ground?  Someone who is out in the field and knows what’s going on out there?  It’s a myth that the broker needs to be selling to have a grasp of the market.  Do you think the manager of a restaurant is unfamiliar with the restaurant business just because she isn’t actually waiting on tables or cooking food in the back?  Of course not.  She is very in tune with the restaurant business.  She talks to customers.  She talks to vendors.  She talks to employees.  A good manager talks to everyone.

It’s the same with a real estate broker.  Sure, your broker might not be calling foreclosures every day, but I bet he talks to buyers and seller.  He talks to other brokers and agents.  He talks to mortgage brokers, inspectors, title agents, and all the other people who make a real estate deal happen.  He is keenly aware of the market.  Just like the restaurant manager is involved in a different way than the waiters and cooks, a broker is a different job from sales agent.

Right now, I have my license with Keller Williams at the Parks in Orlando, Florida, and I love it.  Keller Williams is a non-competing broker.  If you are interested in working for Keller Williams, please give me a call and I’d be happy to talk to you.  If you are interested in getting a Florida real estate license, I teach classes at Demetree School of Real Estate.  Give me a call and I can help you get your Florida real estate license.