Traditional brokerages have updated themselves; disruptive newer brokerages have created innovative models.  This four-part series on the recently updated Inman Handbook on Choosing a Brokerage offers agents some tips on what to look for when choosing their new/next brokerage.

Part I of this four-part series focuses on Commission Structure.  Part II focuses on Leads and New Business.  Part III focuses on Technology and Part IV focuses on Teams & Support, and Teams & Culture.

Commission Structures

The first thing for agents to understand is that commission payouts are not salaries.  Salaries are consistent; commission payouts are not.

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In real estate, there is no such thing as a “regular check.”  That being said, agents ought to look to longer-term earning potential based on comparative commission structures.

The second thing for agents to understand is that commission structures are designed to attract, recruit and retain new and veteran agents.  The more agents (especially the more effective and successful agents) brokerage firms can attract, recruit and retain, the more successful that brokerage firm will be.

The third thing for new agents to understand is that commission structures vary by brokerage firms.  Independent firms tend to have more flexible, easier-to-understand pay models. Nationally franchised brokerages can have more confusing commission structures based on how much that franchisee broker thinks it takes for that specific franchise to make money.  (When considering a major franchise, contact Inman for :The Guide to Finding the Best Brokerage for You.”)

The fourth thing for agents to understand is they must factor in desk fees, listing and/or lead fees (brokerage firms don’t simply “hand out leads” to their agents for nothing), annual caps (the maximum amount of money that goes to brokers), tenure-based or closed sales-based tiers and other non-static factors that influence how large and/or diluted your pay out.

Some brokerage firms offer financial mentorship programs designed to help agents deal with the financial ups and downs of commission earnings.

Some brokerage firms offer passive income opportunities such as profit sharing (money after expenses) and revenue sharing (money before expenses.)

Some firms offer stock shares (if the brokerage is a publicly traded company), recruitment bonuses, seller-paid bonuses, etc.

Remember that brokerage “offerings” such as websites, business cards or leads are givens.


Please choose one answer:

1) I am ready to join EXP Realty. 

2) I am interested in EXP Realty and need more info. 

3) I am not interested in EXP Realty. 


* If you answered “#1” congratulations. You are about to join the fastest-growing real estate company in the world. Tim and Julie Harris are inviting you to join them at EXP Realty. Text Tim directly for the next steps: 512-758-0206. (text only please)

* If you answered “#2” please watch the videos and check out the other intel on this site. . 

* If you answered ‘#3’ no worries. You will want to check out so you can at least know what EXP Realty is and why so many agents are moving to EXP. 

Become Familiar with These Terms

  • 100 percent commission – the broker takes no split from the agent’s transaction commission
  • Cap – limit in total fees and splits agent pays to the broker – usually based on annual sales and resets each year
  • Seller-paid bonus – additional, disclosed fee the seller pays to incentivize a quick sale
  • Split – percentage of total commission received by the broker to the agent as part of a listing fee or as the buyer’s representative

Thanks to Inman.







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