Agents Making a Move .. Switching Brokerages in Real Estate Pt. 1

What's Out There?

What's Out There?

Searching hi and low on the Internet for some advice on what it’s like for an established real estate agent to switch brokerages, I found that I was not coming across anything helpful. Hopefully, you’ve come across this series of blogs looking for the same answers and have found me.


My real estate career began in 2005 at the height of a seller’s market but also the beginning of one of the worst real estate markets this country has ever seen. I had already had a very successful career in accounting and office management, but the daily grind and “same ole, same ole …” I just knew I needed something more.

Boy did I get it!

Big Change #1 – I met my husband in the early 2000’s and in 2004 we had our son. Dropping my 4 month old son off at a daycare center at 8:30AM and not picking him up until some time after 5PM was enough to make me consider a serious overhaul and to reevaluate what was important to me.

Big Change #2 – I left a very secure job working for people who were like family to me. I cannot thank my husband enough for his never ending support! I decided to pursue a career in real estate, something I have always had a strong curiosity about but rumor had it real estate was a tough career! Luckily for me, I don’t listen very well when people tell me I cannot do something or that something is hard. I am always up for a new challenge and by all means a career in real estate is very challenging and VERY rewarding in ways more than in monetary value.

Big Change #3I earned my real estate license! Now what do I do? You know the old saying, about how school is nothing like the real world? Yes, this most certainly holds true for the real estate industry. I began my career with a brokerage that held my hand with every transaction – this is something I strongly recommend for any rookie. My manager took the time to answer every question that came about no matter when I called or emailed. I was told that I was “a natural” —

With dedication, persistence and self-discipline (working from home the majority of the time AND being an Independent Contractor – you had better have self-discipline or find another career) — my business grew. I had a strong grasp of what it takes to be a successful real estate agent. I had built a nice-sized client base and achieved a hard-earned, good reputation in the industry.

So, you ask .. why change? I wrestled with that decision for over a year. It takes so much time to become established in the real estate world, it simply makes it hard to move! I was attending a GRI course with many other agents from all different companies… of course we talk… we’re Realtors®! I heard about the many different types of office models… and my interest grew. I needed to see if it would work for me. Then one day someone put it in a little different perspective for me, it was suggested that I needed to be loyal to myself first.

Some brokerages are geared towards newer agents, with plenty of education, training and “hand-holding.” Some offices take an agent, give them a desk and you are left alone in the crazy and often chaotic world of real estate. Some offer agents a little bit of both. There are many different types of pay structures. Obviously, where you are in your career will help you decide what is right for you, what YOU need. No model is perfect, none is right or wrong. Education? More Independence? That decision is not always easy!

So here I am, about to “take the leap” — To describe the feeling, it’s like trying to climb a set of stairs that you cannot see the top of … wondering where this move will go? It seems there is no ceiling in a real estate career. You are what you work for; it’s all up to YOU and that in itself is exciting!

I hope you will follow me on a series of blogs as I make my move. And by the way … if you or anyone you know is also thinking about making a “move” I am sure that I can help!

Big Change #4 … Hello RE/MAX Affiliates, N.E.!

… To Be Continued!

For detailed information on a career in real estate check out:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09 Edition
Real Estate Brokers & Sales Agents

More blogs in this series:
The First Week
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Contact Kim Schreiner:
Kimberly Schreiner, ePRO, Realtor® PA License RS291767
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
Kim’s Official Website
Cell 215-510-2149 Direct 215-992-1726 Office 215-335-6900
Serving Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Reality TV and Real Estate

If it weren’t for having a 5 year old, HGTV would be on my television 24 hours a day. Shows like Designed to Sell, Buy Me, Get It Sold, and Hidden Potential  can be great “tools” to ask clients to watch. On shows geared towards sellers, real estate “experts” walk through the property picking out all of the reasons why they feel the home is not selling while the owners sit back, watch, listen and cringe. Typically for about 2,000.00 designers will come in and stage the home. The transformation is amazing sometimes netting a seller thousands in return. While not everyone will have 2000.00 to spend getting their home ready for sale, decluttering a room and a can of paint can work wonders and can completely change the feel of any room.

Other shows like Hidden Potential (which brings an architect along for the ride with buyers through homes they would typically run from upon entering) and shows them the “hidden potential” of the home within the specified budget of the buyer. The show can really help buyers have an open mind and more importantly, vision.

On the down side of reality TV and real estate, some of the things that personally make me either laugh or scream are … how hilarious is it when the agent sits down with the client to write an offer and it’s one piece of paper and they’re done!?! While I am sure they must stay within a specified time frame for the show, this is not true reality TV.  Here in PA, there is a mountain of paperwork that must be completed just to make an offer! Secondly, the other night I was watching a show geared toward first time home buyers, there was a bidding war on a condo. The agent suggested to her clients they drop the mortgage contingency on their offer to get the condo. My jaw just dropped and I had to wonder who’s best interest she was looking out for … fortunately the “virgin” buyer told the agent absolutely not and although they lost the condo to another bid, they didn’t lose their shirts!

Today’s Real Estate Myths Challenged

“I am going to wait until the market bottoms out to buy.”
Is there ever a perfect time to buy? Yes, when you need or want to move. I hear it quite often … “I am going to hold off until the market bottoms out.” But what you don’t realize is that when the market “bottoms out” that means it is quite possibly already starting to turn around and with that can come stiff competition when making an offer to buy the home of your dreams. Everyone tends to scramble to get the best deal at that point, leaving you contending with multiple offers on the home you want — and before you know it, poof … it’s a seller’s market!

“I am going to wait to see if the rates go any lower.”
Rates are currently under 6% if you have a decent credit score! They haven’t been this low in years. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying … “You snooze you lose.”  No one can predict when the rates are going to bottom out, just the same as no one can predict when home prices are going to bottom out, if they could there would be a lot of millionaires in the world and most of us aren’t millionaires. Home prices do not necessarily coincide with interest rates. For example, even if the home drops in price and the interest rate goes up, you lost money in the long term. Rates are low NOW and Spring is the busiest marketing time of the year … Why? Most people like to do their moving when their children are out of school and before the school year begins plus they have the additional cushion of their income tax refunds. If I had a crystal ball, I would see a busy spring this year even if the rates do not go any lower.

“Sellers are desperate.”
Real Estate is VERY local; markets vary across the country and from town to town. Here in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs I am finding that most sellers are NOT desperate. Unless there is some unforeseen disaster or the property is a distress sale, sellers are not as desperate as the media would have you believe. In fact, Philadelphia and it’s surrounding suburbs have not been hit as hard as the rest of the country. Overall, we have only seen a slight decrease in home prices and now that Spring is around the corner and interest rates are super low, I am seeing a huge increase in activity, even multiple offers on properties again! Sellers need to do their best to make their home marketable and to keep it in tip top shape to compete with the other properties for sale in their area. Price the property well always taking into consideration the way the home shows compared to other properties on the market if you cannot afford to fix up the home to show; for some tips please visit my For Home Seller’s Page! My best guess would say that the Spring market is going to be booming if the rates remain at all time lows.