Finding a Real Estate Company to Work For: The Beginner’s Guide
A real estate company provides services for the acquisition, development, and operation of real estate. These companies may be public or private, which means either multiple entities own it, or a single entity owns it. To put it into perspective, the National Association of Realtors recently said, “There are 106,548 real estate brokerage firms operating in the United States.” That’s a lot! But we’ll help you narrow it down.
What you need to know is that many firms specialize in project development, identifying and buying land for residential, commercial, industrial, or mixed-use projects. They then collaborate with construction firms to build these structures on the land. You get to be a part of it!
And what you really need to know is how to pick the right one for you and your needs. Let’s get into what each company does, what to look for, and especially what to look out for when considering your next move.
Residential Real Estate
Residential real estate is property designed to house individuals and families. That’s it! No more, and no less. This category includes single-family homes and multi-level houses such as townhouses or apartments. It also includes properties that owners lease to tenants, like duplexes and quadruplexes. Often, these residential real estate investments act as a significant portion of people’s wealth portfolios.
Working with the right real estate company, they can be a profitable venture with lower entry costs and more stability in demand than commercial properties. So, what should you look for when you’re selecting the company you’ll work for?
Know who You’re Really Working With
Looks aren’t everything. Any office, especially a smaller one, can easily put on a persona of friendly confidence. However, you should dig a little deeper to see who you’re really working with.
When selecting a company, look for one that offers the best training and resources for its agents. A firm worth its salt offers comprehensive training modules, coaching sessions, and specialized workshops. As best it can, it also provides the latest technology to assist its agents and their clients. Additionally, it employs marketing tools to promote its services and keep up with industry trends.
If you are looking to enter this field, it is important to choose a real estate company with a proven track record of success. Their proven success can become yours as well. The company should already have a great reputation in the market and strong sales volume. It should also offer a competitive commission rate and excellent customer service. Choosing the right company is crucial because buying or selling a home can be one of the biggest financial transactions that someone will make in their life. The wrong decision can have serious consequences for them and their family.
Know What to Look out For
Identifying these red flags can prevent you from joining a company that may not support your career goals or provide a conducive environment for your growth and success as a real estate professional:
- Lack of Training or Support. If the company offers minimal or inadequate training for new agents or doesn’t provide ongoing support, it’s a clear lack of guidance and mentorship.
- Poor Reputation or Ethics Concerns. Negative reviews, complaints from clients or employees, or ethical concerns about the company’s practices should also raise alarms.
- Unfavorable Commission Structure. A real estate company that offers low commissions or complicated commission structures might not prioritize your earnings.
- High Turnover Rate: Excessive turnover among agents within the company suggests underlying issues. If agents leave frequently, it could indicate problems with management.
- Outdated Technology and Practices. Real estate evolves with technology—You know this—and companies that lag behind might hinder your efficiency and ability.
What About a Commercial Real Estate Company
The commercial real estate industry is vitally important for anyone involved with it, whether as a broker, investor, or lender. With that being said, your sense of responsibility should increase greatly, as too should your desire to find a healthy company to involve yourself in.
This industry encompasses any property used for business-related purposes and generates income through rent payments, capital appreciation, or both. This can range from office buildings and shopping malls to dormitories and senior living communities. Understanding the fundamentals of CRE is a key first step for anybody interested in entering this space, regardless of their position or level of expertise.
The Importance of Experience and Resources
CRE firms have the experience and resources to provide valuable analysis of property market values and offer streamlined transactions that benefit their clients. Without these two things, they’re nothing. They also possess a deep knowledge of their local markets, which can help them locate potential buyers and provide an edge during negotiations.
A good commercial real estate company should be known on a local, state, national, and even global level. However, it’s important to remember that real estate is a highly individualized and local industry. Just because a firm is well-known doesn’t mean they’re the best choice for your career goals.
When selecting a company like this to be a part of, it is important to consider factors like commission structure, desk fees, luxury market specialization, and broker support and training opportunities.
Know What to Look out For
Identifying these warning signs can help you make informed decisions about the commercial broker you’re considering joining, ensuring that it aligns with your career aspirations and provides a conducive environment for professional growth:
- Lack of Market Knowledge and Experience. If the company displays a lack of in-depth knowledge about the local or target market, that’s your first warning sign.
- Financial Instability or Unsound Investments. Be wary if the company’s financial stability is questionable or if they are involved in risky or speculative investments.
- Limited Networking Opportunities. A real estate company that lacks connections with key players in the commercial real estate industry could hinder your opportunities.
- Vague Communication or Ethical Concerns. Distance yourself from any company that demonstrates a lack of transparency regarding deals or shows signs of unethical practices.
- Inadequate Technology and Tools. Similar to residential real estate, outdated technology and tools for market analysis, management, or deal tracking can hinder your productivity.
And Industrial Real Estate
Industrial real estate involves land or buildings supporting manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, storage, assembly, research, etc. These properties are large, with loading docks, near highways, and transportation routes. Industrial buildings often house heavy machinery, requiring substantial power for operation. They need high ceilings for the contents and ample parking space for vehicles.
The needs for warehouses, outdoor storage, and other types of industrial properties are booming in recent years, as consumers become more comfortable with online shopping and companies need fulfillment centers to quickly deliver their goods. Leasing velocity has outpaced supply in the various categories of industrial real estate, resulting in rent growth.
What Sets This Sort of Real Estate Company Apart
Investors are drawn to industrial real estate due to its consistent cash flow and stable pricing. These properties are also less prone to tenant turnover than other commercial properties, and industrial tenants tend to take longer leases. The leases also frequently include a provision for escalation that allows property owners to keep pace with inflation.
In evaluating a healthy and promising company to work for, several key indicators can guide your decision. First and foremost, a supportive and collaborative team environment is crucial. Look for an office that fosters a culture of teamwork, where colleagues are willing to share knowledge, support each other’s growth, and collaborate on deals.
A culture that encourages mentorship and open communication allows for the exchange of insights and expertise, vital in navigating the complex landscape of industrial real estate. Without it, the likelihood of you succeeding drops drastically.
What to Look out For
Identifying these warning signs can help you assess the suitability of an industrial real estate company for your career goals. Choosing a company with an understanding of the industrial market significantly impacts your success within this sector. As does choosing one with a diverse and well-maintained portfolio. This includes good tenant relations and a commitment to compliance and safety.
- Lack of Understanding of Industrial Market Dynamics. If the company demonstrates a lack of understanding of specific requirements, trends, and dynamics, it could signal future issues.
- Limited Portfolio Diversity. Be cautious if the company has an overly concentrated or limited portfolio. A lack of diversification might make the company vulnerable.
- Inadequate Infrastructure or Maintenance. Insufficient focus on maintaining and updating infrastructure within industrial properties could impact long-term viability.
- Poor Tenant Relations or High Vacancy Rates. A history of strained relationships with tenants or high vacancy rates within the company’s properties could indicate management issues.
- Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Issues. Non-compliance with environmental regulations or inadequate adherence to safety standards can lead to financial liabilities.
A Real Estate Company You can Trust
It’s funny how no matter how large the company is, what it focuses on, or who invests, there’s one crucial element that runs through each of them that almost always guarantees everyone’s success. We’re sure you’ve figured it out by now: Trust. When you look for a new company to work with—Even if you’re only looking to buy or sell a property—trust is paramount. And that should be your #1 red flag. A company you can’t trust is a company you can’t work with.
At Blau & Berg, we built our foundation on fostering a collaborative and supportive environment. Our team embodies a culture of mentorship, teamwork, and open communication, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to thrive in the dynamic realm of real estate.