JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Why Would You Ever Work for a Competing Broker?

Why Would You Ever Work for a Competing Broker?

Columbia, SC Homes for Sale in Lake Carolina  I have spoken with many people both in  the real estate business and those thinking of getting their license who say that they would never work for a competing Broker and they have no idea why anyone ever would. First let me explain what a competing Broker is, it's a Broker who in addition to being the Broker in Charge of an office also lists and sells homes actively.

  I guess this could be a daunting thought for those that are new to the business and since I have heard so many reason why one shouldn't do it, I thought I would share a few reasons you may actually want to consider it, especially it you are new.


1 - You don't actually work for anyone other than yourself.

Stop saying that you do not want to work for  a competing Broker. In this business you work for yourself unless you are in some rare cases an actual employee as some agents that work for builders can be. You will run your own business and you need to start thinking that way. You are self employed and therefore you work for yourself, not for your Broker.


2 - There's competition everywhere in this business.

If that in anyway scares you or you don't like competition, then no offense but this may very well just be the wrong business for you. In my area there are 100's of agent and any of them that do their job want every listing and buyer they can get and you should too.


3 - They generate more leads.

Simply through the process of remaining active, they produce leads and some of them produce a lot of leads. These can become referrals for you when the Broker is simply too busy to follow up with them all or work with every buyer and seller. Many of them create teams that handle their leads and if you are new and have no leads of your own, some referrals from your Broker might be a nice thing to have.

4 - They know what they are doing.

This might come as a surprise to you, but non competing Brokers are not always completely in the know when it comes to modern lead generating practices and the like. Again by virtue of being in the trenches with the rest of us, competing Brokers know what they are doing and they have remained up to date with their practices in order to survive and thrive in this ever changing field.

5 - They can teach you how to do it.

Remember that fear of competition thing we talked about first? Their not afraid of it, because they know what they are doing and they can teach you how to do it. They already have buyers to work with and listing appointments to go on and often times I have seen competing Brokers here bring new agents along to show them how things work. There is a difference between telling someone what to do and showing them in a real life situation.

Columbia, SC Homes for Sale in Lake Carolina  If need be, I could certainly make this list longer, but these are more than enough to prove the point that working for a competing Broker is not as scary as it sounds. You just have to find the right one and of course that would mean the right one for you. Most successful people by in large like to see other people be successful as well.

  Just like anything else in real estate, finding the right Broker is a lot to consider. But if you are looking for one, you may want to at least consider speaking with one that still actively works in the industry as an agent as well.


JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 41 commentsJL Boney, III • April 27 2018 06:40PM


I agree and believe there is room enough for all of us. It was never an issue for me with my prior brokers who all sold as well. From their perspective they rarely made enough income with out it. Now I am that person, you like it or you dont but it's staying. I can guarantee that last sale I did would never have been yours anyway, much business comes from prior clients anyway.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Barrington Realty Company) 10 months ago

Many realtors work at one place without realizing real estate is not all the same. I often ask does your brokerage have a 401K plan, stock option, and a good retirement plan?  If the ans is no, suggest one shop around to find what is the most optimum brokerage.

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 10 months ago

Great points to make, it is a business and you are competing with everyone. What is USP? If you don't know then you need to find out.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 10 months ago

JL I was once a competing broker but most of our agents were new or newer agents and needed a lot of training and happy for good quality leads of which we provided. Every agent needs to figure out quickly (and the sooner the better) that if it's too be it's up to them to build a solid business.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) 10 months ago

I wish more brokers in our area actually did sell real estate.  It does keep them sharp on the contract and what their agents are facing.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 10 months ago

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 10 months ago

Its a shark tank Real Estate is and learning to navigate in it is crucial

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 10 months ago

Hi JL Boney, III production starts at the top.... broker/owner/managers should be the most productive.... and they should be listing agents, to bring inventory for the others to sell....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 10 months ago

I've always worked for a competing broker.  My first office there was a perception the broker cherry picked the best leads coming in and either kept them or gave them to the "favorites".  That obviously caused heartburn.  Couple that with the fact that all calls to the office about our listings were supposed to go to us (and it was obvious that wasn't happening...amazing how often our office agents would be showing our listings!). Ultimately there were enough things we didn't like there that we eventually left and moved to another office of the same franchise.  Entirely different environment and we're about 10 years in with the same brokerage and still happy.  It's not agents answering the phone during the day, but office staff and our calls do get forwarded to us.  And office duty is after hours and voluntary.  I declined taking that a couple of years ago, preferring to generate my leads via niche blogging.  Our broker is good about sharing tips, and overall it has been the perfect place for me.  Bill

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) 10 months ago

We used to work for a big office company and it was clear there were favorites as far getting leads from the office.  We started our own company over a year ago and have one agent.  Yes, we still sell, but we are 100% for our new agent and have given him a few leads that we've procured.  I guess we are competing brokers but will do everything we can to help him grow.  Good post and really good thoughts!  


Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) 10 months ago

Loved this post and indeed I have worked in the past 24 years for various brokers and they all would be selling and they never threatened my lively hood instead they enhanced it, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 10 months ago

JL- love your post and reading the comments. It would seem to me that more important than whether or not one works for a competing broker would be working for one who can help with training, is fair...wanting to see everyone in the office succeed, and helps to keep the pipeline of leads flowing. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 10 months ago

JL Boney, III, I agree as well that a competing broker can be a good thing, but perception becomes reality. Whether or not they are being "fair" in an agent's & office's view can make a huge difference in moral. As you wrote, "finding the right broker is a lot to consider". It may take working with a few to end up comfortable.


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) 10 months ago

I teamed up with a broker once and he tried to convince one of my buyers to go with him because my buyer called the “office”. When I confronted him he told me it was “his effing number”. I vowed there and then it was my business and it was up to me to build it.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) 10 months ago

It's all about finding the "right" competing broker. If they only provide leads to certain agents, or if they don't share their tips/methods, or if they take all seller leads that come in, they aren't the "right" broker.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 10 months ago

Good morning JL. This is thoughtful and precise and I agree with much of it. I just read Barbara's response this morning. Interesting.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 10 months ago

Competing brokers are OK.  Brokers who just toss a few crumbs to give the impression of being a "team"  is another topic.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) 10 months ago

JL Boney, Yes, our broker is a competing broker who is an amazing person that can handle the workload of her own business and is available to agents as needed. In my opinion, it encourages a positive office atmosphere through recruiting, training and giving advice, healthy competition and growth. Great post!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) 10 months ago

Great post and food for thought for some that say NEVER before understanding the pros and cons of the situation.  The lead spillover is one of the perks.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) 10 months ago

Real estate day care keeping the troops happy and well fed. Work hard, work together and prosper as a team. Too many individuals and no team rah rah rah for the brand causes heart ache. Not everyone is a team player sad to say but a fact.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) 10 months ago

I think it depends upon the individual. If the Broker is too busy being a realtor and not taking time to handle the office matters, it's a problem. Otherwise, there's plenty to go around. We all attract different clients. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 10 months ago

I’m much more about cooperation in competition a lot of the time, so I kind of understand how some people are.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 10 months ago

I have always wondered why everyone cares so much about if their broker is competing or not. To be honest, I started out working with a competing broker and he taught me a ton. When he stopped actively buying and selling even though he oversaw all of us he knew the market less, wasn't as familiar with new subdivisions going in and other things that are easier to keep up with when you are in the trenches day to day. I preferred it when he worked actively with clients. -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) 10 months ago

When a broker is actively selling  JL they are more aware of what is going on in the marketplace . Therefore is able to be more helpful if an agent needs advise in a situation . In my humble opinion .

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 10 months ago

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Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) 10 months ago

JL - You point out important reasons why a real estate professional may choose to work for a competing broker.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 10 months ago

      I hung my license with 3 different Brokers before opening my own company.  The first broker only listed or sold for his close personal friends.  The second was also a builder; he sold his own new construction.  My third broker claimed he did not "compete", but somehow all the choice office leads went to the attractive single female agents.

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) 10 months ago

I've been on both side:  I don't mind if the Broker works, especially if they still have time to do their legal duty:  monitor the files and check for errors, omissions, etc.  The only thing that I cannot tolerate is "steering", and I think Bliz kind of hit the nail on the head--sometimes my leads to do not go to me, in spite of my intensive marketing, and THAT is something I really, really have to address and work out this year.

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) 10 months ago

The place I work now does NOT. The last 2 places I worked the GREEDY BROKER OWNERS had NO time to manage or be avalible for help and advice.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) 10 months ago

I am a managing broker and also sell.  I always have time for my agents to answer their questions and assist them in problem solving.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 10 months ago

The CURRENT knowledge alone, has been well-worth it to me in the past, JL. And, I have to say, when the broker is busy, they tend to pass leads your way too!

Excellent post and points, JL. Have a wonderful weekend...

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 months ago

Having brokers with the heart of a teacher is what makes the experience rewarding. Thank you for sharing. 

Posted by Corey Martin, Real Estate and Management Solutions (Martin Presence Group) 10 months ago

When I owned a real estate agency I was a competing broker, but it did not in any way take away from my agents. When their clients or leads called them, they got them. Whoever was on floor duty got the new calls.

Of course, in those days, no agents did any marketing of their own. I wrote the marketing, paid for the ads, etc. Clients either came through referrals or personal contact with the agents, through my marketing, or just because they walked in or called because they were visiting every agency in town.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) 10 months ago


I have been working at my current brokerage with a competing broker for 7 years and it has not been an issue at all.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 10 months ago

Good morning JL Boney, III ,

So glad to see this post featured..well thought out and some very good points! Our Broker does not compete with us but I've never paid any attention because I've always operated from abundance and not scarcity. I have my own business, I work it, nurture it and reap the rewards..there is plenty of business for everyone IF they want to work and not stand in line with their hand out!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 10 months ago

I don't know how many thousands of times I corrected agents saying they for for such and such broker!!! Quit saying it

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) 10 months ago

Great topiic and lots of wisdom in the comments. Thanks to all... 

Posted by Robert Hicks (United Country River City Realty) 10 months ago

If the broker is actively selling, they might be willing to pass along leads that they don't have time to nurture or allow you to host their open houses.  It will save a new agent from spending so much time and energy to get listings right away.  I think that there are many pluses!

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) 10 months ago

Hello, JL Boney, III I agree with it. Sometimes we need to work others. Simply because we need someone to help us too. 

Posted by James Grant 10 months ago

There are valuable points on each side of the question.

It really depends on the Broker. Will they share and share equitably? Since we are all in business for ourselves, we each have to decide what works for our own model.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 10 months ago

Dear JL,

Few competitors have the same style that I do, so we attract different clients anyhow. My broker is awesome & still does what we do. 

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) 6 months ago