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How to Switch Real Estate Brokerages Without Disrupting Your Business

Switching real estate brokerages can be a tough decision, but sometimes it's necessary to find the level of service and support you need. If you're considering a change, it's crucial to plan and prepare to...

Switching real estate brokerages can be a tough decision, but sometimes it's necessary to find the level of service and support you need. If you're considering a change, it's crucial to plan and prepare to ensure a smooth transition that minimizes disruption to your business. Here are some steps to help you make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Time for a self-assessment: What are you looking for?

Before making a move, take some time for self-reflection. Consider what you're looking for in a real estate brokerage. Are you seeking to leave a toxic work environment, a low commission split, or a lack of support? Or do you desire higher commissions, stronger teams, or more freedom? It's important to understand your needs and wants as a real estate agent. Make a list of what you're looking for and ensure you get it during the transition process. Don't be afraid to switch brokerages if necessary, but also consider whether you can achieve some of those things at your current firm.

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2. Start looking for your next brokerage.

Begin the search for your next real estate brokerage. Choose a brokerage that aligns with your long-term goals and offers what you need. Consider the commission split, firm culture, level of support, reputation, and focus or niche. Read online reviews and talk to other agents to understand the pros and cons of different brokerages. Remember, there's no one "right" answer when choosing a brokerage, but there are certainly brokerages that will be a better fit for your needs and goals.

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3. Tell your current and former clients about your move.

Inform your current and former clients that you intend to switch brokerages. Keep them updated before the transfer takes place so they know where to contact you. While you may lose your current listings, make sure your clients know how they can follow you to your new broker. Maintain professionalism and remember that real estate is your business, even though your broker offers support. It's crucial to maintain positive relationships and avoid developing a reputation for being difficult to work with.

4. Inform your broker about your decision.

Let your current broker know about your intention to move. Make sure they understand that it's not personal and that you appreciate the time you've spent with them. Though it may be a challenging conversation, it's important to maintain open communication and not burn any bridges. Remember, the real estate industry is small, and you may encounter your former broker again in the future.

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5. (Optional) Consider their counteroffer.

After informing your broker about your desire to move, they may counter with another offer to keep you. While tempting, be cautious about accepting a counteroffer. It can be challenging to guarantee the promised benefits, and there may be lingering trust issues. If you've already decided to switch, it's usually best to continue with your plan. However, if your current broker has been trustworthy and genuinely wants to negotiate, it may be worth reconsidering.

6. Discuss your current listings.

Speak with your current firm about what will happen to your listings. Most brokerages will keep listings that originated with them, but some may allow you to take them for a fee. Understand the policies and consider the potential disruption to ongoing transactions. If your brokerage agrees, taking your listings with you can ensure a smoother transition.

how to switch brokerages How to Switch Brokerages

7. Take your license to your new brokerage.

Once your current brokerage has been notified and you've settled any necessary fees, they will give you your license. You can then take your license to your new brokerage, where you'll begin the onboarding process. Your new brokerage will introduce you to their resources and provide the support you need. Remember that finding the perfect brokerage takes time, and it's normal to switch multiple times throughout your career.

8. Think about what a brokerage means to you.

As an independent agent, it's essential to remain as independent as possible while still benefiting from a brokerage's services. Reflect on your experience switching brokers and consider how you can maintain your brand and online presence. Avoid relying too heavily on any brokerage's branding or culture. By staying agile and continuously seeking new opportunities, you can develop your career in the areas you desire.

how to switch brokerages How to Switch Brokerages

Is it time to switch brokerages?

If you're not satisfied with your current firm, your business has outgrown your current brokerage, or you're not making the desired income, it might be time to consider a switch. Also, if your current brokerage doesn't align with your long-term goals or you're not happy with the culture, exploring other options is worth considering. Regularly reviewing your brokerage options ensures you're getting the best support for your business. If any of the mentioned issues resonate with you, it's time to think about making a change.


How do you tell your brokerage you're leaving?

The key to telling your brokerage you're leaving is to do it carefully. Notify your clients first, then meet with your broker to discuss your decision. Maintain professionalism and gratitude for the time spent with the brokerage. For more in-depth guidance on this topic, you can read our post on how to tell your real estate broker you're leaving.

What happens to your listings when you switch brokerages?

In most cases, listings stay with the brokerage by default. However, you can ask your brokerage to turn them over to you for a fee. The decision depends on the brokerage's policies and your ongoing transactions. It's essential to have a clear understanding of how your listings will be handled during the transition.

How long does it take to switch brokerages?

Switching brokerages typically doesn't take long. Once you ask for your license, your current brokerage will provide it to you. You can then take your license to your new brokerage. The process usually takes only a few days. However, it's important to research and choose the right broker before initiating the switch.