In Israel a licensed real estate agent is not required by law to work under a broker or agency, as is commonplace in the US; so why do the majority of agents choose to work with a broker and split commissions earned rather than work on their own?

There are many advantages to joining an established real estate office and each company will have some similarities and some differences offering varying degrees of support. Each will have its individual dynamics and atmosphere. Here are some of the things you should consider when making this important decision.

It may seem obvious, but working for an experienced agency can be extremely valuable. You will be able to build on their experience and seek guidance from those who have been there before. Why try chart your own new course when you can travel the tried and true direction with successful individuals who have traveled that road? For the most part, real estate agents (other than the small percentage that work as salaried employees within the industry) are “independent contractors” - in other words each agent is self employed. Associating your personal business with a larger organization simply makes good business sense and the following will help you to understand some of the advantages as well as some tips to help you choose an office that will be the right fit for you.

This is the most important asset in your business. Make sure the office you choose to join has a good, clean name in the industry. Their reputation will affect yours as you build your individual business within a business which is what you will be doing as part of a larger company.

Make sure that the agency you are considering has a plan set up for educational training. A well experienced broker will be able to recommend courses and workshops that will help you properly understand the ins and outs of the real estate business and offers direction in getting your business started as well as ongoing and continuing education opportunities. Investing your time and effort to learn your trade will make all the difference and will help you construct a solid foundation to build on. Some of these courses and workshops will be your financial responsibility, others may be subsidized, and yet others may be offered free of charge or as a “gift” from your broker. Take advantage of as many of these opportunities as you can in order to further your business development and sharpen your skills. Online learning opportunities are another worthwhile way to increase your knowledge and understanding of the business from the comfort of your home or office. The idea is to keep on your toes, continually learning and growing while keeping abreast of new developments and buying trends in your area. Most importantly, choose an office that values and encourages the learning process.

Marketing and creating your personal “brand” is an essential element in any successful business. In this day and age there is an array of technological advancements available to assist in marketing, especially in the area of social networking. Look for an office that is on the cutting edge in this area. Working with an office that is “old school” can put you at a disadvantage and you will not have the support systems and tools in place that you will need to keep up with the competition.

Location, Location, Location!
Once licensed, a real estate professional or agent may sell property anywhere in Israel, yet many companies encourage and work on the premise that agents should become “experts” in a particular neighborhood or area of their choosing. Finding your “niche” is an important element in properly building a strong business model. Choose an office that will help you find your place and identify the area that will work best for you.

Team Spirit:
It is highly recommended to choose an office with a “team” atmosphere. Receiving the input, feedback and support from your peer agents present amazing opportunities to grow as an agent and to build your business. A broker/owner who is invested in your success and takes the time and effort to work with you is priceless. A team that works well together will generate your greatest prospects for leads and referrals. 

Remember, this is your business and choosing the right office to associate with can offer you tremendous tools that you need in building your business properly and keeping it running smoothly far into the future.

Susie Benzaquen “grew up” in the real estate industry and has spent years working in the field. She has held licensing both in Florida and in New Jersey. She currently serves on the support staff of Re/Max Momentum in Romema Jerusalem.