REALTORS® are self employed individuals that work under a brokerage. We are commission based sales people that either pay a monthly premium or a commission split to our brokerage in exchange for them to “broker” our real estate transactions. Although we are technically employed by the brokerage, we pay them to work there, rather than them paying us. We are actually paid by the sellers that hire us to sell their home after the possession takes place and will split the commission with the cooperating buyer agent.
What does the brokerage actually do? Essentially a brokerage houses offices for agents to work out of and employs a conveyance department to process and audit paperwork and report sales to our Association’s office. They also handle any funds related to the transaction, for example, transferring a deposit for a purchase to the lawyer’s office. Conveyance is also responsible for sending your lawyer purchase and sale instructions so we can coordinate your possession with them.
Every brokerage has a designated broker. The broker ensures that the agents at the brokerage comply with the standards of practise set out by our Canadian Real Estate Association and basically babysit us agents as the brokerage has to deal with any complaints and legal issues the agents may face. Their role may also be more hands on such as guiding an agent through a tricky deal or mentoring them on how to become more efficient at their role.
When you are considering hiring a REALTOR® consider the individual agent that will be representing you, not the brokerage itself. Agents will operate their business in a completely different manner from one another, despite what Brokerage they work with. The difference in level of service, experience and general industry knowledge varies greatly from REALTOR® to REALTOR®. Do your homework and ensure you are hiring an experienced agent that will offer you above par service and not just consider a brokerage that you are familiar with. As independent agents, all REALTORS® have their own systems in place for marketing and client care. We are responsible for finding our own clients to keep commissions rolling in. If we are not actively selling and closing deals, we are not collecting a pay check.
Many agents employ their own administrative assistants or other employees to help them with their day to day tasks. This is an added service for that particular agent to ensure they can best serve their clients and focus on selling properties rather than essential admin tasks. These admin personal are employed by individual agents and are outside the scope of the brokerage.
What happens when we need time off? Because REALTORS® are self employed,
there is no such thing as paid vacation, stat holidays or sick days in our world. If we go on vacation or need other personal time away we have to depend on a colleague to cover for us. This is why many agents work with partners or on teams. This relationship ensures that our client’s needs are always covered by an agent that is familiar with their file, even while that individual agent is away. We have to keep our business running and clients needs met at all times; as they say, “Real estate never sleeps”. We also make up our own hours and schedule our appointments as necessary, often working office hours, evenings and weekends to ensure we can accommodate and juggle our many client’s different schedules. Another benefit of working with a team is that we can always have an agent available to work on your timetable, and you are not stuck trying to coordinate your calendar with the personal and business life of a single agent.
As with any self employed individual, typically we do not qualify for any government assistance for time off such as Maternity Leave. Often, agents come back to work whenever they feel ready. Just because your REALTOR® is expecting a baby doesn’t mean they are not fully prepared to continue to serve you and ensure you’re going to be looked after start to finish. They will have a strategic plan in place to cover their time away and will be back to work before you even missed them.
A few systems the JC Realty Team has in place to guarantee a seamless transition should your lead agent ever be away include: Listing every home with two agents, a lead agent and a second agent. The second agent is familiar with the clients and their property and will ensure everything is looked after. Second, our full-time admin handles all paperwork and our client care and marketing expert rolls out all marketing and keeps our clients informed throughout the transaction. Third, our admin team works with checklists and constant communication, keeping procedures in place regardless of the transaction circumstances. And lastly, we have a referral system in place, should we ever need to hand off a buyer to another team member. A true team works together and all have a vested interest in the team’s success and our client’s success, we will always have you covered.B
KAILEY HEINTZ – REALTOR® – JC REALTY REGINA
Team Driven. Client Focused.