The beginning of the year is filled with agents announcing the new brokerage they joined. It may have you thinking—and even be the final motivation you need—to do the same. 

In my 11-year career, I’ve switched brokerages three times. Whether you are thinking about making the switch because you’ve outgrown your current brokerage, because you want more resources, or just because you think a new start will help jump-start your business, here are three things I learned while switching brokerages.

Culture Matters

This turned out to be more important to me than I originally thought, and I realize now how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded agents where your voice can be heard. This is becoming more and more important as agents return to the office. The conversations you have with agents around you will directly influence how your business grows. Find a home that shares the same values and truly cares to help you grow and collaborate with those around you.  

 For instance, my last brokerage was great! Tons of heavy hitters meant a lot of money flowed through that place, and a lot of leads came into the office. But it was largely a culture of dial-for-dollars. Trainings were built around cold calling and working the phones. While that works for many agents, it’s not how I’ve grown my business. I’ve grown through referral and repeat business. I’ve never cold-called because I made the decision early that it wasn’t for me. 

Because of this, there were a lot of times I felt out of place at that brokerage. Finding somewhere with agents who had a similar business model to me was important. This is when I realized my landing spot had to be about more than just leads coming into the office—it had to be about culture.

Your clients don’t care where you work—until they do

Your clients truly could not care less who you work for, as long as you get the deal done. As independent contractors, the overwhelming majority of appointments you go on are because of your hard work, not the company you work for. You can work for “Main Street Realty USA” or the largest franchise in the world; it’s still largely your relationships, contacts and work that will put you at the kitchen table with decision makers. This is a relationship and contact business. The work you put into those things will directly correlate to your success rate. As you build and focus on relationships you will see your referral business grow and your appointment rate rise.

Now, what about when you find yourself competing for business with agents from other brokerages? This is where the brokerage name comes into play. Your work will get you the appointment, but your brokerage can very much play a part in landing you the contract. 

Wherever you land, learn how to leverage that company’s tools and strengths to benefit your business. I have been on both sides of this leverage. I once lost a listing to a very good friend of mine while we were at different companies. The second my partner and I walked out of the appointment, I named the agent we were up against because I knew who she was by the questions the seller asked. She uses the tools, reach and brand better than anyone I have met. Her relationships got her in the room, as did mine, but her ability to highlight the strengths and leverage the brand put just enough doubt in the seller to not use me. I lost the listing, called her a few weeks later, and finally said, “OKAY, I’m in. Let’s talk about me making the move.”

Watching this in real-time showed me the power of having a brand you can believe in and leverage. Pairing culture with a passion for the leverage the company has will grow your business in ways you could never imagine.

There is never the PERFECT time to make the jump

This concept was the hardest to wrap my head around. We all want to jump at the “perfect time.” News flash—there is no perfect time. If you continue to search for the perfect time, you will continue to make excuse after excuse, and you’ll stay at a place you know you don’t want to be. Pull the band-aid off and make the jump.  

 Make a list of things that are important to you and go find them. YOU matter more than anything else. Your happiness is what matters. We work too hard to not be happy in our workplace. Once you are truly happy with where you work, the business floodgates will open because that happiness is contagious, and people will be drawn to you!