Episode 282: Attracting The Perfect Real Estate Agent To Your Model

In Episode 282 of WBNL Coaching's podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O'Brien begin a series on how to grow the agent population of your Team or Brokerage.  You need to be crystal clear on what your model is, OWN IT, and be able to communicate it to the world.  Jump in as we dive deeper...



Attracting The Perfect Real Estate Agent To Your Model

In this episode, we want to discuss how brokers, recruiters, and even team leaders can gain clarity on who their perfect agent to attract for their company or team is.

So, the first step is to be clear about who you are as a company or team, your model, and what type of agent would most likely be attracted to your model.

Then, be able to articulate your benefits and agent value proposition.

Let's start today with a high-level overview of the common brokerage models.

The real estate industry offers a variety of brokerage models, each with its own commission structures, benefits, and value propositions for agents. Understanding these differences can help agents decide which brokerage model aligns best with their career goals and working style. Here's an overview of the most popular real estate brokerage models:

1. Traditional Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Typically offer a split commission structure, varying from 50/50 to 70/30 between the agent and brokerage.
  • Benefits: Provide comprehensive support regarding office space, administrative staff, training, and marketing materials.
  • Value Proposition: Ideal for new agents who need support and mentorship and experienced agents who value a full-service approach to business.

2. 100% Commission Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Agents keep 100% of their commission but pay a monthly desk fee and/or transaction fees.
  • Benefits: High earning potential for agents with established client bases; often provide optional paid services like training and marketing.
  • Value Proposition: Best for self-motivated, experienced agents who prefer high independence and have lower needs for office resources.

3. Franchise Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Similar to traditional brokerages with split commissions, terms can vary widely across franchises.
  • Benefits: Offer strong brand recognition, extensive training programs, and national marketing efforts.
  • Value Proposition: Suitable for agents who seek to leverage a well-known brand and a proven business model for building their practice.

4. Boutique Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Often provide more flexible and agent-friendly commission splits than larger traditional brokerages.
  • Benefits: Offer a close-knit community feel with personalized support and unique marketing strategies.
  • Value Proposition: Attracts agents looking for a more personalized approach, community involvement, and a strong brand identity.

5. Virtual/Cloud-Based Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Many operate on a 100% commission model with low transaction fees and no desk fees.
  • Benefits: Provide cutting-edge technology platforms for virtual collaboration, lead generation, and business management.
  • Value Proposition: Appeals to tech-savvy agents and teams looking for flexibility, lower overhead costs, and remote work options.

6. Flat-Fee Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Agents pay a flat fee per transaction regardless of the commission earned.
  • Benefits: Can maximize earnings on high-value transactions; simple and predictable expense structure.
  • Value Proposition: Attractive to high-volume agents who can manage their expenses and prefer simplicity in their commission structure.

7. Team Models within Brokerages

  • Commission Models: Team leads, and members agree on specific splits, which can vary. These splits are often more favorable than standard brokerage splits.
  • Benefits: Support from a team structure, shared resources, and leads; potential for mentoring and rapid growth.
  • Value Proposition: Ideal for agents who thrive in a team environment and those looking for mentorship opportunities and shared resources.

8. Commission Cap Model

  • Commission Split: Initially, agents earn commissions based on a split arrangement with the brokerage (e.g., 70/30, where the agent keeps 70% and the brokerage gets 30%).
  • Cap: There is a predetermined cap on the total amount of money an agent must pay to the brokerage in a given year. Once an agent reaches this cap, they keep 100% of their commissions for the remainder of their cap year.
  • Reset: The cap resets annually, and the cycle begins again.


  • The model motivates agents to increase sales to reach the cap sooner, promoting professional growth and higher productivity.
  • Support and Resources: Brokerages like Keller Williams and eXp Realty offer extensive training, technology tools, and support to help agents grow their businesses, which can be particularly beneficial for new and growing agents.

Value Proposition:  

  • Maximized Profits: The model directly ties an agent's effort to their earning potential, providing a clear path to increasing income.
  • Business Ownership: Agents are encouraged to treat their real estate practice as their own business, free to make strategic decisions that benefit their growth.
  • Community and Culture: Companies like Keller Williams and eXp Realty emphasize a culture of agent support, collaboration, and shared success. They often provide networking, mentorship, and learning platforms, which can be invaluable for career development.
  • Innovative Technology: Access to state-of-the-art technology platforms for marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and transaction management helps agents streamline their operations and provide superior service to clients.
  • Profit Sharing or Revenue Sharing: Some brokerages with a commission cap model also offer profit-sharing (Keller Williams) or revenue-sharing (eXp Realty) programs that reward agents for contributing to the company's growth by bringing in new agents.


Each brokerage model offers distinct advantages depending on an agent's experience level, working style, and professional goals. Agents should consider what support they need, their preferred working environment, and how they want to grow their business when choosing a brokerage. Ultimately, the best fit depends on aligning the brokerage's value proposition with the agent's career aspirations and needs.



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