Real estate broker sponsorship is an arrangement where a brokerage firm sponsors new agents to help them get started in the industry. Sponsorship provides new agents with training, mentoring, and financial assistance as they build their businesses. Understanding how real estate broker sponsorship works can help new agents evaluate if this route is right for them when getting licensed.
What Is Real Estate Broker Sponsorship?
Real estate broker sponsorship involves an established brokerage firm bringing on a new, inexperienced agent and providing them with support and resources. The sponsoring broker essentially invests in the new agent’s success. The agent receives training, mentoring, and often financial assistance or reduced fees from the brokerage. In exchange, the sponsored agent is affiliated with the brokerage as they start their career.
Sponsorship helps new agents’ shortcut the steep learning curve in real estate by leveraging the brokerage’s experience. New agents gain access to an existing brand, resources, systems, and sphere of influence they would not have on their own. Meanwhile, the brokerage gains new talent and expands its agent count through sponsorship. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. This is the work of real estate development sponsors explained.
Why Do Brokerages Offer Sponsorship?
There are a few key reasons brokerages offer sponsorship programs:
- To attract and develop new talent: Sponsorship allows brokerages to bring motivated new agents on board and shape them within the brokerage’s culture and systems. The brokerage invests in the agent’s long-term success.
- To increase their agent count: By sponsoring new agents, brokerages can rapidly expand the number of agents representing their brand. This helps them extend their market share.
- To reduce onboarding costs: It can be expensive for brokerages to onboard and train new agents independently. Sponsorship spreads these costs across multiple new agents.
- To improve retention: Sponsored agents are more likely to stay with the brokerage long-term since they rely on the firm’s training and support early in their careers.
Typical Sponsorship Packages
While sponsorship arrangements vary, they often include some combination of the following:
- Training programs: From pre-licensing education to ongoing development in sales, marketing, and technology. This training gets new agents up to speed quickly.
- Mentoring: Frequent mentorship from experienced brokers helps new agents avoid mistakes and emulate proven strategies.
- Reduced fees: Many brokerages reduce or waive desk fees, errors and omissions insurance, MLS access fees, and other expenses for sponsored agents.
- Lead generation: Brokerages often provide sponsored agents with buyer and seller leads from the brokerage’s existing spheres of influence.
- Marketing support: Brokerages may fund marketing campaigns, branded materials, and online platforms on behalf of sponsored agents.
- Financial assistance: Some firms provide sponsorships agents stipends or draw against future commissions for the first few months.
Types of Real Estate Sponsorship Agreements
Brokerages enter into sponsorship agreements with new agents in different ways:
- Independent contractor sponsorship: The most common scenario is the agent joining the brokerage as an independent contractor. The brokerage provides support and reduced fees, but the agent is not an employee. They can still operate their own independent business.
- Salaried sponsorship: Some brokerages hire new agents as salaried employees for the duration of the sponsorship. This provides agents with a steady income as they start out and build their business.
- Tuition-based sponsorship: Other brokerages require agents to pay an upfront training fee or tuition to join their onboarding program, which is later reimbursed through commissions.
- Equity sponsorship: A few brokerages acquire equity in a new agent’s business in exchange for an intensive sponsorship. The brokerage shares in the agent’s upside over time.