What’s the Best Realty Company to Join in Oregon?

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Choices, choices.

There are over 1.4 million real estate agents in the U.S. according to NAR. And according to NAR, there are over 100,000 different Realty companies to choose from, meaning there is one Realty company in existence per 14 licensed Realtors.

In Oregon there are over 17,000 Realtors and using Oregon’s license lookup tool I found 319 active registered business names, which means about 53 registered Realty companies to one licensed real estate agent in Oregon.

319 is too many to write about, and in fact, I can only write specifically about the one I’m with, eXp Realty, LLC.

However, I’ve been licensed in Oregon since 2003 and have made the rounds. The team I run has sold over 2,000 homes in that timeframe, so I can give strong guidelines on how to pick your next Oregon Realty Company. I’ll explain how to pick an Oregon Realty company based on Cost, Leads, Support,

How to Pick a Realty Company Based on Cost

If you’re just looking for lowest cost, there will be a lot of options. When looking at costs be sure to break it down into at least three categories:

  1. Split and Cap
  2. Transaction Fees
  3. Misc.

Split and Cap. This usually refers to you paying the Realty company a portion of your commission checks (split) until you hit a certain number (cap). So you might run into a company with an 80/20 split (you get 80) that caps at $10,000. This of course means you would pay them 20% of your earned commission on each transaction until you’ve given them $10,000 – after that you wouldn’t pay the Realty company anymore (at least not in this category). With 319 options I’m sure you’ll find Realty companies advertising $0 caps and zero splits. However, this likely means they have high 2. Transactions Fees or other 3. Misc. costs attached. These Realty companies are not non-profit organizations! You have to take a look at how many transactions (earned commission) you think you’ll do in a year and then put it into a formula that incorporates every-which-way that Realty company is going to charge you.

Transaction Fees. The Realty company you’re with (unless you start your own Realty company) has legal responsibilities to supervise your transactions. This means they need to review your files and practices. Typically that also means the Realty company is going to charge you something per transaction for their supervision. Each Realty company might call it something different, but at the end of the day it typically is a fee per transaction you complete. E and O fees per transaction. E and O stands for “errors and omission’s” insurance and your Realty company is likely paying that for you on your behalf. The cost of this insurance is based on the number of transactions completed. (Tidbit: some Realty companies E and O insurance stops at a certain dollar amount – meaning you can list a property that costs more than _ dollar amount and still be covered. Be sure to check.) Some Realty companies will fold the E and O cost into your fee per transaction, and some will charge this fee separately per transaction, so you’ll have two different amounts to pay every time you complete a deal.

Misc. I know this is a broad category that can include a wide range of different fees to be at a certain Realty company, but they tend to fall into certain categories. Franchise fees, if the Realty company you’re with is part of a Franchise, expect to pay something to that larger national company. Sometimes this is in addition to your normal spit/cap and transaction fees. Technology fees, sometimes the Realty company will charge agent’s separately for provided websites, which could be online transaction software, online signing software, online home search websites, mobile apps, etc. Training fees, this is self explanatory. Supply costs, there are plenty of third party providers for necessary signs, business cards, flyers, lockboxes, print copies, or whatever else you need to conduct your business. However, keep an eye out for any required items the Realty company wants you to purchase direct from them.

How to Pick a Realty Company Based on Leads

Don’t. Okay, here is what I mean by that. Realty companies exist to support agents by provide supervision, networking opportunities, and training. By in large, they do not provide leads, or if they claim to, I’ve never met another agent in the industry happy with the results. I do not believe a Realty company is a viable source of leads, not in my experience, not ever, not anywhere, not for anyone. Based on my experience you can learn from a Realty company with provided training or mentorship (which we will get to next) on how to best work your sphere or network, or best work lead advertising sources you can hire. Realty companies typically exist to support agents, not feed them business. Real estate teams exist to feed agents business. Real estate advertising companies exists to feed agents business. I definitely would encourage an agent to pick a Realty company based on a team opportunity they could join, or on the training or mentorship provided, but I can’t recommend any agent pick a Realty company based on promised lead supply.

How to Pick a Realty Company Based on Support

Realty companies can provide exceptional levels of training, oversight, and networking opportunities.

Training can be in person (usually with smaller Realty companies) or online (with national companies) or both. It is important to know that local title companies typically send out dozens of emails a month with training opportunities listed around your area. Realty companies often partner with title companies to provide these training opportunities to any licensed agents in the area (the Realty company is also using this as a recruiting tool for themselves). The point is, if you want in-person training opportunities you don’t have to rely on your Realty company unless you want to, there will be lots of free trainings to sign up for if you want to.

Realty Oversight: (Transaction Support, Mentoring and Coaching)

Transaction Support. Realty companies are supposed to provide you with oversight in any real estate transaction, there should be a Principal Broker / Designated Broker you can talk to if you run into a problem during a transaction. In addition, many Realty companies offer paid (not free) transaction coordination (TC) support. TCs are industry professionals who help file and manager your paperwork, maybe order things for you in a timely manner based on a transaction’s deadlines.

Mentoring / Coaching. Some Realty companies may have a “free” mentor roaming the office or local set of offices. If the Realty company is providing someone like this to help agents boost sales, expect that person to spend most or all of their time working exclusively with the top producers. That’s been my experience and that of other’s I’ve heard from. It is a hard truth, but the Realty company tends to invest in agents that are already successful on a one-on-one basis and only provide group (classes) assistance for individual regular agents (unless they are in a transaction problem, then they’ll help). Do note there are tons of paid mentors and coaches roaming around in the industry (they don’t care what Realty company you’re with), I’m sure some of them are good and some terrible.

Networking opportunities: (Specialists and Teams)

Specialists. Realty companies will have a slew of local specialists you can potentially learn from. For example, they may have agents working for them that are focus on investors, land development, farm properties, commercial, multifamily, etc. It is great to have a way to meet (online or in-person) a wide variety of agents to learn from them and potentially have them support you (usually team up and split commissions) in a deal that requires some specialty knowledge.

Teams. Personally I think the best thing a new or struggling agent can do is join a successful team. As mentioned before, real estate teams exists to feed agents business (or at least share business). Choosing a Realty company with a lot of teams inside it is very helpful, because pretty much every real estate team will require all its members to be a part of the same Realty company.

How to Pick a Realty Company Based on Profits

Recruiting, Stocks, Ownership and Misc. Income

Recruiting. Lots of Realty companies will give you something if you recruit other agents to join their company. Usually this is simply direct funds they give you, but it could come in the form of reduced fees. Often these recruiting rewards are residuals, meaning you’ll earn something as long as the agent(s) you recruited stay with the company. Some Realty companies require you to belong to the company for a while before these residual recruiting rewards vest (meaning you’ll get them forever, even if you retire or leave the company, as long the agents you recruited stay at that company).

Stocks. Some Realty companies give stock awards for performance, recruiting, and / or allow you to buy the company stock for a reduced price (with each commission check earned).

Misc. / Bonuses. Some Realty companies may offer a cash incentive to join their company (rare) or give out performance bonuses.

Ownership / Franchise Ownership. Most every Realty Franchise offers ownership packages because you’re paying them to buy in. Franchise Ownership sounds appealing but I’ve never heard a great pitch on it or met an agent that was successful solely off Franchise Ownership. I’m sure some exist, but I would expect it to be few and far in-between. Regular part-ownership of a Realty company can come in all shapes and forms, but don’t expect it to be offered to new agents.

Using EXP Realty as an Example for All of the Above

I’d encourage you to print out the below chart and us it to compare Realty companies.

EXP RealtyAny Other Company You’re Considering
Split and Cap: 80/20 with 16K Cap.
Drastically reduced cap for agents that are a member of a team.
Split and Cap:
Transactions fees: Roughly $100 total
Includes E and O and Reviewing Broker oversight.
Transaction Fees:
Misc. fees: $85 a month
This gives access to their full technology suite of programs available for agents to use.
Misc. fees:
Training: Online and In-person
M-F online training available with roughly ten different classes a day to choose from. Local agents often put together invites on area specific in-person training options.
Transaction Support: (Phone, Email, and Virtual Support)
EXP Reviewing Brokers will typically respond to your needs by phone, email, and / or schedule a virtual meeting inside EXP World. Most EXP Realty offices also offer TC support for a minimal fee per transaction.
Transaction Support:
Mentoring or Coaching: Both
EXP Realty has an established mentoring program where they match new agents with experienced ones. They also have a slew of available Coaches spread out through their network, available for hire or consultation.
Mentoring or Coaching:
Specialists and Team Opportunities: Yes, numbering in the thousands.
EXP Realty has over 75,000 agents in one company all using one shared online platform. The number of teams you could potentially network with and join is in the hundreds if not thousands. The number of specialists within the company is in the thousands. More important than the vast number of these teams and specialists is your ability to reach out to any of them using the one shared platform EXP Realty employs.
Specialists and Team Opportunities:
Recruiting Profits: Yes
It comes in the form of EXPI Stock Grants.
Recruiting Profits:
Stocks: Yes
You can buy at a discount with every commission check.
Misc. Bonuses: Yes
You get performance bonuses in the form of EXPI stock.
Misc. Bonuses:
Ownership / Franchise Ownership: No
At least, I wouldn’t know how to gain ownership within EXP Realty, other than through owning company stock.
Ownership / Franchise Ownership:

Thinking About Joining a Top Realty Company in Oregon?

I’d be happy to talk with you further. Simply chat with the bot on this site or give us a call at 503-714-1111. There are a lot of Realty companies in Oregon to choose from and we hope you find your best fit.

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What My Clients Are Saying

Stephen was just simply a fantastic realtor to work with in selling our home. If we had another 50 properties to sell, Stephen would be in charge of all of them. He was so professional in handling every detail of our sale, and he was so responsive to every question that came up in the course of our transaction. My wife and I are very thankful that we found Stephen.