So I have now been an agent at REAL Broker for over a month and closed multiple transactions and I want to give you my honest opinion of what it’s like being at REAL Broker.
And to be frank, there are some aspects of the company that I feel could use some refining and improvements (more on that later) and there are other aspects of the company that far exceed my expectations and I’m VERY happy with.
REAL Broker Onboarding Review
Let’s start off by talking about the onboarding process. In other words, how was my experience learning the different software and getting adjusted to REAL.
To be honest, I feel THIS is one of the areas that REAL Broker could use some improvement. I was a little lost and confused as to what I should do next on my first day as a REAL Agent.
Now they do send you an initial welcome email with links to the first few steps you should take but it does not cover everything and there are a few additional emails they send out with links you need to click on as well.
Apparently multiple times a week, they have a live onboarding video call you can join and they will walk you through what steps you should take. But I have searched through my emails and don’t even see where I received a link to this.
Within the REAL Academy, they do have training videos on how to use the various software and navigate around and I did find this very helpful once I discovered how to access it.
However, many of these training are recordings of live streams which I am personally not a fan of. For example, there is an hour-long training on how to submit your contracts for compliance using Skyslope but in my opinion, if they would have edited out all the fluff in that live stream, you could probably get that hour-long video down to 30 minutes of actually important content.
Luckily for me, I was able to rely on the agents in my upline to help me get adjusted and figure out what I need to do during my first few days.
REAL also does have an in-depth FAQ section on their app and has a live support chat where you can answer your questions. I personally did rely on this and emailing my broker a good bit my first week with the company.
My frustrations with the onboarding process is actually what inspired me to write this article going over The First 10 Things You Should Do After Joining REAL Broker to help out any new agents get adjusted to REAL Broker.
In my opinion, REAL does have decent training and resources on how to use it’s various software but it all felt very disjointed and onboarding was not exactly the smoothest process for me. I personally would love to see them have just one video or article for onboarding that covers EVERYTHING I need to know to get up to speed as a REAL agent.
REAL Broker is still a growing company, so I would not be surprised if they smooth out some of the wrinkles in this process in the future.
Real Broker Technology Reviews
The technology you receive at REAL Broker is actually one of the areas that exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with it! In fact, I think the software they provide is one of their biggest selling points.
For a little background, I came from Keller Williams Realty who made the decision to hire programs and create all of the software they provide to their agents from scratch in order to have something exclusive no other company has. From their CRM, to their contract compliance to trying to create their own social network for agents, their programs created it all. On paper, this may sound good but in practice, none of it worked well in my opinion and all the software Keller Williams provided was very cumbersome and frustrating to use.
REAL Broker on the other hand, has made the decision to provide its agents with mostly off-the-shelf software and this does provide a few advantages. One, REAL can shop around to find the best software on the market to provide its agents. Two, because these companies are dedicated to just their software, the programs typically have fewer bugs, run more smoothly and have great tech support.
This is the program you will use to submit your contracts for compliance to your broker. At first glance, the program looked a little bland to me but now I am very happy with how simple it is to use and how little amount of time I need to spend to submit my contracts for compliance.
One feature I love is that I can upload my entire contract as one PDF and then specify which pages in that PDF are each piece of required documents. For example “Buyer Broker Agreement: Page 1–13”. At my last brokerage, I had to upload each of those documents as separate PDFs.
They also make it pretty easy for you to write notes to your broker or from your broker to you regarding each of these documents. So instead of just saying “this document is declined”, your broker and type out a quick message to you explaining why and what you need to do.
Overall, I am very happy with Skyslope for contract compliance.
This is a program created by Facebook for businesses to use. Think of it as a series of Facebook Groups only your business can access.
To be honest, I don’t use this as much as I should but I do think it’s pretty cool and a great way for us to network and mastermind with other REAL agents.
Each state also has its own group within workplace where you can ask state-specific questions.
Workplace is also where you will find the REAL Academy which does many live pieces of training and has an archive of training videos on how to use the various programs and general agents training. THIS is what I use Workplace for the most, personally.
As REAL grows larger, I imagine there will be more engagement in here and I could see myself using this more often than I do right now.
Chime is a VERY impressive CRM and customizable website! For many people, I think that this is a huge value to joining REAL Broker.
Typically, Chime charges $500 a month for the CRM & website but as a REAL agent, you get this for only $25 a month. So that’s a savings of almost $6,000 a year and I know a few agents who were paying that much for Chime and largely joined REAL in order to get it for so much cheaper.
To be honest, I am a little overwhelmed with Chime. It is a VERY powerful tool and one of the best CRMs/Websites on the market today for Real Estate Agents. As of right now, I am only using the basic features of the CRM but I do know that if I find the time to dive in deeper, it could change my entire real estate business.
Chime is definitely one of the aspects of joining REAL that exceeded my expectations! I am very happy with it and know I am only scratching the surface of its potential.
REAL Broker App Reviews
The REAL Broker agent app is one of the pieces of software developed or at very least heavily customized by REAL and is ALSO one of my favorite pieces of tech you get as a REAL agent.
I love this app for two reasons, the first is that it tracks all of your numbers and stats for you and clearly displays them on the very first page when you open it up.
One of the first things you are presented with is what you currently have under contract, when it is projected to close and how much you are projected to earn in commission. Below that it also shows you your monthly and yearly stats as well.
It also shows you on this first page how much you have paid towards your cap, how much you have earned or bought in REAL stock, and how much you have earned in revenue share.
I absolutely LOVE the transparency and how easy it is to access your data using this app! I often find myself opening the app just to stare at these numbers for a while.
The second reason I love this app is that it is where you can get access to support. You can easily find all of your broker’s contact information here, FAQ, or open a chat with support. Having all of that information at your fingertips is just really helpful at times.
Now REAL does have a consumer app…but it is not that good in my opinion and I don’t know many people who actually use it. I do believe they are working on a new app but right now I LOVE the agent app but do not like the consumer app.
No Physical Office Space?
One of the common questions I get about working in a cloud-based brokerage is about not having a physical office.
So now that I have gone an entire month without access to my brokerage’s office, has it impact my business any? NO!
Frankly, in all of 2020, I barely ever went into my office unless I absolutely had to. All the training was streamed live on Facebook, all my checks were mailed directly to me. I had zero reasons to step foot in my brokerage’s office despite the fact that I was still paying for it with my cap.
I still do buyer consultations but now do them through a Zoom call instead of in person.
On the rare times, a client would like to meet in person, I either arrange to meet them at a Starbucks or meet them in a conference room at my lender’s office or title companies office. Both of them are very eager and happy for me to use their conference rooms.
Now I do understand that not everyone is like me and can work from home. Some people need that work/family separation. If that is you, I would encourage you to first figure out how much money you would save by joining REAL Broker compared to your current brokerage.
I WAS paying a $28,000 a year cap to Keller Williams + $6,000 a year to rent an office in my brokerage. So now that I am only paying a $12,000 a year cap and work from my home office, I am saving $22,000 a year!
If I had to, I absolutely could rent out an office space for far less than $22,000 a year. My lender or title company may even have an extra room they could rent me for probably a pretty low price.
So for me personally, giving up access to my physical brokerage has had 0 negative impacts on my business. If anything, I now have more time to work or spend with my family since I am not spending 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week commuting to and from the office.
Real Broker Fees
One reason many people join REAL Broker is because of their low fees. They only have a $12,000 cap, no monthly fees and they do pay for your E&O insurance. It almost seems too good to be true!
So after I joined, I was looking for any hidden fees or upsells or any expenses I would be charged and I did not find any. Their advertised fee structure you can find here,
The only possible exception to this is Chime which is an optional CRM & Website you can get for an additional $25 a month. But this is actually a huge saving compared to its retail cost and I like that they make it optional. Many agents already have a CRM or Website they have used for years and may not need this service. So I am happy that REAL does not MAKE THEM pay for it if they do not want it.
REAL Broker Revenue Share Review
Real Broker offers an additional stream of income as an agent in the form of “revenue share”. This is similar to programs offered by Keller Williams and eXp Realty except REAL pays out the most for agents you attract in your “tier 1”.
Essentially for you helping grow the company by attracting agents to it, they reward you indefinitely with a portion of the cap Real Broker receives from any agent who lists you as the reason they joined.
Out of the $12,000 cap a year an agent pays to the company, REAL gives you $4,000 of it a year for attracting the agent. They also give you a portion of the cap they receive for any agents THAT AGENT attracts going down 5 tiers.
Real Broker Revenue Share
You may be saying “this sounds like a pyramid scheme” but I disagree. This is a very similar model Keller Williams & eXp Realty used to grow their companies so large.
Essentially, instead of spending money on advertising to grow the company, as RE/MAX does, they provide that money to the agents who are most influential in helping to grow the company.
There are a couple of positive benefits to this model. One, as a real estate agent you now have an additional stream of income you can focus on aside from just selling homes.
And two, people in your upline are now incentivized to help you out in your business. They do not receive their revenue share if you don’t produce.
Remember how I said the onboarding process was not the smoothest for me? Well, the people in my upline helped me greatly get adjusted to REAL and answered many of my questions.
Revenue Share helps create a culture of sharing information and helping each other.
Likewise, for people, who I have attracted to the company and are in my downline I have bent over backward to help them get adjusted to REAL, help them with video and social media, general agent advice, and build their own downlines.
I will also say that I have had a pretty easy time attracting agents to REAL Broker. Once you explain to them the benefits of a cloud-based brokerage vs a franchise-based brokerage, you can see the light bulb turning on in their heads.
The vast majority of the agents are going to save ALOT of money by joining REAL compared to their current brokerage and in my opinion, REAL also provides far more value than most other companies.
By leaving Keller Williams and giving up my office within my brokerage, I am personally saving over $20,000 a year!
Saving that kind of money can literally change an agent’s entire life. That’s the difference between an agent being profitable…or not. Or that could mean an agent could do 2–3 fewer transactions a year and instead spend that time with their family.
I feel very positive about spreading the message of the advantages of cloud-based brokerages compared to a franchise-based brokerage and feel like this company can have a really positive impact on many agents’ lives.
Real Broker Culture Review
The culture within a company is pretty important as well. It can have a big influence on an agent’s experience there and I’m happy to report the culture amongst REAL agents is pretty upbeat.
REAL has attracted a lot of tech-focused agents and we have a lot of experts within the company who are focused on video marketing, social media, digital marketing, ect.
And because of the incentives set into place through revenue share and the fact that most agents own stock in the company, agents are very open about helping one another succeed and sharing their knowledge.
Everything comes down to incentives and at REAL, we are incentivized to help one another succeed!
With revenue share, you are financially incentivized to help the agents in your downline grow their businesses. If they don’t produce or have a good experience at real, you won’t receive revenue share. This incentivizes agents to do whatever they can to help agents in their downlines.
REAL also offers several ways of receiving free stock in the company or buying it at a huge discount. This again makes all of us feel like we are in this together rather than being competitors. By helping one another grow and succeed, the value of all of our stock will go up!
These two incentives have a big impact on the culture here and really do make it feel like we are part of a revolution that is changing an industry!
Final REAL Broker Reviews
One of my friends once said that “REAL is not the best real estate company out there but they are going to become the best company out there”. And I think this is pretty accurate.
REAL is still relatively small at just over 2,000 agents and still has a few wrinkles it needs to iron out like it’s onboarding process, but it has a very strong and well-thought-out foundation.
The technology they provide to you as an agent is far better than anything I ever received at my last company.
The stock bonuses and revenue share models are fantastic and I think incentivizes the right type of behavior you want from agents within a company.
I honestly believe that over the next 10 years, cloud-based brokerages are going to become the standard in our industry, and franchise-based brokerages are going to be scrambling to copy REAL’s models.
Being an agent at REAL really does feel like you are part of a positive cultural revolution within our industry and my only real regret was not joining sooner.
Next Steps With REAL
For your free REAL Broker informational packet breaking down in more detail the fees, stock program, revenue share, Elite Agent program, and more OR to schedule a 1-on-1 zoom call with myself to see if REAL would be a good fit for you, email me at [email protected]
If you are ready to join and don’t have a sponsor yet, I would love to be your sponsor in the company at no additional cost to you and I will then have a vested interest in your success at REAL. When you sign your Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA), just put my name, Malcolm Lawson, down as your “Sponsoring Agent” and I will officially be in your upline!
You can join here https://www.joinreal.com/malcolm-lawson/refer
Or check out these other REAL Broker articles I wrote: