When I first got into real estate, I knew nothing about the process. I had taken 45 hours of class, passed a class and then state exam and BOOM, I had my real estate license. I was now able to go out into the world and help other find homes to buy and sell. Upon hanging my license with a broker, I soon realized that my real estate classes taught me nothing on how to work with clients, complete contracts and so much more. I was lucky enough to have a broker who took the time to educate me on all of the above and also mentor me. Over time, I learned the ropes and began to have confidence, but I had always worked under the guidance of a broker. The system is actually set up so that brand new agents cannot work on their own. They have to work under a broker. You can’t just become a broker to start with. You have to be licensed 2 years and then take additional classes and tests to become a broker. It’s a hard test and many fail. Quite frankly, many do NOT wish to be a broker because with that, comes lots of liability from those that work under your license. A broker is kind of like the teacher in a classroom or a coach of a team. You are responsible for everyone below you and their actions. It’s a lot of work. There are some amazing agents out there that continue to work as associates under a broker. This can be for many reasons. Perhaps they don’t have the time to get a new license or maybe they don’t want to. Whatever the reason, over the past few years, a new type of agency has popped up. They have virtual offices in all 50 states, 1000’s of agents and in 1 broker for each state. Think about that. 1 broker for over 1,000 agents. Do you think that broker knows what is going on and that their agents have guidance and oversite? I think you can guess the answer. The result is that the agents do pretty much whatever they wish and unknowingly break the law, act unethical and sadly, get away with it. Guess who gets harmed in the process? As a broker myself, I can tell you that our office of 50 requires a full-time sales manager, broker and multiple staff to make sure they are in compliance. These other companies simply upload their docs to a cloud service and continue on their business with no oversite. Maybe their paperwork looks good to the person managing the cloud, but do you honestly think real estate is just paperwork? Real estate to me is more of an apprentice type of job. Experienced brokers and agents share their expertise. These other brokerages tend to focus more on money and not the transaction. When problems arise, even in my transactions, the ability to get advice from a broker and manger is critical for all parties. How in the world can one broker manage over 1000 agents? Newsflash, they can’t. Dealing with these agents as a broker on the other side is far from enjoyable. Imagine doing a deal with a teenager that thinks they know everything. Now you have the mindset of the virtual office agent. I can’t stress how important it is to have oversight and back up in a real estate transaction. It is by for the biggest transaction most people ever make and it should not be left to chance.