When it comes to choosing a brokerage, one size does not fit all

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Conrad Miller shares what the right brokerage can do for your professional growth and personal satisfaction at every stage of your real estate career.

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Whether you are venturing into the world of real estate for the first time or simply desiring a change, selecting the right brokerage is no easy feat. Throughout our 28 years in the industry, my partner, Brandon Holland, and I have experienced firsthand the significant impact that a good brokerage can have on career growth.

Each brokerage is unique in its own right with a set of pros and cons, but the most important factor when selecting a brokerage is which one is right for you


So, how do you determine which brokerage is right for you? Detailed below are elements that we have considered throughout the span of our career as we learned which brokerage was the best fit for us. 

Boutique vs. large brokerages

Deciding between a boutique or large brokerage is the first step in determining which will be best for you long term. Both types allow you to give your clients what they need, but it’s a matter of understanding your own needs when comparing the two types.

While joining a larger brokerage entails more direction and support, a boutique brokerage tends to provide an independent atmosphere. If you are a team player and thrive in a group environment, larger brokerages are the place to be.

As a member of a double-agent team, a larger brokerage suits our needs in different ways than a boutique brokerage would be able to. However, brand recognition holds significant weight when you’re part of a team, so it’s worthwhile to consider how important that is to you before going all in with a larger brokerage. 

There may also be times during your career when you switch between both boutique and larger firms, and Holland and I have done this over the years. By experiencing both, you’ll have a better understanding of what best suits your long-term needs.

We are currently a part of a large brokerage that offers the best of both worlds. We have access to an internationally renowned reputation and the resources of a large brokerage, in addition to the creativity and flexibility that a boutique brokerage typically offers. 

Brokerage culture 

We have found that larger brokerages often convey a stronger reputation — a factor influential in shaping work culture. Yet reputation, whether born from size or service quality, consistently plays a pivotal role in defining the professional environment.

Our exploration of both superior large and small brokerages reveals a common denominator: the wealth of resources designed to empower and support you. Agents must be equipped with an array of supports, ranging from marketing aids to technological tools, to navigate the industry successfully.

Holland and I particularly value this foundation as we forge our team’s identity. Strong support allows everyone to succeed and meet their individual goals.

Resource access provides great support when achieving one’s goals, but we have come to learn that the key to a supportive brokerage culture is ultimately the people. People build a brand. 

Leadership evaluation

As real estate agents, we are responsible for establishing our own brand and representing the brand of our brokerage. However, it is leadership that is responsible for giving us the tools to do so. An agent’s relationship with their brokerage is supposed to be a symbiotic one that embodies a partnership. 

Finding a brokerage that you have a strong relationship with often shows off their strong leadership. The leadership should be there when you need them, helping to maintain both your brand and their brand.

The partnership should build businesses up. When selecting a brokerage, it is important to be dedicated to your own career but also remember the value of support.

One size doesn’t fit all

The type of brokerage plays a large role in determining which one is right for you, but at the end of the day, one size doesn’t fit all. While our brokerage is considered a larger brokerage, Holland and I selected them because of their unique qualities.

Being a part of both boutique and larger brokerages, we have found that experiencing both was necessary for realizing which is the right fit for our team.

Final thoughts

Overall, don’t be afraid to take your time when determining which type of brokerage you want to join. Take all the factors and supports into consideration when making your decision. Most importantly, make sure to consider your clients, and which brokerage will be able to support you the best while you support them.

Conrad Miller is a top-performing real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. He is one of two members of the Palm Springs Home Team.  Connect with Conrad on Instagram.

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