Guin White, Tenacious Problem-Solver, Referral Broker (Barker Realty)

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Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

If that agent is so successful, why does he need you, a new agent? Sounds like you will be more of an assistant. A real estate friend of mine went that route and ended that relationship because he was not building up his own reputation with the public just freed up the other guy to get more business under his name. Also, what does "partner" mean, something official or just an "understanding"?

Jan 17, 2015 01:35 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I think it's  a compliment to you that a successful agent approached you. It might be a good way to "learn the ropes" if she proves to be a helpful mentor. Even if you might feel like an assistant at times, going on joint listing appointments, for example,  might give you valuable experience. If she lets you co-list with her, it would give you exposure. If you're not happy, you can always 'unravel' the partnership.

Jan 18, 2015 07:49 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna Beach Realtor

I agree with Gita.  If you're brand new, there's a lot of benefit partnering with an experienced and successful Agent.

Jan 18, 2015 01:24 AM
Walter Sadowski NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Cafe Realty - Somers, NY
The Real Estate Resource

The questions you really need to be posing are not directed at the other agent, rather directed at yourself.

It's not about seeking answers , it's about asking appropriate questions of yourself.


What was/is my vision of a real estate career?

Am I ready to involve others in my career vision?

What may I have to offer to others?

What may others have to offer to me?

Does the timing work for me?

How does partnering now affect the future of my real estate career?

How does not partnering affect the future of my career?

Am I prepared to share?

Am I prepared to give?

Am I prepared to receive?

What am I looking for from others?

Certainly, you will have more questions to ask and in all likelihood way more questions than answers. This should at least give you a starting point. Again, keep the focus on the questions you ask (answers always change), you will see a pattern begin to develop and therein will lie the guidance you seek.

Best with your journey... Enjoy the ride!!!

Jan 18, 2015 12:45 AM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Nina Hollander beat me to it. I was just going to ask if you're brand new why is he approaching you? As much as I'd recommend you doing your own homework before joining someone I'd ask the same from the other side. Has he done his homework?


Jan 17, 2015 10:10 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     If you work under a Broker, you will probably need that person's approval, depending upon your independent contractor agreement with your Broker. You may also need to check your State's laws regarding LLC, LLP's, or other business entities (are there fees, are there registration requirements, etc.).

    Make certain that costs, splits, and responsibilities are clearly defined.  What about E&O?  What about Advertising costs, or the costs of running a website?

     And of course, what if you or the partner wants out?  What is required, who gets the clients/leads/database?

     Put any agreements in writing, preferably drawn up and/or witnessed by an Attorney. 

Jan 17, 2015 01:04 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I have seen instances when the experienced agent ended up making the other one into an assistant of sorts, which then created resentments.  On the other hand, if that agent is a good one, they can become a good mentor and partner.  Get your agreement in writing.  Luckily my partner was my husband and we did not have issues to work out in our relationship.  He was a delight to work with, and still is.  Perhaps this person will also be a delight.

I also would ask other agents from other offices how they like working with that person...A

Jan 17, 2015 08:06 AM
Trisha P Realty Group
Realty Executives - Leavenworth, KS
"Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home"

Great opportunity with an established agent, but you want to make sure you dont become their goffer.

Jan 20, 2015 10:28 AM
Debra Peters
Referral Realty - Manorville, NY
NY Real Estate Salesperson

No matter who you partner with, as long as you are doing the same amount of work the commissions should be split equally.  If I were you, I would pick someone YOU want to work with.  I have worked with another Agent on more than one occasion and we were both successful.  We each had our strengths and weaknesses, and it was a very rewarding experience.  I would concentrate on getting to know the market you are going to focus on and get as much training and education as possible.  If your office does not provide training, then maybe you should interview other offices.  Walter Sadowski NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker has list of great questions.  Don't rush into something you may regret in the future.

Best of luck to you.  

Jan 20, 2015 03:34 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I love the idea of working with an experienced agent.. however, I would get a lot more details of what "partner' means to this experience agent before making a decision.

Jan 18, 2015 12:52 PM
Christina Botteri
REeBroker - Roseville, CA

Fred Griffin nailed it. 

I would only add that you will want to discuss your Partner's intent into the future - specifically with regards to how / if he wants to develop or grow a team.

Often times, here's what happens: The new partnership is great, and after some some successful deals, the senior Partner falls in to the 'more is better' trap and starts adding people. So you get fewer and fewer opportunities from your Partner, but everything you do is still within the Partnership. 

Having a discussion about this up-front will help you see more clearly where you stand in the 'Grand Plan,' and help you decide if it is a good fit for you.

~ C :)


Jan 18, 2015 05:18 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

There really are no Pros and Cons for you to consider that mean anything to you right now.

The ONLY thing that matters to you right now is "Does this venture provide the opportunity for YOU to hit the road running is pursuit of YOUR business plan?"

If you do not know what YOUR business is, then you will be helping someone else pursue their business plan. This IS a business, not a hobby.

The venture you want to commit to is the one that gets you engaged in transactions with your preferred base as soon as possible...not after you've got train'n.

Here's the problem. You started your business without a clue. Perhaps now is a good time to hit pause, and define YOUR business. You really need to know if you are selling sneakers or running a doggie day care. When you know, then choosing the right partner is possible.

Present a question that reflects what your business may look like to the one doing the recruiting, "Describe how joining your team will lead to immediate business in the $400,000, sfh home, seller market in Tabbybush?" 

In that question you have defined your business and ANYONE interested in helping you grow YOUR business CAN lay out a beneficial and executable plan.

Your job right now is to pay attention. Watch to see the demonstration of mutually aligned interests. If you can not  SEE them DO NOT assume they exist.

Jan 17, 2015 10:03 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I'd ask why this experienced agent wants to partner with someone who is so much less experienced. Partnerships in real estate seem very hard to maintain long term. But I couldn't tell you if that's because the partners didn't do enough homework upfront or simply that they run their course after a while.

Jan 17, 2015 09:57 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Why would an experienced and successful agent need a newbie to partner with?  Sorry, but I see him needing an assistant more so that wanting to really be a 50/50 partner with you.


A business partnership is  just like a marriage.  I would interview him very carefully and do not be afraid to ask all the hard questions. If in doubt, don't do it.


Jan 17, 2015 09:49 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Guin White learning from someone experienced is always a big plus. Initially, you may not make good money - however, if you learn good habits, that will pay off in long run.

Now if your personality has high 'D' (from DISC profile), you may want to do it differently.

I'd also recommend some initial coaching - perhaps not-so-expensive one. More as an investment in your business and not as an expense.

Jan 17, 2015 08:05 AM
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Will I get any leads?

If I close any of these leads,will I get to take these clients with me if I decide to go to another company or leave and form my own real estate team?

What is the commission split? 

Will you pay for any of my marketing,office fees and MLS fees?

Will you provide any training? And if not can pay for my training if A I would to do something like Brian Buffing,Tom Ferry,Mike Ferry,Joe Stump, MAPS Coaching?



Jan 17, 2015 06:39 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

If they have more experience, that is a pro.  Sometimes after you pertner with them, you find that you are doing all the work and they are getting half the money.

Jan 23, 2015 05:12 AM
Jay & Michelle Lieberman
Keller Williams World Class - Agoura Hills, CA
Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos

You will also need to determine what you are being brought on into that team for.  Will you be a buyer agent, a seller agent or a general agent covering your owner contacts only.

Jan 20, 2015 03:07 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Consider the pros and cons of partnership.  See if you have enough to bring to the table, and see if the partner in question is wanting to mentor you. 

Jan 20, 2015 03:13 AM
Matt Keough, New Castle County, DE
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Matt Keough Agent New Castle County Delaware

Most of the posts hit it right on the head.  Define "Partnering", then make the move that is best for you! 

Good luck!

Jan 20, 2015 01:48 AM
Suzanne Cutler
Success! Real Estate - Braintree, MA
617-549-5829, Braintree MA, Realtor, Real Estate

I think you need to ask what the expectations are for both of you.  Ex. The Realtor may want to take more listings and have you handle showing buyers houses.  How would you divide the commission?

Jan 20, 2015 01:01 AM
Mike Belobradic
Johnston & Daniel Oakville - Oakville, ON
Your Trusted Advisor in Oakville Real Estate

I agree with all the other comments. Partnering is, of course, much different than joining the team of an experienced agent (which also has pros and cons for a new agent). The definition of "partner" means everything here in order for you to make a thoughtful decision.

Jan 18, 2015 07:59 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I agree with Olga Simoncelli that it is a compliment to you to be approached to partner. Make sure you have an "easy way out" if is not working. If I were to do partnering, I would agree to work on referrals and splits on a case by case basis.

Jan 18, 2015 10:25 AM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

Just do not be the work horse and get pony pay.  It boils down to is the learning worth the pay.  If they are really good a year  under them will help.

Jan 18, 2015 09:40 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

If you are brand new, working with an experienced agent can be a great way to learn the business.  And most of these partnerships are not intended to last forever.  But the most important thing is to put any agreements in writing.  There are so many misunderstandings that can come up about splits and expectations the other agent may have.  Good luck!  And hope we see more of you on ActiveRain.

Jan 18, 2015 07:13 AM
Charlotte Marrocco-Mohler
REMAX Insight/Advantage/On the Move - Nashua, NH
Broker Licensed in NH and MA

I would question expectations and will you be looked at and given parts of the business as a go to person instead of a legit partner.  Be careful that you are not being utilized to do all the grunt work.  Good luck!

Jan 18, 2015 07:13 AM
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

For starters, if you respect this agent and their ethics, be flattered.  Next, you have to decide why you became a Realtor and what you want to get out of it.  Then it will be easier to determine your pros and cons.

Jan 18, 2015 06:59 AM
Debbie Holmes
John L. Scott - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

I asked a friend who is new to the business to partner up with me.  He knows I do not earn enough to split but we have been working together in property management for years.  He was also my first real estate client and my handyman. 

I am hoping I can help him with my experiance.  I already know we have the same values. I am hoping together we can work 3 times the listings.   I am hoping to get my friend successful in real estate. 

I tried working with another friend but we had different styles and it just didn't seem to work out.   We are still good friends. 

Jan 18, 2015 02:09 AM
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

It can be a great opportunity to learn how they have been successful, but it also has to be beneficial to you and what you want to accomplish. I wish I would have done this starting off, but no one seemed to want to bring me in. I've been doing this with some of the younger agents on a short term basis and has helped me improve my business while benefiting them.

Jan 18, 2015 01:23 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

If you are brand new it is a good idea to partner with a successful agent.

Jan 17, 2015 11:17 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I wouldn't worry about why they asked you. I brought one a new 26 year old agent because I saw tremendous potential and I do only investment real estate and I wanted someone to handle buyers and be the front for new construction. My first question is do you have a written culture and core values system. You need to know what they believe in. Then the next would be what is in it for both of us because I have benefited greatly. Just becasue I have 25 years experience and had great success doesn't mean i can't learn too. One last thought, I also saw that I could sell my business to this person in 5 years so ask about long term goals and make sure that both are aligned.

Jan 17, 2015 09:38 PM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I would be wondering why an experienced agent would "partner" with a newbie. Sounds more of looking for an assisstant? I don't know either of you, but that would be my gut reaction in this case. Be careful and get a much better understanding of what this means to you and your future business.

Jan 17, 2015 09:14 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I'm going to send you a private message -- I posted something similar a while ago and got a lot of great tips/advice.  Best of luck!

Jan 17, 2015 08:48 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I will just sit down and see where you can successfully use the team concept to grow and learn.  Don't let them take advantage of your being new.  But don't forget if the other agent is willing to teach and mentor you, that would be big opportunity for you.  Bottom line is that it has to be a win-win situation.  Your Broker or Mangager might be able to assist you with the arrangement.  Get everything in writing including language when things don't quite work out.

Jan 17, 2015 08:30 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

An agreement is highly recommended for your exact roll as a partner and exact splits. And as mentioned above, how exactly could he open the door in terms of business for his new partner is good to know. Our mentor program has a set up where the new agents are paired up with a more experienced agent for 1-3 transactions with reasonable splits and it has worked well.

Jan 17, 2015 01:22 PM
Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Specializing in Carroll Co., MD

You have lots of great advice coming in. I would also look into the agents reputation. Good luck. 

Jan 17, 2015 01:01 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I would ask what she expected and evaluate it in the context of your own financial situation. I agree with everyone else that if she is planning on using you as a free assistant - that is not to your immediate benefit.  On the other hand it is possibly an opportunity - as Evelyn said- to see the business from the inside out at a high level. That sort of education is priceless - but it also might not work in your situation if you need to make money immediately - Definitely not something to enter into lightly. 

Jan 17, 2015 01:01 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Guin, I have been there! I was approached by the agent who sold me my house.  She said she like the way I thought, my ideas, we went into partnership and she walked away and left the paperwork to me.  Then added the listing activities and the buyer showings and she got half the money.  It lasted 6 months and I fired her.  HOWEVER, I learned the business very quickly, learned to think outside the box and people think I have 20 years in the business as a 1 year agent.  I greatly benefited from my experience.  I would jump at the opportunity to partner with her again, but atlas, she is in another state with her own brokerage now.

Jan 17, 2015 12:49 PM
Bill Dandridge
MKB, Realtors - Roanoke, VA
GREEN, ABR, GRI, EcoBroker

Actually, if they are doing so well, have a sit-down with them, and specifically ask them what they would like for you to do. If they only want you to do "contract to close," I would suggest that you move on. If they however, ask you to work with them on listings and helping them with buyers alike, I would consider it. You really will learn much, and your learing curve will be greatly accelerated if you choose to do so. Just talk to your "partner," and ask them roughly how much you can be expected to earn serving as their surrogate.

Jan 17, 2015 09:55 AM
Bill Dandridge
MKB, Realtors - Roanoke, VA
GREEN, ABR, GRI, EcoBroker

Make sure that all leads that you develop yourself are yours. That has kept me from taking on these partnerships in the past. At the least, I would certainly tell the person that asked you that you appreciate the offer, and you would be happy to take any buyer referrals that they give you.

Jan 17, 2015 09:51 AM
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Century 21 - Redwood Realty - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate


Like all of the above responses to your question, the one from Jeff Pearl in particular.  Dave Baker gave you food for thought too.

What are you expected to bring to the effort - money, clients, time, tech experience?

What is the buy in, what is the on going split of proof and expenses.

Jan 17, 2015 07:48 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Can you ask someone that has already done it? i wouldn't rush into any partner situations. If you decide to do it, chack about doing it on a trial basis for 6 months or 1 year.

Jan 17, 2015 07:02 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Guin, team work is better than working solo. But, you need to set guidelines for the partnership arrangement.

Jan 17, 2015 06:47 AM
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Simple question, yet tough as well, as there are so many ways to look at this.  I started my career in real estate as a buyer agent on a team.  Team concept, but by no means was it a partnership.  I got what I needed, then left once it no longer worked.  In a partnership, if you leave, what you help build may be lost.  There could be complications, not working well, someone not holding up their end...........and so on.

I'm sure it could work real well too, as many others have made it work.  

How would it be set up?  50/50

Who runs what?


Profit sharing?

Dissolution agreement?

costs and how they will be split?

basically a business model, roles, costs/expenses, responsibilities and so on.

Jan 17, 2015 06:04 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

The biggest benefit would be an instant source of business as well as guidance in shaping your experience.  Though, you should get together with the agent and your broker and make sure all the details and expectations of the partnership are in writing.  And, the biggie, if things are not working out, there needs to be an exit strategy.

Jan 17, 2015 05:54 AM
Dipti Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
On a team with Praful Thakkar

You decide, based on your personality.

May 28, 2018 10:43 PM
Ajay Pandya
e-Merge Real Estate - Columbus, OH
Realtor Ajay Pandya

Good idea - to begin the career.

Jan 18, 2018 12:18 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Teams are great as long as they have a good leader.

Oct 22, 2017 09:23 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Hella nailed this one!

May 13, 2017 04:30 AM
Guin White
Barker Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Tenacious Problem-Solver, Referral Broker

I keep coming back and reading over the answers -- and am delighted to find new ones each time. Thank you all! Everyone's advice has been so helpful and appreciated.

Jan 21, 2015 12:54 AM
Guin White
Barker Realty - Santa Fe, NM
Tenacious Problem-Solver, Referral Broker

Wow! Thank you for all the responses, Rainmakers. I've clearly got a lot to mull over and discuss with my potential partner.

Jan 18, 2015 04:13 AM