Different Kinds of Brokerages

When beginning your career in real estate, one of the key decisions is choosing which brokerage to work for. Different types of brokerages offer different advantages and serve various types of agents. Before you begin trading real estate, it is worth knowing which type of brokerage is the best fit for your career aspirations and the type of agents

Full-Service Brokerages

Full-service brokerages offer real estate agents the widest array of services and supports, including:

The various perks offered by full-service brokerages make them the most attractive for full-time real estate professionals.

For new agents, a good full-service brokerage can immensely help the growth of their business. New agents who are provided with comprehensive training programs and access to a franchise’s network of potential clients are given a leg up on their peers. Some full-service brokerages will also provide Real estate scholarships in order to help new agents enter get started in the business.

In addition to new agents, full-service brokerages are ideal for full-time and experienced agents. Because they offer such extensive tools and support, full-service brokerages can be slightly more expensive to work for than certain kinds of brokerages such as warehouse brokerages; but most full-time professionals find that the brokerage provides additional services part of their Basic services which the agent would have to pay for personally if him he or she worked in some other model. Examples of these kinds of costs would be marketing services, technology assistance, legal support, leads etc.

Warehouse Brokerages

In contrast to full-service brokerages, warehouse brokerages provide very little in the way of tools and support while offering no training or potential leads. Some warehouse brokerages will try passing themselves off as full-service. But scrolling through a firm’s website will usually tell you if they truly provide the requisite services. This article tells you more about how to identify a warehouse brokerage.

A warehouse brokerage is a good place for a hobbyist or part-time real estate agent. They are generally cheaper to work for, so an agent who only generates small, periodic bursts of income through trading real estate will benefit from this model. Warehouse brokerages are also well-suited for older agents who are close to retirement and winding down their business.

As a newer agent who wants to build a growing business, you may stand to gain little from being licensed at a warehouse brokerage. Warehouse brokerages can also have ratios of 800 agents to a single manager, which makes it incredibly difficult to receive any meaningful managerial support. Typically, the lack of Comprehensive in-person training reduce your chances of success

Boutique Brokerages

Boutique brokerages are small firms that focus on a particular geographic area or kind of market. They offer a narrower breadth of services than warehouse brokerages––but they are limited to a particular niche and lack the full scope of resources that full-service brokerages offer.
Joining a boutique brokerage as a new agent is a hit-or-miss experience. Some new agents are well-supported, but this typically stems from the manager giving them attention rather than from a variety of services being offered. Boutique brokerages tend to offer little in the way of financial support, technology tools, and leads. 

Boutique brokerages can, however, be attractive to full-time professional agents who are passionate about the niche of that particular firm. Boutique brokerages are also very small and have few people on their teams. Agents who crave closer work relationships and more quaint environments might be interested in working for a boutique broker. 

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Virtual Brokerages

Virtual brokerages, as the name suggests, are brokerages which operate completely online and have no physical offices. This type of brokerage creates an environment where agents work alone and is a poor fit for extroverts. In fact, a virtual brokerage could operate without the owner and manager ever actually meeting you face-to-face.

Of course, an agent who wishes to work alone could enjoy the model of a virtual brokerage. They tend to offer quality technology tools and built-in marketing systems, so virtual brokerages can also be a good fit for hobbyist and part-time agents. That being said, virtual brokerages are not necessarily cheaper than working for a full-service broker.

Virtual brokerages are typically far less than ideal for newer agents, as they provide poor management support and largely ineffective, non-interactive virtual training. These aspects, combined with the lack of face-to-face communication with colleagues, can make virtual brokerages a difficult environment for new real estate agents to start their career.


Choosing a brokerage is an important step in the process of becoming a real estate agent. Knowing how you fit into the landscape can help you on the path to success.