9a. Career Frequently Asked Questions

Russell Real Estate Career FAQs

WDTMTM? - What Does This Mean To Me?

Q. Is Russell Real Estate Services a franchise or part of a franchise?

A. Russell Real Estate Services is not part of any franchise.

WDTMTM? Many of the brokers nationwide and in this area are part of a franchise. Some of the most common franchises are Century 21, Keller Williams, Realty World, RE/MAX, Weichert, ERA, Coldwell Banker, Real Living, even Howard Hanna has some franchised locations.. . The list goes on and on. Most of these organizations charge a fee to the broker just to use the franchise name. They also charge a "franchise fee" and/or a "national advertising fee" on every sale the broker closes. These fees range anywhere between 5% and 8%. These fees are usually shared with the agents that work for the broker and are usually taken off the top before the agent is paid.. So when a broker who is part of a franchise offers you a commission split of 50.0%, you're actually earning about 46.0%. So whatever your split maybe, keep in mind they may be taking a percentage off the top before you are paid, which significantly changes the numbers. Russell Real Estate Services DOES NOT HAVE OR CHARGE ANY FRANCHISE FEES.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services charge their agents desk fees?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does not charge agents desk fees.

WDTMTM? Some brokers that offer larger commission splits with their agents do so because they charge monthly desk fees. Some of these desk fees range between $300.00 per month to $2600.00 per month. Some go even higher. They pay desk fees each and every month. If you have no sales or six sales your broker doesn't care, because they have gotten their money. You pay desk fees even if you're on vacation. If you can, imagine writing out a check each month to do business from a desk or a private office. Agents paying desk fees are sometimes compared to tenants paying rent. Usually agents are attracted to this set up because they are told they will get to earn 100.0% of their commissions. They also get 100.0% of their bills, like advertising, signage, business cards, marketing materials, some are even charged for their contracts & forms. They usually share in other office expenses like receptionists, personal assistants, utilities and even use of the copy machine. Some are even charged "franchise fees" on top of all this. Many realize too late that they are not making that much money on this system and are bound by contracts with heavy penalties for leaving. The only persons making money are the owners and the broker. It seems so contradictory that real estate agents educate tenants daily, that is better to own than it is to rent, turnaround and pay desk fees to brokers with "rent-a-desk" philosophies, making themselves tenants in their own real estate careers. Russell Real Estate Services DOES NOT CHARGE ANY DESK FEES.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services charge their agents for advertising their properties?

A. Russell Real Estate Services pays to advertise of your listed properties in print and online.

WDTMTM? First, it means fewer bills for you and you keep more of your money, but that's not all. Secondly, it means you can focus on getting more listings and sales and not worry about your clients complaining that their property is not being advertised enough. Thirdly, your properties have a better chance of selling; you see your properties will be advertised more frequently giving them maximum exposure.

One of the biggest problems an agent has, when he or she is paying for part of the advertising of his or her properties is that the advertising is always limited to the depth of that agents pockets, meaning as an agent acquires more and more properties, the more money is required to keep them all advertised effectively. Usually an agent has a certain amount of money budgeted to advertise their properties. Something else begins to happen also, as each listing gains market time, most agents tend to tighten their purse strings and spend less money advertising a property that looks like it might not sell. This creates a kind of "Catch 22", because as the agent spends less money advertising that property, it gets less and less exposure, eventually causing it not to sell.

In a market that is very saturated with properties, market times keep increasing. As the average market time increases, the agents advertising expenses tend to increase too, if they keep up with the advertising to get a property sold. As sellers get more and more knowledgeable about real estate, they understand the importance of exposing their property to get "Top Dollar". These sellers are looking for a company that will provide more advertising and exposure. That means that seller will be looking for an agent that works for a company that pays for advertising. That also means more listings and sales for you.

Russell believes strongly in online listing syndication. Meaning we will advertise your listings on Hundreds of different websites throughout the world. We also partner on Realtor.com and your listings will also show up on Zillow.com listings inquires going directly back to the agent completely free.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services charge agents for signage?

A. Russell Real Estate Services provides all the residential signage you need.

WDTMTM? Again, that means you keep more of your money. Russell Real Estate Services provides yard signs, open arrows, home for sale arrows, for sale inserts, pending inserts, sold inserts and office number inserts. The only insert Russell Real Estate Services does not provide is your own personal number insert. (Not required, but recommended.) For a small investment you may pick up a buyer from one of your properties and increase your income.

Many brokers do not provide any signage. They will hand you a catalog so you can order and pay for what you want. Companies that use those huge posts, actually hire a crew to install and remove yard signs. That runs about $50.00 to $60.00 per sign. Guess who pays for it? You do. If you're lucky the broker will pay for half of it. That's $30.00 per property if it sells or not, and that doesn't include the inserts with your name and phone number or sold. If you don't use the huge post signs, each yard sign can cost you about $30.00 - $35.00. That does not include inserts. The signs don't last very long either; you will most likely be buying a new sign for each new property listed. You won't be appreciated too much for showing up at a seller's property with a faded or rusted sign. Open house arrows, depending on the type may cost you between $75.00 and $130.00. Russell Real Estate Services PROVIDES FREE RESIDENTIAL SIGNAGE!

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services charge their agents "transaction fees" or "monthly tech fees"?

A. Russell Real Estate Services has a once a year tech usage fee for ink cartridge and paper use. It has been $150.00 the last 5 years.

WDTMTM? This means you will be able to use Russell Real Estate Services' latest technology, color laser printers, internet based technology, like Kunversion, Toolkit CMA, CloudCMA, SharperAgent, Dotloop, Listingbook and Russell Real Estate Services' Personal IDX Website. If you have ever purchased an ink or toner cartridge you know that they can get pretty expensive as much as $35.00-$100.00 for some. So for one hundred and fifty dollars plus or minus, for a years use is a pretty good deal. Some companies charge a tech fee each month. One company locally charges its agents $50.00 a month if you use the technology or not. Some companies charge a transaction fee covering technology. A local company charges as much as $125.00 per transaction if you use the technology or not. Russell Real Estate Services DOES NOT CHARGE A MONTHLY "TECH FEE" OR A "TRANSACTION FEE" TO OUR AGENTS.

Q. As a Russell Real Estate Services Agent am I required to be in the office a certain number of hours?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does not require you to be in the office for any special amount of hours or days.

WDTMTM? This means you control your own schedule. At Russell Real Estate Services you are a true independent contractor. The company has an independent contractor type philosophy. You control your own schedule and work the hours and the days that you want. This can be difficult for agents who can't run their own business or be their own boss. Many of the large companies in the area have an "employee" based philosophy. They will tell you that you need to be in the office each day and how many days per week you need to work. They will also tell you how many open houses you are required to do and opportunity times you will cover. They will tell you that you need to be at every office meeting and more they will treat you just like an employee. Many will not even consider you if you have any other type of employment. Russell Real Estate Services ALLOWS YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS AND DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY OFFICE HOURS OR SCHEDULED DAYS.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services have a Mentoring Program?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does have a Mentoring Program and it does work.

WDTMTM? Russell Real Estate Services has a Mentoring Program that allows you to learn from an experienced agent and at a pace that is based on your needs and schedule. The Mentoring Program is an option, you do not have to take advantage this great opportunity, but why wouldn't you? Mentoring really works and actually increases your chances of doing well quickly. Everyone learns at a different rate, you may pick up on something real quickly or you may need more time or assistance to fully comprehend a task or system.

Your Mentor will be available and will go on scheduled appointments with you. You will also be allowed to go on appointments with him or her according to their schedule. They will be there to assist you in working directly with buyers and sellers completing forms and completing real estate tasks. You will also receive management support. Many of the experienced agents in your office will also help you if you need to ask a question or need assistance it is a very team oriented company. Our experience has shown us that Mentoring really works best when the agent that is being mentored has a vested interest in their learning. Tier one the first level; the agent invests 10% towards the Mentoring Fee and Russell Real Estate Services Pays for 20%. In Tier Two the second level, the investment roles reverse. Each tier is optional and the agent being mentored can opt out after completing any level. Russell Real Estate Services DOES HAVE A MENTORING PROGRAM.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services have an in company training program and is there a fee for taking the training?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does have an in company training program and it is FREE.

WDTMTM? Many companies especially franchises and smaller companies, have no in company training programs. Most have no training whatsoever. Many of the smaller companies do not have enough agents joining them on a regular basis to pay for and have a formal training program. Think about it if ABC Realty (small company) had two agents joining the company a month. (They probably would be licensed at different times each month) The smaller company couldn't hire a trainer to teach two agents per month, if one of them could show up for class the trainer would have a class of one. Most smaller companies will say they have a training program which will consist of the Broker or Manager sitting down with you when they are available to teach you some basic info, providing the Broker or Manager was active in more recent years or had any success in selling.

Many of the franchise brokers fall into this same category with a few exceptions, many are also smaller, but they will have a regional training program that all the same name franchisees will send their newer agents. Depending on the franchise these can be very far away. If you are lucky, the furthest you will have to go is a county or two away. Oh did I forget to mention, that you will probably be paying to take the course and/or materials, as an agent in a franchise you will get this neat catalog of courses to take, brochures you can use and tools you can order ALL AT YOUR COST.

Many of the larger companies will have an in company training program, they will call it their "training academy" or "training school" or something. Many times they will charge you for the training and materials and require you to take 2-3 weeks off from your life to take it. You will pass your state exam and they will tell you that you have to sign up for classes immediately. They start at 8:00am and go until 5:00pm Monday thru Friday for the next two to three weeks. Russell Real Estate Services' training is FREE. Russell Real Estate Services has an in Company Trainer/Instructor and the course material is provided, all you have to do is show up being prepared to learn. It is centrally located and the courses are held one evening a week for fifteen weeks.

Russell Real Estate Services understands that you most likely have other commitments and a life. Many of the agents that are getting into the business today have families and other jobs that they transitioning from. You will learn how to work with buyers and sellers, fill out the paperwork, generate and convert leads, hold open houses, follow up on listings and sales, close transactions and more! You will also learn how to take advantage of the Russell Real Estate Services systems and tools to start making money right away. Russell Real Estate Services HAS FREE TRAINING.

Q. Does Russell Real Estate Services offer advanced training and is there a fee for taking the advanced training?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does offer advanced training and it is FREE.

WDTMTM? As answered in the question before this one, many brokers do not offer an in company basic training program. Since many do not have an in company basic training program, many more for sure do not have an advanced training program. Russell Real Estate Services uses "Our world" Designed by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This training is Designed to teach agents the latest and greatest in Real Estate as well as Help them develop advanced sales techniques. Russell also uses "Mike Ferry High Volume Selling" training program for advanced training along with regularly scheduled speakers and in office training and support provided by Active and Experienced Managers and Brokers. Many successful agents in the company also offer workshops on a variety of different topics. Russell Real Estate Services also schedules a wide variety of free continuing Ed classes throughout the year. Many of our agents hold special designations and available offer sound advice. One of Russell Real Estate Services' greatest strengths is in training its agents and keeping them up-to-date on the changing markets and systems. Russell Real Estate Services HAS FREE ADVANCED TRAINING.

Q. What tools does Russell Real Estate Services provide?

A. Russell Real Estate Services provides a wide variety of tools to help the agents succeed.

WDTMTM? There are so many tools provided by Russell Real Estate Services it's hard to know where to start. Technology has taken this industry by storm and many brokers can't afford to take on an accelerating technology curve. Russell is always looking for tools to keep you the agent competitive in todays market. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to help you generate more leads and take you career to new heights. Currently Russell provides tools such as Kunversion, CloudCMA, Dotloop, Toolkit CMA, Sharper Agent, Matterport Camara technology an Featured Listings for Realtor.com and your listing appear on Zillow, Click here to learn more about these exciting programs. Each office is also equipped with the tools you will need including Free Wifi, Wireless Free Color Printers, Computers, and High speed scanners.

Our offices are also set up for wireless connectivity for agents with Ipads, tablets and laptops. All of our programs are internet based so they can be used at home and most are mobile using responsive websites. Agents have there own intranet. The agents can access a dashboard that includes links to our forms and programs and a Personal IDX (Internet Data Exchange) Website that can provide and convert leads. We also have an online Do Not Call system that permits agents free access to search phone numbers. Russell Real Estate Services PRACTICALLY PROVIDES YOU WITH ALL YOU NEED TO SUCCEED, TOOLS INCLUDED.

Q. Can I earn income other than selling real estate at Russell Real Estate Services?

A. At Russell Real Estate Services you can earn money other than selling just real estate.

WDTMTM? Russell Real Estate Services agents can earn income from purchased shares in an agent owned Title and Escrow company. Russell Real Estate Services agents can and do earn income mainly from selling real estate, but other sources are available too! Russell Real Estate Services AGENTS CAN AND DO EARN MONEY FROM MORE THAN JUST SELLING REAL ESTATE.

Q. Will Russell Real Estate Services pay for my classes to get into real estate?

A. Russell Real Estate Services does not pay for your classes directly, but they will reimburse you up to $1500.00 for completed classes after you are licensed and selling real estate.

WDTMTM? You can get into a rewarding career in real estate and all it will cost you is your time and effort, Russell Real Estate Services will reimburse you the rest. Russell Real Estate Services HAS A TUITION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM THAT WILL PAY YOU BACK UP TO $1500.00

Q. Do I have to pay for the contracts and forms I use at Russell Real Estate Services?

A. Russell Real Estate Services provides you with all the forms you need. Many agreements and forms are also available online.

WDTMTM? It's hard to believe, but some companies actually charge their agents for the paperwork, purchase agreements, listing agreements and forms. Russell Real Estate Services DOES NOT CHARGE ITS AGENTS FOR PAPERWORK.

Q. Do I have to buy my own business cards?

A. Russell Real Estate Services pays for all of your standard business cards.

WDTMTM? Many companies don't even provide business cards for their agents. They direct them to a fancy website and say order what you want and don't forget to pay for them too. The problem is, some agents are paying so much for business cards ($50 -$100) they don't want to hand them out. We want you to hand them out all over! Russell Real Estate Services has so many business cards printed I don't think they ever stop the presses. Russell Real Estate Services DOES PROVIDE BUSINESS CARDS FOR FREE!

If you would like to know more, click here to submit a request for additional information.

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Russell Real Estate Services is a locally-owned Cleveland based real estate brokerage. Russell Real Estate Services specializes in Cleveland homes for sale, Westlake homes for sale, North Ridgeville homes for sale, Brecksville homes for sale, Strongsville homes for sale, Medina homes for sale, Sandusky homes for sale, Amherst homes for sale, Parma homes for sale, Brunswick homes for sale, Richfield homes for sale, Lakewood homes for sale, Garfield Heights homes for sale, Maple Heights homes for sale and North Olmsted homes for sale. Russell Real Estate Services also serves Aurora homes for sale, Avon homes for sale, Avon Lake homes for sale, Bedford Heights homes for sale, Berea homes for sale, Broadview Heights homes for sale, Brooklyn Heights homes for sale, Chagrin Falls homes for sale, Cleveland Heights homes for sale, Cuyahoga Heights homes for sale, Elyria homes for sale, Hudson homes for sale, Independence homes for sale, Lorain homes for sale, Macedonia homes for sale, Oberlin homes for sale, Olmsted Falls homes for sale, Sagamore Hills homes for sale, Sheffield homes for sale, Solon homes for sale, Streetsboro homes for sale, Tremont homes for sale, Twinsburg homes for sale, and more.

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