Joshua Shull Reveals Five Questions Aspiring Brokers Should Ask Their Brokerage


It’s rare for an industry leader to share critical insight into how they reached their position. They often pull up the ladder to secure their status and income from hungry ascenders. However, the real estate sector is based on self-employment as a widespread business model, with every individual reliant on the generosity of a larger brokerage to become a significant player in the market. Joshua Shull has recognized this in a recent YouTube video, in which he shared potentially vital inquiries aspiring brokers should make before hanging their license in a particular brokerage.

Shull founded Shull Homes in 2017, which is necessary context to understand and evaluate his latest online output. In 2022, he became a public figure in real estate and the wider business community due to his comments on the likes of company culture and recruitment strategies. Visual media has been a primary focus of Shull Homes’ marketing in recent months, and it was the chosen medium to present the following five questions its founder considers essential.

The first was related to finances and the perks attached for agents. Shull opined it was the most important and spoke at length on the topic. “The first question you should ask your broker is ‘what are your commission splits?’” he said. “Splits are all going to be a bit different based on the services they are going to provide for you. Some of them will even entice you with a 100% commission split—you should probably ask what they’re doing for you at that point.”

Shull named the benefits to look out for, such as lead generation and mentorship services, before prompting emerging brokers to determine what expenses (e.g., errors and omissions insurance) their brokerage will pay for. It led to a discussion on marketing funding, on which the founder articulated the following.

“I understand what it means to be a business owner,” he said. “One of your biggest overlooked costs is going to be in your marketing. What I try to do for my agents is help them out where I can with their exposure to the world.”

All brokerages that recruit a new broker may not offer marketing materials included. Shull’s sentiments on the topic translated into another key question on educational courses to ensure agents retain their licenses. He pointed out that a company’s willingness to put people in classes and bring tutors into the workplace is critical.

Mentorship programs, he added, can be a positive or negative influencer depending on the intentions of the mentor and the funds it requires from the broker. They’re arguably essential for new agents, but finding out the finer details of a brokerage’s scheme before signing up for it could be consequential for more experienced brokers.

The final question Shull offered could be applied to all job markets. A running theme throughout the video was that no condition is standard among all brokerages, and none is more divergent than personal responsibility. Agents should ask what is expected of them, especially concerning office working after the pandemic. For example, Shull Homes has a collaborative workplace culture but does not require brokers to be present between certain hours. This expectation differs significantly between brokerages.

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