A Q & A on Co-Brokes


We know co-brokes are important to agents, so Rental Beast hosted a Q & A session to unpack everything about all-too-necessary commission splits. Read on to get all the information on defining co-brokes, understanding when you’ll be working with co-brokes, and discovering ways to find apartment units without co-brokes attached.

Q: What Are Co-Brokes?

A: Co-broking is when the available commission for a property is divided between the agent who brings a successful client and the agent representing the property. These splits are in addition to any made with both agents’ brokerages.

Q: Do Apartments Have Co-Brokes?

A: Yes. Like home sales, properties listed for rent can also be represented by a listing agent and will require agents to co-broke. But, with smaller commissions and a sometimes-scant availability of rentals, co-brokes can be important for agents working with rentals. However, it’s important to remember that not every apartment unit will have co-brokes attached, and there are many ways to access no co-broke listings.

Q: When Will You Deal with Co-Brokes?

Co-brokes are a necessary part of dealing with listing agents. Only brokers are able to access the MLS, so if you find an apartment on your local MLS, there will be a listing agent attached, and a co-broke. If you find an apartment using another source other than your local MLS, call the property’s contact number to see if there is an agent in an exclusive agreement with the owner.

Q: Why Should Real Estate Agents Care About Co-Brokes?

There are a few important reasons why real estate agents might search for apartments without co-brokes.

1. Get the full commission. This one is the most obvious, and one of the most (if not the most) important point for real estate agents. If you’re able to find and successfully place a candidate at a unit, you’re rewarded for your hard work by splitting the commission only with your brokerage.

2. The opportunity to build relationships with a landlord or a property owner. If you’re a listing agent, co-brokes sounds pretty good, right? Yup. So, when you find a rental unit that has no listing agent attached, position yourself as the right person to assume the role of listing agent.

Like when you’re applying for any position, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and highlighting your relevant skills. You’ll want to stress your experience with rentals, your sphere of influence and marketing know-how, and your ability to advocate for the property owner’s interests in the lease signing process.

Check out our script for cold-calling landlords to get started to finding the right words to highlight your credentials:

Your 6 Part Script for Calling Landlords

Q: Are There No Co-Broke Listings?

A: Of course! Many landlords decide to market their listings independently. These landlords and property owners may need a real estate agent; however, they may also not understand the value a real estate agent can add to the leasing process.

Q: Should I Show Only No Co-Broke Listings to My Clients?

A: Well, probably not. As a real estate agent concerned with getting your client the best home, it’s very possible that you find an apartment that both fits your clients needs and has a listing agent representing it. You should still show them that apartment you found on the MLS. However, its a must to know where to access no co-broke listings.

Q: Where Can Agents Access No Co-Broke Listings?

Finding apartments with listing agents attached isn’t hard–just login to your local MLS. But, if you’re looking to get full commission and to build lasting relationships with landlords, it’s important to access no co-broke listings.

1. Use your neighborhood intuition. Real estate is conducted at a street-level, so think about what areas you work with might have a high concentration of apartments listed as For Rent by Owner. A landlord without access to the MLS may engage in some hyper-local marketing to advertise their listings–scour local newspapers, shop windows, and yard signs to figure out who might need assistance filling a vacancy.

2. Referrals. How is your sphere of influence looking? We’ve heard a lot from partner agents who gladly take rental leads from agents who work only with home sales. Great strategy! Take advantage of all the networking you’ve put in over the years and reach out to other agents and landlords to ask if they have any leads on For Rent By Owner apartments searching for a tenant to fill their listings.

3. The Rental Beast Database. Here at Rental Beast, we understand the power of no co-broke listings. All Rental Beast approved listings on our database are sourced directly from property owners and managers. If the landlord is paying a commission, it’s all yours. And, if the landlord is not paying a commission, you’ll know right away. The filtering systems in our database make it easy to identify which landlords pay fees, so you can search just through listings that do pay fees.

Want to get a personalized tour of the Rental Beast database? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.

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