I am looking for a new agent to represent me in English Canada. Now some agents are willing to split territories; others aren't. They all will tell you that they can rep you worldwide. But I have found that not to be the case. It is very hard to rep a writer in Quebec if you're not in Quebec; Quebec has its own community and rules and language; and by "language" I mean both the French language, and the expectations producers have of the relationships with writers. On the other hand it's hard for a Quebec agent to rep you in Toronto. And no agent can rep you very well in LA if they don't work in LA. Someone living elsewhere is going to be out of the loop. They're not going to overhear lunch conversation. They're not going to be able to have
lunch with buyers, and get a sense what people are looking for, and accidentally discover that there's a job available.
The drawback for the agent is their fear that they'll work to sell you in their territory, and you'll get a gig, or sell your material, in the other agent's territory. On the other hand unless you're white-hot, it's rare that this would actually happen. If you simply hold back your material from one territory while the other agent is working it, there will be no duplication of effort; and it's rare enough that you'll be up for two gigs at once, except during LA staffing season.
When I moved here, I had to give up a good agent in LA because her agency's policy was no split territories. My previous Toronto agent, I think, never really felt comfortable with the split territory. And yet there are agents who are willing to do it. I'm pretty sure I've got enough material to keep two agents busy -- I've had more trouble with my agents not being able to go out with all the stuff I come up with, and getting backed up with their reading, than duplicate sales of the same material.
So we'll see. And I'll keep you posted.