The Pros and Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
When you work as a real estate agent, you may often feel like you're working all alone. For many, this is one of the biggest benefits to becoming a real estate agent. For others, working solo may sound like a dream on paper, but in reality, it's a lot more isolating than they originally thought. While it's true that working in real estate is often a solo venture, that's not always the case. Instead of being a team of one, you can join a real estate team and become one of many.
In this post, we’ll share the benefits of joining a real estate team.
A real estate team is a group of agents who work within the same real estate brokerage. A team is often a smaller sub-group within the brokerage.
When you become a real estate agent, you must work under a brokerage. It’s a legal requirement. Your broker will provide you with resources, such as training, but they may not have a personal relationship with you.
Your real estate team will probably be more hands-on than your broker. However, it is not legally required that you join a real estate team.
You will find a real estate team within your brokerage. Before signing with a brokerage, you can research if they have teams in place.
There are a lot of great reasons to work with a team of real estate agents instead of by your lonesome. Let's look at the reasons why you should consider becoming part of a team.
When you work on a team of other agents, you'll be able to learn from their experience. Some of the agents on your team may have years, or even decades, of experience working in real estate. Some may be specialized and work with certain types of clients or in certain areas of real estate to which you may aspire. Instead of learning all of this on your own—a journey that could require years —you can simply learn from the guided advice of other agents on your team.
This is a huge benefit of working with the team. You will learn a ton in a small amount of time. Even if your team changes, with one or more members of your team leaving at some point, you'll still have gained a lot of real estate knowledge.
When you work with a team of other agents, you get access to a shared set of resources. This can include software and technology tools, the cost of maintaining a website, and marketing materials. This may also extend to hiring a support staff. Instead of shouldering the added cost of a real estate assistant on your own, you can share the costs with the rest of your team. A real estate assistant can be a huge help to you by allowing you to focus on high value tasks while they take care of answering calls or other less impactful (but still important) tasks.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Your network is your net worth"? When you work in real estate, your success depends on both who you know and who knows you. By working with a team, you'll have a built-in network of established real estate professionals. Your team can send potential leads your way, especially if the agent is already busy or if the client has needs outside of the agent's scope or skillset.
When you're working on your own, you're a team of one. That can sometimes make it easier to fail, especially when you know you can do it in silence. If you fail, only you will get hurt. However, when you're working with others, you have a greater sense of accountability because you know that your failures won't just affect you, but they'll likely affect the entire team. That gives you the added motivation to work harder so that you don't make a fatal mistake in business. Accountability also means that your team members will be there to challenge you and motivate you when they see that you're in danger of falling short of a business goal.
If you're just starting out in real estate, it can be hard to make a name for yourself. Sure, it will come eventually, but when you need to make your first sale, eventually is too far away.
Working with a team will increase your chances of getting clients as a new agent. A client may not know you, but they may know your real estate team. And your real estate team may have left a positive impression on them, which favorably increases your chances of winning them over as a client. One of your team members may also pass a client to you, especially if you're working with a high-producing team and you’ve managed to gain their respect.
It will definitely be easier for you to get clients quicker when you work with a team than if you work on your own.
While there are a lot of benefits to joining a real estate team, it may not be the right decision for you. Here are the reasons why you may not wish to join a real estate team:
When you join a collective, you give up your chance to create your own brand identity. You’ll build your team's brand, not your own. In fact, you may actually be building the team leader's brand. This can be challenging if you're hoping to build your own brand.
When you work with others, you'll also deal with others' personalities. Some of those personalities may be agreeable to you and others may not. It's likely that you'll work with a person who you may not like. This can add stress to your workday.
When you work as part of a team, your commission will change. How much it will change depends on your real estate team. Every team offers a different commission structure, however you'll likely split your commission with both the brokerage and the team leader. This means you'll bring home less of your commission, keeping maybe 30% to 40% of the amount.
While it's true that you won't take home as much as you would on your own, it's also likely true that you wouldn't have been able to earn as much business on your own. It may be better to keep 40% commission off of two sales than 100% commission off of zero sales. And depending on the resources your real estate team provides, you also won't need to invest any of your money upfront to market your listing because that will be taken care of by the real estate team. This may be enough to justify the smaller commission split.
Before you decide to join a real estate team, there are a few details you need to know. Here are the most telling questions to ask:
First thing’s first, you need to know how the team is structured. This will include who's in charge and how many people are on the team.
In addition to agents, a typical real estate team will include a team leader and often a transaction coordinator. The team leader will provide resources to the rest of the agents, including training, promotional materials, and other professional services. The lead agent is typically the most experienced agent on the team and will be able to provide guidance, resources and recommendations to help the agents on the team succeed.
This is a big question because you need to know, in no uncertain terms, how much of your commission you'll be able to keep if you join with them. Determine if the commission is unchangeable or if volume of sales may improve your split in your favor.
To determine if the commission split the team offers is reasonable, you must look at the value that they offer. Find out the following:
Joining a real estate team can provide a ton of benefits, including the ability to get clients quickly and the built-in support of veteran agents. However, when you work with a team, you lose some autonomy and the opportunity to make a brand for yourself. As a new agent, it may be a smart decision to work with a real estate team, as long as you go in with your eyes open.