Whether you’re a newly licensed real estate broker looking for some guidance or an experienced broker looking for something new, joining a real estate team could be a great way to make your real estate career more meaningful and lucrative. However, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages before you make the commitment so that you don’t let down the team, your clients, or yourself.
Pros of Working with a Real Estate Team
Working with a real estate team can be a great way to launch your career or to scale up from your current approach.
Help with Lead Generation
Many teams have a strong team lead with a steady flow of referrals from past clients and a robust lead gen program in place. They will then distribute leads for followup from team members, who will become the primary contact for that client. If you are just starting out or if generating leads has always been difficult for you, this can provide more consistent revenue and help you build your business.
By working with your team lead and with your fellow team members, you’ll learn from already-successful brokers. That kind of real-world, hands-on experience is sure to make you a better broker and gives you the opportunity to fill in the gaps in your own knowledge and practice.
Shared Support Staff
Many teams share the cost of support staff like an assistant, transaction coordinator, or lead nurturer. This may allow you to add leverage to your business less expensively than if you were maintaining staff on your own.
Similarly, you may be able to share the cost of a web presence, content creation, graphic design, branding, special events, or other resources with your team lead and colleagues. That can allow you to create promotional materials and initiatives that you might not be able to afford on your own.
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Cons of Working with a Real Estate Team
As with any group working together, real estate teams can have their share of struggles. Here are some things to consider before you take the leap.
If you are looking to make a name for yourself in your market, you may have some trouble doing so on a team. Since the team’s identity is normally centered around the name recognition of the team lead, it may be harder to create your own professional identity and get noticed as an individual.
Lack of Brand Differentiation
Similarly, your team will have a brand identity that may keep you from pursuing your own interests. For example, if you are working with a team that is primarily focused on in-town condos, it may be difficult for you to develop your luxury homes brand. Try to make sure that the team you join is focused on the real estate niche that you want to work in so that you can transition to a personal brand should you choose to do so.
With more people comes more personalities—for better or for worse. While there will no doubt be people on the team with whom you bond, you’ll also find folks there who aren’t your cup of tea. You’ll need to put your people skills into high gear to ensure that you work well with your teammates so that you can be productive and successful.
Smaller Commission Cut
When you are part of a team, both your broker and your team lead will take part of your commission, meaning a smaller cut for you. This will need to be offset through the larger number of clients you can expect to work with. Be sure to do the math to find out if you will have enough additional commissions to make team membership worth your while.
Are You Ready to Form Your Own Team?
If you already have a thriving real estate practice, you may be looking for ways to add leverage to your current business. Consider the following aspects of team leadership before deciding whether or not to launch your own real estate team:
- Do you have enough name recognition to support additional brokers and staff?
- How will the team you take on help you branch out to new niches or new areas of your market?
- Do you have well-defined branding that you can transition into a team brand?
- Do you have a talent for managing others and helping them to develop their skills?
- Do your existing referral sources expect your undivided attention or would they be open to having a team member take over some of the hands-on work that you do?
Whatever your decision, let it include both your short-term needs and long-term goals. Talk to a trusted mentor or to a colleague who has worked both individually and at the head of a team to get their insights. Most of all, do an honest self-assessment to decide whether a team dynamic will work well for you.