Is Joining a Real Estate Team Right for You?
Table of Contents
- What Is a Real Estate Team?
- The Makeup of a Real Estate Team
- Advantages of Being on a Real Estate Team
- Disadvantages of Being on a Real Estate Team
- How to Join a Real Estate Team
What Is a Real Estate Team?
A real estate team is a group of real estate professionals who fill the various roles involved in the buying and selling processes. Real estate teams are not required by law, which means that the size, makeup, and culture of different teams may vary significantly. Since the teams are not intended to replace the brokerage, they must still operate under a licensed broker. In most cases, agents will have the option to work individually within a brokerage or join a team.
In essence, real estate teams provide a larger pool of support to ensure regular income for everyone on the team. Each team usually has someone who serves as the leader who guides the team and may also be the listing agent. Otherwise, agents may fill permanent or temporary roles, depending on the dynamic of the team. Some teams assign specific tasks to each agent, such as client communication or marketing. Others may expect that each agent can fulfill various roles, depending on what is needed for a particular client. In either case, the agent isn't required to fill all these roles simultaneously, as they would if they were a solo agent.
The Makeup of a Real Estate Team
Every real estate team is different, but most have a variety of roles to fill. Many teams create specific positions as a way to delineate responsibilities. Small teams may have multiple people filling different roles or covering for each other when needed.
The administrative manager ensures that all the administrative tasks are done. The role keeps the team going while they focus on sales, marketing, or working with clients. This person might have support staff to collect and handle bills, payroll, upkeep for the office, purchasing resources, and more.
Assistants can work with the administrative manager or under specific parts of the team, like sales, marketing, transactions, and more. The assistants often meet a variety of expectations on-demand, such as answering calls, reading and forwarding emails, greeting clients, or checking in with team members.
Each team must have a managing broker or work under one. While a real estate broker may fill the role of an agent, they also have additional experience and have obtained a broker license. On a team, the managing broker may supervise the team, onboard recruits, oversee transactions, and more.
The marketing specialist helps to promote the team to potential clients. Marketing may have one or two people working on the team or its own division. The marketing specialist controls brand management and selling the team's services to the right niche.
Open House and Showing Staff
Real estate agents may work specifically with open houses and showings. In this role, agents act as the primary point of contact for clients who want to buy homes. The position requires agents to interact with many clients and help to turn possible leads into contracts.
Real Estate Agents
On any team, there may be several real estate agents. Typically, agents will work exclusively with buyers or sellers, although small teams may have agents who do both. Agents might only work with established clients, or they could also do lead cultivation.
A runner takes care of the tasks that require the movement of money, paperwork, and more. Documents must be submitted by strict deadlines, and a physical transfer of an earnest money check or other paperwork can take significant time. The runner ensures that the deadline is met, freeing agents for other tasks.
The team leader makes decisions about the team's future and ensures that it continues to produce in any environment. This position often involves the person with the most experience or the best track record in lead generation. On smaller teams, the team leader may also be the owner or broker.
The transaction coordinator ensures that every aspect of each contract meets deadlines and proceeds according to plan. A missed step can turn into a lost sale, so the management of the contract requires a person who can stay on top of multiple tasks at once.
Advantages of Being on a Real Estate Team
There are many advantages to joining a real estate team. Agents may want to consider the possible benefits before making a decision. It's important to remember that the pros also depend on the team itself, as every team runs a little differently.
Pro: More Clients
One of the biggest benefits of joining a real estate team is the potential to secure more clients. As a general rule, the team leader has a proven track record and significant skill in securing new leads. Consistent lead generation can be one of the hardest things for new agents to do. Since the team spreads out responsibilities among multiple people, there may be a wider pool of leads or one person who spends most of their time developing them. The result is often a higher success rate in converting potential leads into home sales.
Getting established in the industry and the local market may require support, which most teams have by definition. The first couple of years are often the hardest for new real estate agents, particularly if they have difficulty finding time for all the responsibilities. An agent who is struggling to balance tasks related to helping clients sell or buy property may need assistance in getting everything done. Many teams include support staff members, whose jobs involve many administrative tasks that agents would otherwise have to do on their own time. This approach creates more opportunities for agents to focus on the needs of specific clients.
Pro: Communal Resources
When people become real estate agents, they are often surprised by the number of expenses they have for various resources. Developing an individual website, along with branding and marketing materials, can be a significant investment. On a real estate team, agents typically share these resources. They can take advantage of the established branding and credibility of the team to improve their own success rate. By pooling these resources, the team is more likely to ensure success for each member.
Pro: Being Around Experienced Team Members
Joining a real estate team allows agents the opportunity to gain experience in the industry while working with people who have varying levels of experience. Typically, each team member has their own responsibilities and knows how to fulfill them with a high degree of success. Agents can rely on other members to make sure that their tasks are completed correctly. New agents can get useful information about best practices for each role. They may also have the opportunity to develop those skills in a lower-risk environment.
Pro: Potential Training or Mentor Opportunities
In some cases, real estate teams make it easier for new agents to get additional training and for experienced agents to find mentoring opportunities. One of the most rewarding aspects of the real estate industry is learning from those with a lot of experience and using knowledge to help others get a good start. People may find it easier to secure training provided within the team than if they were operating as a solo agent. Agents interested in this benefit should look for teams that offer it, as not all of them do.
Disadvantages of Being on a Real Estate Team
There are a handful of potential disadvantages to joining a real estate team, as well. Agents should carefully evaluate these concerns and determine whether the advantages of the team outweigh them before making a decision.
Con: No Brand Differentiation
In many cases, real estate teams have a specific niche or focus within the real estate industry. For example, some teams may center their services around luxury homes, while others may limit their services by region. Agents who want to specialize in something else may find themselves limited by the choices of the team. A lack of brand differentiation isn't always a bad thing, however. If the team specializes in a type of real estate that an agent would like to go into, joining a team with an established brand can be a more successful way to do that.
Con: Smaller Commission Cuts
Working for a real estate team may significantly change the way that agents are paid. When working as a solo agent under a brokerage, agents may get paid a salary or rely exclusively on commissions. As a member of a team, the commissions earned from each sale or purchase have to be divided among a larger number of people, primarily to the broker and the team leader. Ideally, the team makes enough commissions to ensure a reasonable income for each member. In practice, that may not always be the case. Agents should look at the team's history before determining how viable it is to join one.
Con: Personalities May Clash
Ultimately, many people decide to become real estate agents because they want a greater share of the decision-making without engaging with an entire office. The real estate team can make it harder to do that, particularly when personalities clash. Each team may have its own advantages and quirks, which may or may not appeal to agents with different styles. The team requires greater attention to cohesion and a positive working environment. As such, agents should carefully consider the team culture before deciding to join.
How to Join a Real Estate Team
Joining a real estate team may feel like applying for a job, or it might be completely different — it depends on the team. Some teams like to approach agents, while others may actively advertise for new roles that they are trying to fill. Agents looking to join a team may want to search online for real estate teams in their area. Before approaching one, it is practical to consider the niches and regions that the team covers. That way, agents can be reasonably certain that the team will meet their basic requirements before proceeding.
When considering real estate teams, agents may want to plan out questions they would like to ask before making a choice. Important topics might include:
- Team organization
- Available roles
- Compensation structure
- Team culture
Talking to several team members can help agents get a feel for what they can expect, which makes it easier to decide.
Joining a real estate team could be a great way for new real estate agents to get established within the local market, take advantage of the knowledge of experienced agents, and help ensure predictable income for everyone. Although teams can make it easier for agents to build a successful career, the right fit depends on the team. Not every team will be a practical choice for every agent, and agents must consider each before committing. By doing independent research, agents can understand the benefits and risks and make a choice that is right for them.