It’s no secret that getting your real estate license is relatively easy compared to other professions.
However, it is even easier to fail in this business as 87% of all new real estate agents will quit in the first five years. Unfortunately, having a real estate license isn’t going to prepare you to face the reality of being a real estate agent.
Deciding whether you should join a team or go at it alone will have a significant impact on your success.
For some, working with a team can be a remarkable business model as it can provide a hands-on learning experience. While for others, working solo may make more sense.
This article is going to help you see clearly some of the pros and cons of both alternatives.
How Real Estate Teams Get Created
The number one objective of most real estate agents is to build-up a healthy client base and nurture those relationships so to gain referral business as your business grows. If it’s done right, you should be able to measure the growth of your business precisely.
After being in business for a while, those referrals may become too much to handle for a single agent.
At first, maybe an assistant is brought on board to manage the daily tasks. As the number of clients become too much to handle for one person, the natural evolution of the business is to bring on board a Buyer's Agent.
Ever since the internet has revolutionized the real estate industry, it has become very popular to find clients online.
Technology savvy agents have fine-honed the art of attracting home buyers by providing user-friendly real estate websites and by creating expert real estate advice. The combination of a great user experience and an education-based approach has created a massive inflow of leads which is usually too much to handle for one person.
Many real estate teams have built their entire business on internet leads. Hence they were able to expand their business at a supernatural speed.
The owner of the team typically invests a significant amount of time and money into getting the business to the point where t it brings in so many new leads. Part of the compensation for making the client available to the Buyer's Agent is to split the commissions between the agent and the team's owner.
The Benefits of Joining a Real Estate Team
The majority of real estate agents are accustomed to working alone, and most are conditioned to be self-sufficient. Those who work in a team setting naturally end up discussing and brainstorming solutions to each other's challenges while the team acts as a support base.
When you are new in the industry, it can be a bit of a challenge to get some traction with generating leads. Joining a team can be the fastest way to earning a commission cheque. For new agents it can take months to get established and for their marketing to start showing results.
Furthermore, in real estate school they rarely teach about how to find a client or what is the most efficient marketing strategy.
When you decide to join a team, clients ready to buy can be handed to you right away.
For most team owners, it took a long time and trials and errors to figure out what’s working or not.
When you decide to work with a team, don’t be shortsighted to focus solely on the transaction. Keeping your eyes on how the team is generating new business can propel you forward when you hear the calling to head out on your own.
Working on a team is the best opportunity to enhance the skills that you need to have to become a successful real estate agent.
Remember, one of the best things about being a real estate agent is that you don’t have to be accountable to anyone. At the same time, the worst thing about being a real estate agent is that you don't have to be accountable to anyone. When you join a real estate team, it is expected that you will be held accountable for the work that you do.
A quote from a well respected real estate coach and RESAAS 2016 Real Estate Rockstar nominee - Richard Robbins, greatly sums up the purpose of accountability.
Knowing When it’s Best to Work Solo
When working on your own, you focus on getting your name out there and creating your own brand. Building a recognized name in real estate can take a very long time and it also takes a lot of money poured into marketing.
Years from today, when your marketing bears fruit, it could bring exponential growth to your business.
Team models frequently mandate that all clients belong to the owner of the team.
Translation: when you decide to leave the team, you are not able to contact any of the past clients.
In essence, you are having to start your business from scratch. This could be a gut-wrenching decision to make if you have gotten used to having leads handed to you.
The desire to work alone may sound like an oxymoron for a REALTOR® - but if you feel like you need to distance yourself from others to focus on your job, then it’s best if you create your own rules of running your business.
Keeping all of your commissions is certainly the most delightful benefits of going on your own. If you feel confident that you are capable of generating new leads, then architecting your own business is probably going to serve you better.
How Do You Know for Sure Which to Choose?
Examine your personality:
Are you looking for a safety net or you like to dream big?
Do you like helping others or you often find yourself accomplishing better results on your own?
One of the benefits of working with a real estate team is that it tends to have a “one for all, all for one” philosophy. You can receive a lot of support from others, at the same time you should be prepared to pull your weight and contribute to the overall success of the team. If you feel like others are slowing you down or you aren’t the nurturing type then striking it on your own is probably the best way to go.
Many solo-agents are extremely successful in their business.
They love solving problems and are typically excellent at juggling many things all at once. A well-trained administrative support is usually their secret recipe for keeping things together. The most anticipated characteristics of an agent working alone is that they need to be prepared to be tough enough to face the challenges on their own.
A clear organizational structure is imperative for both business models.
When you work on your own, you might find yourself doing a lot of tasks all by yourself. Eventually, if you want to grow your business, certain tasks will need to be handed off to someone to free up your time to work on money making activities vs. administrative tasks.
A team probably already has the delegations down to a tee. Therefore, it could be a great environment to learn and see how things work.
Busted Myths of Working as a Buyer’s Agent
Not everyone wants to become a famous real estate mogul and that’s totally okay.
Working on a team is not only intended for novice agents. Though the top reasons why agents join a team is to receive leads and to speed up their learning curve. But that’s not the only advantage that a team can offer.
If you rather focus on creating a well-balanced life, then the team concept can be a great fit for you.
Anyone who has been in real estate for a while understands that systems need to be in place that operates like a well-oiled machine. It includes hiring support staff, renting office space, maintaining websites, keeping a CRM up to date and paying for marketing. All of which cost a great deal of money and require a lot of time to manage.
After a while, many seasoned agents start thinking about turning a corner and think about simplifying their business. Joining a team can eliminated the challenges of running a business, and it can allow you to only focus on working with clients.
Operating under the umbrella of a real estate team can be exceptionally rewarding. Especially for those just starting their careers in real estate. It can also be a fantastic opportunity for those who are winding down their business, yet want to maintain a predictable level of income.
My last tidbit to you is - discover what your long term goals are and align your short term actions to complement your dreams and desires.