To work with a team or go it alone — the question becomes: Which option is best for me? The answers to these questions are different for everyone.

The real estate industry is unique among many industries because it offers ample opportunities to both work on a team and to go at it alone. Real estate agents have the ability to work for a company, and all the resources and benefits that might go along with it or to be an entrepreneur and build up a reputation and business on their own.

The question then becomes, which option is best for me? Do I want the increased security and support system that comes along with a team, or do I want to build something on my own and keep more of the revenue that I generate? The answers to these questions are different for everyone.

Should I join a real estate team?  

My answers to these questions and others have evolved over the years. I started on my own as a solo agent. I had to learn everything, build my own network, find my own leads and essentially claw my way up all by myself. At the time, it was exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted the increased income potential, and I wanted to create something that was mine.

But looking back on it now, I think real estate teams are probably the best way to get started in the real estate industry. And if I were to do it over again, I would have started on a team. Even if you know you want to eventually go on your own and maybe even build your own team, you can gain invaluable experience by starting out working at a company or on a team.

They can offer you support, guidance and even leads as you get started in the industry. It takes some of the stress of running the whole business off of your shoulders so you can focus on becoming a home-selling master.

Treat yourself like a business

But whether you want to work for a team, work for yourself or work for a team for awhile and then work for yourself, the most important thing is that you are always treating yourself as a business. Because you are a business, no matter if you are working by yourself or for a company.

The main implications of this are twofold. First, it means that your career advancement is completely in your own hands. It is your responsibility to improve your skills, hone your craft and make yourself more profitable. You can never rely on your boss or team leader to do that for you.

Second, it means you need to approach your team or employer as the business transaction that it is. And a proper business transaction should be mutually beneficial. Even if you prefer working for teams, you should leave your current team if what it offers you really doesn’t support you in your business.

Teams should provide you with resources, support, marketing and sometimes sales leads, commensurate with the amount of commission you give up to them. If they really aren’t providing much, but take a substantial portion of your commission, then you should leave.

In other words, if you aren’t getting your money’s worth for the amount of commission you are paying to your team, then you have to make the smart decision for your own personal business and go to a team that offers you greater value — or leave and give it a try on your own.

Should I go solo?  

If you are seriously considering leaving your team and working for yourself or starting your own team, you need to ask yourself the following question:

  • Am I ready to really start my own business and do it 100 percent on my own?
  • Or, is it just time to find a team that better suits my needs and provides more support, culture and opportunity?

Working on your own or even building your own small team can certainly increase your income substantially. But it does also substantially increases the stress and requirements on your time. And it isn’t for everyone.

Some people are perfectly happy and in the right spot working for someone else. They enjoy the benefits of not needing to manage and stress over all the aspects of running a business. And that is absolutely fine.

Many people just love selling homes and working with clients, and all teams need those people. We can’t all be business owners, otherwise, we would all be solopreneurs without a team to carry out our mission

Also, if you really don’t want to build anything or feel like generating more business, but you want to get more of the commission from your deals as a way to increase your income (instead of working harder or smarter), then you probably should not leave your real estate team.

Going alone and building your own business is difficult, and it requires you to work both harder and smarter.

Do you want to build something?  

For some people, the perceived increase of stability and security that come along with working with a team doesn’t interest them. They just need to create their own business and build something for themselves.

If you are one of these people, then you probably already know who you are. Once you realize this, it may be time to leave your real estate team.

But remember to treat yourself like a business. If you’re already on a team, the smart decision can be to continue working with your team until the benefits of leaving outweigh the benefits of staying.

If you are the type of person who hits a plateau and gets bored, then the correct time to leave is when you want more challenge or feel it is time put your vision into practice.

If you think you have a better way and you want to keep more of the fruits of your labor, then it is most likely time to leave your team and go alone.

In the end, the choice is yours

The real estate industry is great because of the different avenues you are able to take within it. But in the end, the choice is yours. The important thing to do is make sure you are doing what you want to do and doing it in a way that makes sense in view of your goals.

Don’t work for a team that doesn’t appreciate you and doesn’t offer you value for value. And don’t work for yourself if you are not prepared to take on all of the responsibility and work.

The choice is yours.

Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia. Follow him on Facebook or checkout his Facebook group.

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