Now an agent at Warburg Realty, Allison Chiaramonte said she joined a top-producing team at a big brokerage but two years later felt ready to build her own brand.

Leaving an agent team can be nerve-wracking, but it can also be a chance to thrive while taking lessons from the team with you, according to speakers at Inman Connect New York.

In a session called “Changing It Up: Imagining Life After a Team,” Allison Chiaramonte, now an agent at Warburg Realty, said she joined a top-producing team at a big brokerage when she first started out but two years later felt ready to build her own brand.

She’s grateful for her experience on the team, she said. Coming from a background in the corporate world she learned systems and processes to keep herself accountable.

That, combined with working with one of the best agents in the industry, convinced her that she could “emulate what they were doing, but with my own touch,” she said. “It was totally a leap of faith.”

Allison Chiaramonte

Fellow panelist Matthew Slosar, who now has his own team at Corcoran Group, left his previous team after nearly eight years when he realized “there wasn’t really a financial benefit to being on the team” and it was getting in the way of him building his own business. He also wanted the flexibility of setting his own schedule after his son was born.

“Depending on where you are in your career, I think [being on a team] is the best way to learn,” but if you’re not learning, it’s probably time to leave, Slosar said.

Matthew Slosar

For those thinking of joining a team, he said one of the first questions they should ask is: How long has everyone been here? That will give you an indication of the culture of the team, according to Slosar.

“Everyone’s young and eager to learn and wants the branding of team,” he said. “You have to decide if you want it to be cut-throat or people looking out for each other.”

Chiaramonte added, “It’s also about chemistry to some extent and are you having fun being with them.”

A “bad culture fit” can ruin a team because people start to leave, noted panel moderator Katie Kossev, sales manager at Compass.

Katie Kossev

Team leads should also keep in mind that hiring someone is a time-consuming process, according to Chiaramonte.

“People think that ‘I’m hiring someone. It’s going to be work off my plate,’ but it actually takes a long time to train people,” and you have to have the capacity to do that, she said.

Kossev asked, “What do you miss about [being on a team]?”

“The old advertising budget,” Slosar said, prompting laughter from conference attendees.

Chiaramonte said she missed the companionship of her team members. “Having multiple people to bounce things off of,” she said.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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