Teams have become a fixture in our today’s real estate landscape. Over one in four members of the National Association of REALTORS® now identify themselves as members of a team.
Should you join a team?
Many new agents or agents struggling with production view becoming a team member as a good option for their careers. Usually, it is because they assume, or hope, the team leader will take on all the responsibility of prospecting and business development. In other words, they want the team leader to “give them leads” in exchange for a split of the commission.
You don’t have to look far to find examples of agents who joined a team thinking life would be good only to quickly derail their careers and lose a lot of time. If you consider joining a team, you must do your research and clearly understand the team leader’s business model, systems, expectations, and track record.
Being a team member is not for everyone and is not a guaranteed easier path to making money in real estate than going solo. It is a different path but is still going to require hard work, persistence, and patience.
Should you be a team leader?
Rushing into a team leader position can be a costly disaster in your career. Most agents decide to start a team because they are too busy. They believe a team model will free up time while enabling them to continue to increase their production. This can absolutely happen but requires careful planning and focused execution.
When you operate as a solo agent, you can easily run your business by memory. When you transition to a team leader, you must have processes, systems, and checklists in place for every business task your team will manage. Your team members are representing you as an extension of your personal brand. You need to set them up for success.
As a team leader, you must have a solid operational foundation, a clear value proposition, a defined team structure and a compensation model for your team members.
Starting or rebuilding a team
The first step of moving from a solo agent to a team leader should be to hire an assistant. You should work with this person to build your business’s operational foundation in anticipation of adding agents to your team. One of the biggest reasons teams fail is because there are no systems in place.
Don’t forget: team leaders are leaders. Are you ready to lead other people? That requires an enormous investment of time and is often counterintuitive to the motivation of starting a team to save time. So you need to be very clear on what you want and what you are willing to do in order to avoid failure. The failure rate of teams is even higher than the failure rate of individual agents, by the way.
Are you ready?
Check out this Team Readiness Assessment to see if you are ready to start a team. Answer these ten questions to decide if you are ready and determine areas you need to focus your preparation on. Answer yes to seven of ten, and your odds of becoming a successful team leader are really good!
About Wendy Forsythe
Wendy has spent her career helping top brands, brokerages, and agents in both Canada and the United States build their businesses. At Fathom Realty, she serves as the Chief Brand Officer where she focuses on growing the Fathom brand across the country. You can contact Wendy at Wendy@FathomRealty.com. To learn more about Fathom visit www.FathomCareers.com.