Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2018 by Emily Murray and has been updated in September 2019 by Brian Lim for accuracy and comprehension.
There are many different paths to take when you begin a career in the real estate world. One important decisions you'll make is whether to go solo or join a team. Everyone has different prioritizes and goals when it comes to mapping out their career - so your decision is unique to you. For example, a rookie agent will want to look for a brokerage with high brand awareness or mentoring, while a veteran agent might be looking for new marketing tools or digital marketing training.
In this article, I will list the pros and cons of joining a real estate brokerage to help you decide if it's best for your growth as an agent.
Pros of Joining a Real Estate Team
1. Great way to start new career
You have a lot to learn as a new agent. The majority of your initial learning experience will come from your license exam, observation, and trial-and-error. By working with a team of like-minded individuals, you can learn from your colleagues' mistakes and successes, have opportunities to brainstorm new ideas, and practice role playing. Since you'll have an existing database to work with, a lot of your lead generation will be done on your behalf through your broker. Typically, this means you'll have to pay financial dues or a portion of your commission to the broker.
2. Receive training and support
Most free online learning resources aren't comprehensive and require a fee for secret strategies that have a real impact. Having veteran agents to work with makes a huge difference at the start of your career. Many unexpected questions and scenarios will come up when you start as an agent, but fortunately a veteran agent can help you navigate. Even better, find a mentor that will take you under their wing, teach you the ins and outs, give you blunt feedback, and share their secrets of success.
3. Time off is easier
Agents who fail on their own often find it harder to take a break. Being part of a real estate team allows you to enjoy flexibility a bit more. For example, if you are out of the office, someone will be there to take a message or help a client for you.
4. Business expenses are lower
Shared expenses means less money out of pocket for you. Many of your fees can be split with the team as well as your office space. It's amazing how many fees agents are hit with throughout the year, sharing these expenses can help your bottom line.
5. Available resources, tools, and scripts
Most teams will provide marketing tools and material to help you be successful. For example, some teams provide templates and scripts for their agents to leverage. As a new agent, you will try new tactics, add your own flare, and keep the ones that resonate with you the most.
6. Established Team Branding
If you don’t have any personal branding, you should consider finding a brokerage with quality branding in your market to bandwagon until you are more established. Do your research! Review their customer and employee testimonials, and their Google search ranking to help you determine which one will be best for you.
Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team
1. You have less control of your branding
For the creative and marketing minded agent, teams can often be a bit restrictive. You won't have individual control of you own branding and will only be able to market yourself under the team name and logo.
2. Commission is less
Unlike a solo agent, you will have to share your commission with multiple members of the team.
3. You must mesh with team culture
Just like any office, you are going to need to make sure that the team is the right fit for you. Fitting in with the team culture is extremely important for continued success.
4. A weak member can hurt the entire team
The mistakes made by an individual greatly impact the team. They say "you are only as strong as your weakest link," and with a real estate team, this old adage holds true.
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