Is Joining a Real Estate Team the Right Choice?

Real estate teams are great, but they are not for everybody.  Is joining a real estate team right for you? I love them. And I hate them. Most of the time when someone says to me that they are looking to “join a team” what they are really saying is that they lack the confidence that they have what it takes to make real estate a successful career for them on their own.  I want to say, “Quit quitting on yourself.”

The Great Thing About Real Estate Teams
Teams are leverage. They are leverage for the rainmaker, especially. And to be clear, they are leverage for the buyer’s agent and listing agent and admin hub, as well.  Lifestyle and hours and desire and all sorts of other factors go in to team leverage that can make it a very successful enterprise for all involved.

When you are on a team with a proficient rainmaker, ie lead generator, who doubles as a leadership development coach you almost can’t lose. Bring your hard work, ingenuity and willingness to learn to the team and a good (or even great) living is nearly assured.  Why would you want to quit that?

The Caution Flag About Real Estate Teams
Who is the rainmaker?  What I see over and over and over again is that the same unwillingness to learn the skill of being a proficient lead generator for yourself (“So, hey! I’ll join a team.) is what causes a lot of good lead generators (not great, but good) to say “Hey! I’ll build a team.”

What this would-be “leader of the team” is saying is

  • I have a few more leads than I can work with
  • I’ll give those leads to a “Buyer’s Agent” for a 50% referral
  • I’ll keep the really good buyer leads for myself
  • I’ll get the Buyer’s Agent to do their own lead generation
  • I’ll require the Buyer’s Agent to bring me their list
  • I’ll require the Buyer’s Agent to prospect
  • I’ll require the Buyer’s Agent to market

Well, if you are going to do all these things for someone else, why won’t you do them for yourself? 

Yes, a leader of the team should also bring you an administrative hub to alleviate some of those responsibilities. Yes, a leader of the team should provide some sort of value in coaching, mentoring, leadership and synergy.

In my mind, however, one of the key values a leader-of-the-team can bring you is business.

50/50 Split Works Two Ways
Many would be leaders of teams go immediately to Gary Keller’s recommended 50/50 split (see the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, page 204 I think) when it comes to compensation.  And of that split I have no issue. If I were a Buyer’s Agent I’d ask for reciprocation.  I’d ask that if I’m bring my list and my efforts for lead generation to the team then I’d like the expectation of my business being at least 50/50 on who supplied the leads.

Now, I’m going to get push-back on this and I don’t really care.  There are too many agents out there being brought on to teams who think they are going to be better off only to find they are only good for the leads they bring.  What?!?

My Position on Real Estate Teams
As I said, I love them…when executed properly.  I love them when the relationship is Win-Win for the leader-of-the-team AND the team member.  I love them when the clients receive a higher level of care.  I love them when everyone is earning money at a higher dollars per hour rate because of the segregation of duties.

But I really dislike them when they are a place for agents to flee to when they don’t believe in themselves. I really dislike them when they gobble up would-be-great agents under the guise of care and then don’t follow through on leads, leadership or support.

Thinking About Forming or Expanding a Real Estate Team?
If so, embrace lead generation. And leadership. And coaching for both you and your team. Embrace being learning based. And especially embrace that YOUR team members will be looking for you to help provide for them and their families.

Are you truly ready for that responsibility?  Do you truly have 3-4 months of payroll as a cash cushion to make sure you can train properly and then weather any droughts? Are you committed to consistent lead generation that provides more leads than you can handle?

Building a team is truly remarkable experience.  Doing so has changed my life. It has put me on the pathway of leadership development. Building a team has challenged me and humbled me and provided me financial benefits I never really even dreamed of the day I got my real estate license.

Thinking About Joining a Real Estate Team?
My best advice for anyone thinking about joining a team is to do your homework. Ask…

  • How many hours of lead generation does the rainmaker do each day?
  • How many hours of lead generation am I expected to do each day?
  • What is the rainmaker’s current unit count and volume?
  • What is the rainmaker’s current listing inventory?
  • What does the rainmaker’s team structure look like drawn out on paper?
  • Is the rainmaker following the Millionaire Real Estate Agent’s team structure, or better yet, the updated teams structure that Gary Keller shows from Mega Camp and Family Reunion?

And I would talk to that rainmaker’s Team Leader or Broker.  Do they feel that rainmaker is ready to be a leader of a team? Is that rainmaker currently in MAPS or some other professional coaching? Is that rainmaker currently in a good relationship with their Team Leader or Broker?

In the end, it is up to you. You know your dreams and your desires and your work ethic. You know if you believe in yourself or not. You know if you operate better supervised or unsupervised. You know what you want out of life.  There are some very successful Buyer’s Agents out there as well as Listings Specialists and admin people and so forth.  There is also a sea of discarded bodies considered “lazy” because they wouldn’t do the very lead generation that the would be leader-of-the team was also not doing.

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