For a new agent it can be difficult to know where to start. The real estate education courses teach you a lot about laws, ethics, standard forms, and the like, but they do not teach you how to get out there, prospect, handle objections, build relationships, and get buyers and sellers to choose you over one of the other nearly 78,000 realtors in Ontario. For any newly licensed realtor looking to build a successful career in real estate, joining a team can be a great place to start. When I propose this idea to agents, they almost always ask the same question: “Why would I want to give up half my commission?” The answer is that with a team, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In real estate terms: the value that you can get out of a team outweighs the cost of the commission splits. So, what is the value of being part of a real estate team? I thought you’d never ask.
The main benefits of being on a real estate team are as follows:
As a brand new sales representative, nobody knows your name. Prospective clients have never heard of you, you have no experience to your credit, and they have 2 relatives and 3 friends who are realtors, so why would they choose you? When you’re part of an established, top performing team, their reputation and name recognition will give you credibility.
Real estate can be lonely. I’ve heard this from several independent agents, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and in-office work and in-person brokerage events all but ceased. When you’re on a team, you have a group of like-minded professionals in your corner, and you’re all working towards a common goal.
As an independent realtor you don’t have to be accountable to anyone. This is a blessing and a curse. If you struggle to keep yourself focused and meet self-imposed goals and deadlines, then being accountable to someone other than yourself may be better for your business. On a team, you are typically required to set goals and the team leader will hold you accountable, assess your progress regularly and help you re-evaluate and strategize how to achieve those goals.
Most teams have some sort of lead generation system or program in place, as well as an experienced team leader with a steady supply of repeat and referral business. The team leader will distribute these leads to the team to follow-up and convert. You’ll likely also be given the opportunity to host open houses for the team’s listings, giving you the opportunity to pick up buyer leads even when you don’t have your own listings.
Training and Support:
In most teams, the team leader will hold weekly or monthly sales meetings, offers regular training sessions, and is there for you when you need additional support and situational coaching. Not only do you benefit from the years of expertise of the team leader, but also that of the other team members. You should take advantage of your colleagues. I don’t mean that in a nefarious way, of course; I mean that you should regard your teammates as a valuable resource and leverage their knowledge and experience to help you grow and develop. They will invariably have strengths and skills that are different from yours, and you can (and should!) learn from them at every opportunity. [Sidenote: I highly recommend role-playing with your teammates. You’ll be amazed by how one Sales Rep can frame an objection handle or a value proposition in a way that you might never think of, but that is very powerful and effective.]
Dedicated Support Staff:
Most teams have their own administrative and marketing staff (separate from the brokerage’s staff) that take care of details like coordinating your listings (scheduling photographers, staging, lockbox installation, etc.), broker loading listings, drafting paperwork, copywriting, creating social media content, designing print marketing materials, offering an extra point of contact/support for your clients, and much, much more. This frees up your time to focus on networking, prospecting, signing listings, and presenting and negotiating offers; or, in short: selling real estate.
Teams can afford to spend way more on marketing than most individual agents. Most teams have qualified marketing professionals on their staff, devising marketing strategy and content that appeals to and engages the target consumers. This means your brand, your listings and your sales will be advertised in a broader range of digital and print marketing publications/platforms. There are more lawn signs bearing the team’s name than you’d have bearing your name as a solo agent, meaning more sign calls and more brand awareness. There are team social media channels and a team website, and marketing professionals who understand SEO, AdWords, etc. managing them. Further, each team member has their own social media channels advertising the team’s listings, deals and brand. It only stands to reason that more arms = greater reach.
Many teams have shared client/prospect databases. These are virtual goldmines containing a wealth of current, past and prospective clients who may want to buy your listings, or who may have properties that are right for your buyers. In a well-organized database, you may even be able search contacts based on the features of the property they’re looking to buy or sell. For instance, if you have a listing, you may be able to search the database for contacts tagged as buyers, and further narrow it down to buyers who are looking for properties in a specific neighborhood, in a given price range (IF the database is very organized and diligently tagged and maintained). Further, in shared databases the marketing team can create drip campaigns, automatic touchpoints, etc. that can be sent to the entire team’s contacts. So, instead of advertising your exclusive listing to just your contacts, you can reach your whole team’s contacts. Again, more arms = greater reach.
In sum, teams are not for everyone. There are sales reps who prefer to be lone wolves, to be accountable only to themselves, and to move to the beat of their own drums. However, for those who could use support to help grow their business, who like camaraderie and teamwork, and who do not have the time, mental energy or know-how to handle their own administrative and marketing tasks, joining a team could be a game-changer. If you choose the right team for you, the value that the team brings to your business will far outweigh the cost of the commission you give to the team.