The Pros and Cons of Joining A Real Estate Team

Many agents we interview have questions about how they should go about Getting Into Real Estate. Depending on your style, going Solo vs joining a "Team" have very different impacts on your career path now and down the road. So in true Southern Athena fashion we decided to break it down into an easy Pro and Con List. Then you can see which option really fits best with your skill set and goals.

*Pro Tip: Click on the + Icon Next to Each Pro and Con Item for More Details on each!

Pros of Joining a Real Estate Team

We have many friends and colleagues who decided to join teams when starting their Real Estate career. Some of the Benefits of being on a team are fantastic! Beyond the obvious reasons like group synergy and support, here are the reasons why joining a team might be the best choice for you:
Financial Safety Net
Financials are the number one reason we see people join teams. Going 100% commission is scary. If you are on a team, there will often be a steady flow of opportunities given to you to make money. Getting "Leads" from your team leader and peers ensures you won't be totally broke and alone by the end of the year. What a relief!
Accountability and Structure
One of the largest benefits of being on a team is Accountability and Structure. Most Real Estate teams hold normal 9 to 5 office hours, regular team based meetings, processes and systems, and defined expectations of performance. According to the study done by author of The Four Tendencies, the largest percent of people (41%) fall into a personality category called Obliger. Most people actually NEED accountability from others in order to meet expectations. Working in teams is a great way to ensure your success if having accountability and direction has a positive impact for your personality.
Learning Opportunities
If you are new to any business, it is overwhelming to try and learn everything you need to know, on your own, without mentorship. Many people find that the team model provides more learning opportunities than independent roles as your team leader is directing and teaching you along the way. You don't have to worry as much about the sink or swim mentality because you have people on the team invested in your learning, education, and success.
Team Synergy
Working on a team is fun! Think about your favorite jobs... we bet most were great because of the team of people you were working with and not the actual job. Joining a team gives you community, support, and makes you feel good. (Or it should!) Being a part of something larger than yourself is a huge PRO of joining a Real Estate team. Plus, think of all the team celebrations, brainstorming sessions, mixers, and opportunities that come with being surrounded by others that have your back!
Let's Face It, Working Alone Sucks
Most Real Estate agents are Extroverts. Why else would you decide a position working with people day in and day out was a good idea? So it's no surprise, that most agents don't enjoy working alone. Joining a team allows you to be immersed and energized by the group. Collaboration, deals, and sales only happen when you can effectively work closely with others.

Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team

The Cons of Joining a Team generally relate to the long term drawbacks of the team structure, and your agility in the business. The most successful agents in both income and prowess are not ON teams, they are the team leaders, the owners, and power brokers in our industry:
You Won't Make It To The Top
Oh snap, we said it. If you join a team in Real Estate, it is highly unlikely that you will make it to the Top in this industry. That is simply because you would have to either overthrow your Team Leader for that position, or go out on your own to begin building an empire. Most agents that join teams have limited upward mobility for these reasons. Say you are a "Buyer's Agent" on a team, then the team expects you to serve your role, not to rock the boat and go rogue looking for Listings. Yes, you can climb your way up, but if you are on a team, you will likely have a hard time getting there.
Decreased Self Sufficiency & Agility
Markets shift. It's a fact. If you are dependent on your Team to opportunity supply, leads, systems, and tools, then what happens when the market shifts and there are not enough opportunities to go around? Your agility to move with the market is significantly decreased on a team as you are likely not encouraged to go outside of your role and find new and innovative ways to leverage your independent business ideas and models. Plus, you have likely not been encouraged to develop those skills as that could conflict with your role. It's about the team remember?
Lower Income to Sales Ratio
The financial drawback of being on a team is that you pay a larger percentage of your sales commission income to your team and brokerage. Most Brokerages charge a % of commission on the sale of property. When you are on a team, they will also charge a % of commission, or fee for providing the support in sales to your business. Most team members are making 50% of the total commission for closing the same job. If you were solo you could be making double.
Less Flexibility
As an Independent Contractor, you expect a certain amount of autonomy, however if you are on a Team, you may not get it exactly how you had thought. Do you have to man the phone lines every Monday at 8:00am? Did your team coordinator schedule a showing for you Friday night when you had already made plans with your besties? We know agents on teams that miss out because of their duties to their team. If you have a wonky schedule or want "total freedom" then joining a Real Estate team is definitely not going to be your style.
It's Harder to Go Out on Your Own
Sure you may be able to take some of your loyal clients, but leaving a team to go out on your own is even harder after the fact than if you had jumped right in at the beginning. This is because you get used to a limited set of expectations on a team that are difficult to overcome. Change is already hard, but changing from Micro to Macro is even harder. You will have to begin building your business systems from scratch - marketing, lead generation, values, content, and more from scratch if you decide to leave. Most agents making this transition end up leaving the business altogether, or jump to a less structured team to make the transition easier.

The Best of Both Worlds at Southern Athena

Our company is different in that we value the team approach without utilizing a pyramid structure within our company. Real Estate Teams are just one way other firms have decided to grow their business. Our structure is based on integration at the company level. Our Real Estate affiliates, staff, vendors, and clients all work together as a team to get the job done. We operate with an integrated approach to best serve our clients and communities in progress towards our Mission of "Building A Beautiful South".

Getting Into Real Estate with Southern Athena has most all of the Pros of joining a Real Estate Team, without all of the drawbacks. We offer our Southern Athena family the best of both worlds:

  • Accountability & Structure
  • Learning Opportunities
  • Team Synergy
  • Opportunities for Leadership & Ownership
  • Career Mobility & Agility
  • Flexibility
  • High Income to Sales Ratios
  • Community & Support

Think it makes sense too? Contact Us Today!