One of the greatest challenges facing real estate agents is the choice of working as a solo operator or joining with one or more agents to form a team. The question can lead to agonizing over the pros and cons. The agent must consider the particulars of having to work with another personality as an equal or near equal against being in charge of one’s own operation with no one else to contradict one’s business plans.
Sometimes the development of a Realtor’s business forces the issue. A solo operator is forced by an ever-increasing workload to take on help or risk losing business because he or she can’t keep up with all of the transactions coming in. Bringing in another agent as a partner can ease the strain and help the business grow further.
Real estate teams first began forming in greater numbers during the 1990s as a way to compete more effectively with individual agents and increase business. The benefits of working on a team may seem self-evident. For an agent whose workload is piling up, starting a team with another Realtor can provide major relief. With two or more agents around to handle clients and find leads, the transaction volume of each individual Realtor can go up. Agents also may be able to spend more time with each individual client, building a rapport that could develop into a solid business relationship.
“The advantages of a team are increased leverage, enhanced efficiency and the benefits of specialization,” said Steve Cohen of Keller Willams, who is CEO and listings agent for the Steve Cohen Team. “However, in addition to adding more agents, on any top-producing team a good half of the team does not sell or rent, they’re administrative.” His team features three buyer’s agents, an operations director, a communications specialist, an advertising specialist, a marketing specialist, a transaction coordinator and a director of operations.
“When a team functions effectively, it delivers far better service to the client,” Cohen
continues. “When it doesn’t, it is far less effective than a motivated individual. The research is clear that teams outperform individuals and individuals outperform groups, because a group is not a team.”