The Team Concept: Is it For You?

Home Builder with Retired


The Real Estate Team Concept: Is It for You?


I welcome comments with pros or cons for either model.

Some events in life require team participation and others thrive with individual effort. Throughout our schooling the concepts of team cooperation and team spirit were drummed into us even down to the level of the chess team. I will admit that the chess team was a place where one could learn to play that game well, and the better the team dynamics, generally the better a school would fare in a chess meet. But when a game was on the line, the ability and the effort of the individual determined the end result.

Due to the recent promotion of the team concept in real estate in the past few years, I’ve had to ask myself, “Does leading a team or being on a team add anything to my current position of real estate broker*?” And the second and more important question is, “Does working with a team bring any advantage to a seller or a buyer in the real estate market place over working with an individual broker?

Real Estate TeamsReal Estate teams are composed in many ways, but the basic components include the team leader, brokers who work with sellers, brokers who work with buyers, and brokers or non-licensed personnel who work in the office with specific details such has IT, social presence, transaction coordination and other functions necessary to assist those working with clients.

As a broker, how does being on a team help me? The new broker will have an educational system in place and have the opportunity to work in a mentor-like environment. As problems are encountered, the broker will be exposed to solutions and increase their overall abilities. Generally, a team will be able to provide leads to each team member in greater volume than a the lone broker can usually generate. The team presence is often viewed as having more business than other brokers, and therefore they may be considered the brokerage of choice by more people.

A broker with years of experience, perhaps would want to start a team. The more successful the team, the more successful each broker will be. And actually, this is the model that real estate has thrived under for years. A designated broker (now known in Washington as the designated broker for a Firm) presides, and if his skills extend beyond being a representative for his clients, into the ability to manage other brokers, success will be his. If it turns out that this individual is not “manager material”, he eventually will leave the business or end up working as an individual again.

What does a team bring to clients? Ideally, a well run team provides the buyer or seller client with a ready contact anytime during business hours. The team has specialist you stay current with on all aspects of their specialty. Some buyers and sellers feel that they get more service when there are more team members, and because of that, their needs may be more readily met.

One on OneAs a broker, how is working alone an advantage? Brokers who work as individuals know that they are totally responsible for satisfying their clients. This may result in being able to work with fewer clients but the broker remains in control of the transaction from initial contact, previewing, showing, writing the offer, presenting the offer and following up right through to closing. There is often personnel in the office that do some paperwork control for the Firm which centrally handle things that the individual broker can rely on. Often times forms are provided this way. Conference rooms are made available and so forth.

What does the individual style of broker relationship bring to the client? Some buyers and sellers choose an agent based on personality and trust. If not informed of the team concept early in the relationship, the client may not like being shuttled from one broker to another during the process. Often times personalities don’t mesh.

When looking for a real estate broker to help you with a purchase, a sale, or both, be sure to ask if the broker works on a team or if that broker works alone, and make sure that you are comfortable with the process you will be involved in. Closings at minimum take about a month and often take as long as six months. You want to be comfortable with the person or people you will often be in contact with.

*All real estate licensees in Washington State are now referred to as brokers. A broker is only an agent if he is in a contract (real or implied) with a buyer or seller to represent them in a transaction.

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Previously published on Puget Sound Professional Real Estate Group

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Glenn Roberts




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Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

Glenn, nice way to put that - I have a team as well, it provides us a lot of benefits. 

Feb 08, 2011 05:00 PM #49
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Great post Glenn, I wish I would have read this before I entered into a so called T E A M. I'm back to being a lone wolf.

Feb 08, 2011 06:06 PM #50
Brandon & Grace Yee
Chase International - South Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe Real Estate

Hi Glenn,

I am in a team of four which includes myself, my husband, and my in-laws.  For us, I think it works out well for our clients.  When there's four, we can cover more.

I think working in a team is a personal choice.  One should ask the same questions you asked yourself to find the right fit.  Great post!

Cheers from Lake Tahoe,

~Grace Yee

Feb 08, 2011 08:01 PM #51
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I want to be Barbara when I grow up. . she has the right concept.

I have a team and the challenges they present is in a daily basis.

Feb 08, 2011 10:52 PM #52
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

In my first year as a realtor I was assigned a cubicle with another newbie and we were both intent on being successful.  After seven months of being in the same room, hearing each other's style and realizing that we both had an exceptionally strong work ethic, we teamed up.  Five years later we operate together seamlessly and there is not one moment during which one of us feels that the other is slacking. 

I have watched other teams in town break up and invariably it is because the work load is not being perceived as being divided fairly and one partner always feels taken advantage of.  I appreciate all the hard work my partner does and vice versa.  We vacation at different times and never take the same day off.  Team work is amazing - if the load is shared equally.

Feb 08, 2011 11:49 PM #53
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Buyers and sellers need to know what "team" means to any individual agent.  To some, it means a bunch of real estate licensees working together and sharing responsibilities.  (Could that mean you'll be handed off to a less experienced agent when the presenter walks out of your house with a signed listing?) Or it could mean the host of real estate professionals who will help you accomplish your goals including a lender, inspector, real estate attorney, etc. 

Feb 09, 2011 12:55 AM #54
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Glenn: You are right. In fact, not everyone fits there. There have been some mega producers who have talked to us and we've decided it wasn't right. They were all concerned about their splits and talked a lot about themselves!

Feb 09, 2011 01:21 AM #55
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I have had a team for 14 years. It has grown slowly. I have learned so much of what to do and what not to do, I could write a book.

I only grow my team as necessary to follow up the leads and take care of our clients.


Feb 09, 2011 03:36 AM #56
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Sandra - Good luck with your family team.

Terkel - Happy to hear of another success story.

Paul - It took about 12 years of marriage before my wife and I worked together with clients, and now only listings.

Grace - Sounds good. I'll bet you have ideal in-laws.

Fernando - Me too.

Marnie - learning together, you two learned where each others strengths were.

Margaret - Reliable lenders, title, escrow and inspectors are important, but to too many agents spoil the offer?

Paul - That is the point. Find what style works for you

Missy - Somehow I suspected that you run a well ordered machine.

Feb 09, 2011 03:48 AM #57
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

What a great topic for discussion and it's something I've thought about lately.  We have some fairly large and impressive teams in our area - they are really small brokerages within the larger company. 

For me, it's better to work with fewer clients and do it all myself - that's why I went into this business - so I could have control and personal responsibility. 

I recently listed a house that had been with a team and the seller said she could never reach her "broker" and I knew she meant that she was being serviced by someone else.  Perhaps it should be better explained to the seller during the presentation, but if a seller wants to find me, they can.

Feb 09, 2011 04:49 AM #58
Lauren Stevens
International, IT

Hi Glenn Roberds,
Thanks for sharing this information.  I think you’re exactly right about the Real Estate Team Concept.

A team concept is nothing new in business.  In fact it’s been there as long as the commerce existed.  However, for a long time there were several industries where working as a single entrepreneur only one person took all the credit, and did all the work for his/her clientele.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with that and with all the available technology these days you can be in business for yourself and do everything from sales to manufacturing to taking care of your budget and finances, all on your own.

Do you use blog marketing a lot in your business?
Thanks again,
Lauren Stevens

Feb 09, 2011 05:18 AM #59
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Margaret - The same thing is going on here in Seattle and that's one reason they've changed our names. Anyone with managing broker credentials can manage other brokers, or a team, but they are under the designated broker umbrella. This puts more pressure on the team leader to manage well.

Lauren - welcome to Active Rain. Modern technology does offer us ways to do it all or to share in team efforts. I've looked at your sight briefly, I think you have something to add to our discussions.

Feb 09, 2011 06:30 AM #60
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Glenn, none of the agents in our firm operate as a team but I would have no problem with them doing so if it helped them increase their productivity and level of service. 

Feb 09, 2011 06:46 AM #61
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Philip - Would your team leaders need to have broker qualifications or could any agent be a manager in NY?

Feb 09, 2011 07:27 AM #62
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I have always been on a team and it lets me play to my strengths.  There are other people on my team who are better at details.  My strength is dealing with the clients.

Feb 09, 2011 08:04 AM #63
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Allen - Looks as if you have a large team. Glad to hear that it is working out.

Feb 09, 2011 09:27 AM #64
Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro - Manalapan, NJ
Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate

Might be slightly off topic as I'm not really part of a team... it's really a partnership... and our business has been thriving!  Would it work for everyone, definitely not!!  Does it work for us... absolutely! Why?  Here's my top 5 reasons I work with a partner...

6.  Super Service!  That's what we provide!  We cover each other and our clients love that they can always get one of us!

5.  Greater Bang for our Buck!  We don't partner to spend less... in fact, we spend more money on marketing our listings and our "brand" development.  We don't limit ourselves they way we would have to if going it alone.

4.  Accountability!  We answer to each other constantly!  Leads don't fall through the cracks.  Ideas don't fall by the wayside.  We are supportive and both thrive of the feedback we give each other... both positive and negative!

3.  Two Spheres for the Price of One!  Two agents mean more opportunities... more blogging, more networking, more open houses, more floor time, more past clients, etc.

2.  Good Cop, Bad Cop!  We got this down to a science... doesn't hurt that by nature I'm naughty and Gail is nice!  I deliver the news and Gail can provide the comfort!

1.  We Laugh.  Everyday!  Hearty Laughter.  Truly enjoying what we do shows in every aspect of our business.  Our clients enjoy our partnership almost as much as we do!

Hmmmmmmm.... maybe I should've written a blog on partnerships!!  LOL

Feb 16, 2011 11:57 AM #65
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

JoAnna - My wife and I have a similar partnership. We are a team and compliment each other. There ae plenty of jokes to head for from here, but I'll refrain.  Laughter is the best.

Feb 16, 2011 12:58 PM #66
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489


I think teams can definitely work. They are not all alike. If your team is giving great service and seeing the the buyer and sellers needs then it will not only thrive but, grow.


Jun 03, 2012 06:31 AM #67
BlueBridge One
Thank you ever so for you blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

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Oct 29, 2012 04:34 PM #68
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