Should you join a real estate team or role solo as an individual agent

Join a Team or Roll Solo: Which is right for you?

how to's Nov 16, 2020

Team or Individual Agent?

As a current team leader and past member of a team, I may be a little biased when writing this article on whether or not joining a team is right for you... However, there was time in my life when I rolled as a solo agent and there were definitely many benefits to it. 


For starters, it gave me the opportunity to grow my brand separate from my team lead. Another, is it taught me how to really work for my business, instead of passively waiting for a new lead to hit my inbox. And although it was no easy feat, I definitely credit much of my success to those years when I struggled as a solo agent. 


Regardless of whether you are an individual agent or on a team, you may be wondering if it’s time for you to make a switch. Personally, I began as an individual agent at an almost all-male brokerage where I was on a 50/50 split with my broker. To top it off, I wasn’t being fed a single lead and had to purchase call lists out of my own pocket. I literally was introduced to my cubical and the push button phone in my area… that's it.  After 5 years of seeing little-to-no success in this kind of environment, I decided something just had to change. 


So, I packed my bags and drove 4 hours away for a new job opportunity on a team where agents were closing 40-50 deals a year - in spite of the recession. Albeit, I did have to split 40/60 with my team lead, however I decided that 40 guaranteed deals on a 40/60 split was far better than my previous position of landing maybe 8-16 deals a year as a solo agent.


However, after several years of working on this particular team, I managed to establish great rapport with my customers and grow my own personal business on the side. All too soon, I realized I could do it on my own. So I broke free from my team and started my own under an entirely new brokerage.


And that brings us to now.


This was my journey and I’m sure many of you are experiencing similar challenges and wondering if it’s time to either join a team or take the leap and become a solo agent. Which is great! Afterall, nothing changes if nothing changes, my friend. This is your opportunity to explore something new and continue your journey to creating the career {and income} you’ve always dreamed of. Below, I’ve outlined a few bullet points to help you in this decision on whether or not a team is a good fit for you...

A Team is great for you if: 



  • You’re new to the business


      • Newer agents benefit most from joining teams because they offer additional support and 1-on-1 training that your brokerage may not. When searching for a team as a new agent, make sure to ask your brokerage if there are any great teams looking to make a hire and if they offer additional training for new agents.


  • You don’t have leads coming in


      • One of the biggest struggles an agent faces is not having enough consistent leads coming in to support their business. Finding leads can be especially challenging if you don’t already have an established business with several repeat/referral clientele. Of course, you can always door knock or purchase call lists, however on a team they are required to provide you with X amount of leads each month that you are expected to work. One piece of advice: don’t work for a team that offers any less than 35 leads per month. Anything under 35 will almost entirely consist of bad leads.


  • You could use the additional guidance and support


      • Maybe you need a little additional help from a team lead you admire. It’s always a great idea to join a team with a leader you truly aspire to be more like. Whether they’ve built a great business or are phenomenal on the phone, make sure to do your homework on your potential team lead to see if they’re a good fit for you and if they’re willing to provide any additional support that you may need - like scripting practice or effective offer strategies.


  • You enjoy being a member of a team


      • If you’re anything like me, you enjoy working with other people. You love the environment of working with a team, feel inspired by everyone’s production energy and feel you perform your best with a bit of {healthy} competition.


  • You don’t mind splitting your commission with your team lead so long as you are being fed consistent business


      • Some business at a 50/50 split is better than no business at all. And, while it may be frustrating having to share your hard-earned money, you have to remember that your team lead is not only funding those leads, but also providing you with an office space to work, a computer and printer, access to their transaction coordinator, assistants, marketing, and vendors, and the exclusive opportunity to learn directly from them. With that being said, the commission split comes with many amenities that rolling solo won’t offer.


  • You feel you need someone to be accountable to in order to complete tasks and perform your best


    • Who better to feel accountable to than an entire team of like-minded individuals? Not only will a team help you feel empowered and inspired, they can also help you improve your skills. A great thing you can do with your team is hold {friendly} competitions, host a mastermind book club, and even join for weekly scripting to work on your communication and phone skills.

Rolling solo is great for you if:



  • You’ve been in the business a few years and are established in your community


      • If you’ve been working as an agent for quite some time now and feel like you’ve built an excellent rapport with your community, then becoming a solo agent might be the right decision for you. Although it might sound terrifying breaking free from a steady lead source, just remember that you already know this business. You know how to communicate with clients. You know how to close deals and make money. With your experience, you can easily build a successful business independent from your team’s leads by simply working your past customers and SOI.


  • You use a robust CRM system that feeds you leads + you have several other avenues of acquiring business


      • If you have access to a lead generating CRM like Boomtown or have a partnership with your vendors, then you definitely don’t need anyone else sending you leads and you’re totally golden to start working your business as a solo agent.


  • You have an established repeat/referral business that provides consistent clientele


      • Maybe you’ve been in the business for a while and you’ve noticed a large majority of your clientele consist of repeat/referral customers. If this is the case, you’ve done a great job of nurturing your leads and providing a “rave-worthy” customer experience and you can expect your business to continue going in this direction. At this point in your career, I highly suggest becoming a solo agent since the majority of your clientele are being sourced from your own business instead of from the leads your team is feeding you. 


  • You don’t want to split your commission with your team lead


      • If you don’t want to (if you’re a new agent) or no longer want to (if you’re already on a team)  split your commission with a team lead and feel like you’d rather forgo consistent leads in exchange for a full commission, then it may be beneficial for you to become a solo agent. Just keep in mind, doing so will also eliminate one of your lead sources, an office space, any training and whatever other amenities you are receiving from your team. If this is the only reason you’re considering becoming a solo agent, I highly recommend making sure your business can be sustainable without the support of your team before you officially make the switch. 


  • You’re self-motivated and don’t need anyone to be accountable to in order to complete tasks and perform your best


      • Some people simply don’t need an accountability partner to maintain focus and motivation. If this sounds like you, then you’d likely make an excellent candidate as a solo agent because you can perform efficiently without the influence and encouragement from others.


  • You feel confident that you can make it on your own


    • If you feel 100% confident that you’d make an excellent solo agent and don’t need the assistance or training of a team, then go for it! At the end of the day, it’s about how solid you feel about your unique skill set and ability to run your business. Afterall, if you believe it, you can acheive it! 

After reading this article, hopefully you feel more confident about the direction you want to go as an agent. I can attest that either being on a team or rolling solo are both excellent ways to operate your business and you will learn and grow regardless of what path you choose. Of course, your business will be 100% what you put into it. My advice: do the work, show up every day, and be willing and eager to see success in your business. It's the only way I know how to see real results.


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