Real estate can be an inspiring and profitable profession, but as with any business your success depends on your ability to make decisions that will profit your business. One of the first decisions many agents find themselves contemplating when they begin a career in real estate is whether they should work alone or join a team. With pros and cons on both sides, the decision often comes down to personality and work style. Think “T.E.A.M.” to help you determine which option is the right choice for you.
One reason agents like working alone is that they can schedule vacation time without worrying about whether or not their request will be approved. Many teams only allow one person at a time to take time off, making it harder to schedule vacation time. However, as a member of a team, when you do go on vacation you can relax, secure in the knowledge that a co-worker is taking care of things while you’re away. When working alone and taking time off for an extended vacation, you still have to answer phone calls and reply to emails and text messages, hire a temp to handle your business, or depend on a friend within the industry to help out.
The division and specialization of labor is probably the most positive aspect of being on a team. Having a team member who is an expert in a particular field or area of the industry can help you serve clients with specific needs. On the other hand, having an expert in your field of interest can limit how many of those transactions you actually get to work because the team leader will most likely assign those jobs to the expert. However, if you work alone, you will have to learn to handle every aspect of every transaction that comes your way from your favorite part of the job to the worst.
How were your results when you worked in a team to accomplish a task in the past? Some people are self-motivated while others depend on being accountable to others to get a job done. When you are part of a team, every action you take is checked by multiple eyes and everyone is depending on your success to move forward. This can be very motivating to some, but a team is only as strong as their weakest player. If you have a co-worker that is undependable, you may find yourself doing twice the work to finish the job, and if one person does not complete their part within the time given it reflects poorly on the whole team.
For many agents, money is the deciding factor when choosing between working as a solo agent or part of a team. When working in a team your business expenses are shared among agents. Tasks like marketing and advertising are not your sole responsibility, freeing time to spend looking for leads. However, you will have to share your commissions with co-workers, but with more members on the team, you have a possibility of generating more leads, closing more listings, and growing the overall commission base to be shared among agents.
The decision to work individually or as part of a team ultimately needs to align with your personality and work style. Newer agents may find it easier to be part of team while gaining experience and expertise within the industry, after which they might feel more comfortable leading the entrepreneurial life and working solo. Whatever your decision, make it the best one for you and your career.
One of today’s challenges, whether working with a team or as an individual, is being able to respond quickly to today’s consumers. Whether a potential client is inquiring about a listing or has questions for their local agent, response time can determine if he or she will convert. Homes.com’s new Lead Concierge program will respond quickly for you. The Lead Concierge will sort serious buyers from the window shoppers by pre-screening your leads the moment they come in, saving you time and connecting you with more qualified buyers and sellers.
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