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If you are a newer agent in the real estate business, one decision you're going to be faced with is whether to build your business from the ground up as a solo agent working on your own or to join one of the many real estate sales teams that have started over the past several years.  

There are pros and cons to both options so I would like to give you my perspective on some of the things you should consider before deciding which way you would like to go.

Believe it or not, real estate can actually feel like a lonely business when you work alone, so if you enjoy working with others joining a team might be better for you.  I would say there really is no right or wrong way to go here. It really depends on you and what you are hoping to achieve in your real estate career. 

These are a few of the things you should consider when deciding whether to join a team or not.

  • Is there an opportunity on a team that you are interested in?
  • What is your financial situation? 
  • How long could you go without income?
  • Do you want to maintain your identity in the real estate business?
  • Do you have a lot of contacts?
  • Are you good at generating leads?
  • Do you enjoy working independently or would you prefer to work with others?
  • How important is having a balanced lifestyle?
  • Do you like making your own decisions or do you prefer collaborating with others?

In many cases, the decision may come down to your financial situation and how much cash you have in a reserve fund to cover your expenses. I would say as a new agent just getting started in the business, it is probably easier and your career will take off quicker if you join a team. I think most agents would agree with that. But having said that, if you are in a financial position to do so, my recommendation would be to start off on your own for the first year and get the lay of the land. Take some time to look at the various teams out there. Consider which ones you like and which ones you don’t. Which teams seem to line up with your values the most? Take some training programs.  Learn as much as you possibly can about the business and do your best to put a few deals together. Get some experience under your belt. For one thing, being trained and having a full year of experience in real estate will give you more to offer a team down the road if you decide that’s what you want to do. This may put you in a better position to negotiate a more favorable compensation package if you do join a team.

The other thing to consider is that I would say it would be easier for a stand alone agent who has been in the real estate business for at least a year on their own to go join a team and be very successful than it would be to go the other way. If you join a team first and then decide after a year that you are going to go on your own and leave the team, I think you are going to find it very difficult and you may not make it.

If you find yourself in a tight financial situation when you are starting out in real estate or if you don’t have a lot of contacts that you know to get started with then joining an existing team is probably the best option for you. Joining a team will provide you with many benefits. 

Number one, on most teams, the team leader is generally responsible for generating the majority of new leads and secondly they will pick up the cost of the marketing expenses for the team. This means you would be focusing on serving the clients, helping people buy or possibly sell homes and your expenses would be much lower. The trade off is that you would split your commission with the Team Leader so you would likely earn less per transaction but probably be doing a lot more deals that you would have on your own. 

The other aspect of being part of a team that I really liked was being able to have people you can collaborate with and brainstorm ideas. You have mentors on the team who will help you learn, grow and become a much better agent. Either way, whether you decide to join a team or go it alone on your own there will always be pros and cons. There really is no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to what you feel is right for you.

If you do decide to pursue a career in the real estate business whether on your own or on a team, one of the first things you are going to notice is there are a lot of different voices out there trying to grab your attention. All offering you a wide variety of different ideas, tips and suggestions on what it is going to take to be successful in this business. Many of these ideas will be very different. Some will be conflicting with other people’s advice. It can get very confusing for a new agent trying to filter through all the noise to try and figure out who is right and what they should be doing. 

In reality, it is  going to be different for everyone. There is no one size fits all approach that is going to work best 100% of the time for all new agents. I would suggest you consider the source. Are they successful or have they been successful in the past?  Are they respected by their peers? What is their reputation in the industry? Does what they are suggesting resonate with you? 

At the end of the day, this is a relational business and your success is in some way going to be tied to your ability to build and maintain relationships with people who are going to support you and your business. If the advice you are getting is leading you in that direction, then I would recommend you take that to heart.


Royal LePage Team Realty Training Academy

555 Legget Drive, Suite 101

Kanata ON K2K 2X3

(613) 270-8200