Updated: Nov 30, 2019
For a recently licensed real estate agent, or someone with a few years of experience, you have two choices. You can either be an independent agent, or you can join a real estate team.
Deciding what operating model suits you best will heavily depend on your personality, work style, your knowledge and experience base, and your long-term goals and aspirations.
While making this critical decision, that can significantly affect the degree of your success, first consider the state of today’s industry.
TODAY’S COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE
Do you know what you are up against when you become a real estate agent? As an example, here is a snapshot at a national, provincial, and regional level.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), there are 100,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople, working across Canada.
Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) represents 70,000 real estate brokers and salespeople on a provincial level.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) serves over 53,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons in and about the Greater Toronto Area. This makes GTA the biggest hub of all of Canada’s real estate brokers and salespeople.
GTA’s population today is around 6.5 million.
According to Real Estate Magazine (stats as of 2017), out of all the GTA real estate agents (in 2017 there were 50,000) – 17,313 (34.6%) completed zero transactions in 2017.
Out of the same 50,000 licensed agents in 2017 - 8,344 (51.3%) did one transaction a year.
Over 87% of all new real estate agents will quit in the first five years.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Well, a couple of things.
The real estate industry is highly competitive, and not to sound cliché, but it’s the survival of the fittest in the real estate field.
Most experienced agents would agree that there are very few barriers to entry into real estate profession. In fact, the only requirements are:
You have to be over 18 years old
You have to be a resident of Ontario
You have to be able to cover the education fees
As a result, we have a few categories of real estate agents.
Those that are experienced and successful. Then there are those that are here for the wrong reasons, thinking they can do this job as a side hassle. And those that simply do not have enough knowledge and experience to sustain successful career over longer term. Another category are the old-school agents that have not adapted and evolved their practices and technological advancements, as today’s consumers expect us to.
Whichever group you belong to, both paths – working independently or joining a real estate team – present lucrative benefits. However, the value of working with a real estate team can surpass even a seasoned agent’s expectations. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
WHY WORK WITH A REAL ESTATE TEAM
Elevator pitch: No person is a specialist in every single area. You might have impressive negotiating skills, but lack attention to detail when it comes to filling out paperwork. You can have exceptional relationship-building abilities, but have limited knowledge about the current social media strategies and effective marketing techniques that are important for casting a wide net and maximizing the chances of sale.
Working with a real estate team – you leverage collective time, knowledge and expertise of each team member, while acquiring a consistent flow of leads, which gives you a higher degree of income stability, as opposed to feeling the pressure to find your own leads.
Additionally, you are utilizing professional coaching, training, administrative and marketing support – all of which often come at a cost when you are on your own, not to mention, require time commitment, which as an independent agent you simply do not have.
The goal of a real estate team is to set you up for success, provide leadership and vision, help you map out your own path, provide support, and ultimately help you become a successful agent.
Here is what joining a real estate team specifically provides.
COACHING AND TRAINING
Real estate education focuses on many aspects of listing and selling processes; however, it rarely teaches you how and where to source leads, how to effectively persuade and negotiate, how to prospect, how to talk to clients, what marketing strategies to employ, how to build your sphere of influence and develop long-lasting connections.
That’s, in a nutshell, is the key value of joining a real estate team. See what other training opportunities, our Only With team offers each of our real estate agents, at no charge.
One sign of a great real estate team is an experienced, seasoned team leader with a clear vision, passion for knowledge-sharing, and a willingness to provide meaningful opportunities for growth through mentorship. As an independent real estate agent, it is your responsibility to find your own mentorship opportunities and to pursue them. Mentorship doesn’t happen over night and it doesn’t bring overnight results. It’s a slow-cooking process, but with tremendous return.
Mentorship, as quoted by Chris Myers in Forbes, can significantly accelerate your careers success. When you are part of a real estate team, consisting of a diverse mix of personalities, various degrees of experience and different specialties, mentorship opportunities often occur organically.
Each real estate transaction, on average, involves 40-50 hours of work. A portion of those hours is spent on filling out paperwork and contracts. A real estate team will help agents with this responsibility – which according to most agents is the most time-consuming, least enjoyable and highly detail-oriented part of the job.
Teams like Only With teach real estate agents how to handle each aspect of the paperwork, avoid costly errors, efficiently manage their time and utilize new-age practices.
LIFELINE OF LEADS
When you join a team, you minimize the pressure to generate your own leads. Your real estate team will usually have a lead generation system in place, whereby each of the team members will have their leads assigned to them based on a pre-determined structure, whether it’s a geographical area of preference or in a round-robin approach. This lifts an incredible weight off your shoulders, and assures you stability and a safety net of having a lead flow even during the “slow season”.
Marketing strategies evolve on a regular basis. Unless you are a marketer, it is quite ambitious and unlikely, for an independent real estate agent– without any external support – to be fully informed on the latest marketing approaches and strategies, such as content marketing or social media to help increase your brand awareness, support sales, and engage in online conversations with prospective customers.
Working with a real estate team, you can often leverage the support of a dedicated marketing expert, which gives you a strong online presence and a competitive edge. Online presence and active content production have become an essential tool for businesses and entrepreneurs to compete and succeed in the marketplace.
FINDING THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE TEAM TO JOIN
Be prepared to do a bit of work and investigation when looking for a team. According to Mark Ferguson, a published author on real estate investment and the Founder of Invest Four More, some real estate teams add agents hoping they will sell houses without actually showing them how to sell houses.
So, before you decide to be an independent agent, or commit to joining a team of agents, do your homework. Interview a few teams and ask a lot of questions. Learn the structure of a team, roles and responsibilities, mentorship and training opportunities, culture; talk to the top producers of the team, find out what marketing strategies they utilize, and what technology they embrace. Always remember, you interview the team, as much as the team interviews you.
At Only With – we believe that our success is realized through the success of each of our agents. Each one of our team members brings a unique set of skills to the table – making knowledge and expertise sharing effortless, natural and diverse. Our training and learning opportunities is what truly sets us apart. The very reason behind the origins of Only With is to produce a culture of growth and a hub of high performing experts.
Join our team today if you want a partner on the journey to success.