03/17/2021 - California

Should You Start as an Independent Real Estate Agent or Join a Team?

Written by Kristin Aroa

To meet licensing requirements, new agents need to partner with a brokerage. Each provides different perks, like training, mentorship, and in-office services as well as different commission splits and quota expectations. It’s wise to shop around a little before deciding on the best fit. 

Options for New Real Estate Agents 

You’ll need to decide, whether you’ll work independently, within the brokerage, or as part of a real estate team. According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey about real estate teams, about one-quarter of real estate agents join teams while approximately 75% go it alone.  

Essentially, a team is a group of two or more agents, working together. They may share leads, marketing strategies, and commissions. Spouses are partnering up more often than ever but teams can range in size. Groups of about 4 members are common and the NAR survey reports teams of 16 or more people.  

Working as an independent real estate agent
Solo Real Estate Agent Talking to a Prospect Buyer

Benefits of Going Solo for New Agents 

Will you work alone? Think about your personality style, your work habits, and your career goals. Some factors that might entice you to fly solo are: 

  • Freedom – As a solopreneur, you’re only accountable to the principal broker. You can select who you want to work with, choose your schedule, and do as much or as little business as you like.  
  • Potential for Higher Commission – If you have a large sphere of influence, and lead generation skills, you’ll pay a portion to your brokerage and keep the rest. 
  • Personal Brand Recognition  If you are on your own, you’ll need to include your company name and contact information in your advertising, but your name will be your brand. 
Working solo vs real estate team
Real Estate Team at Weekly Team Meeting

Cons of Going Solo for New Agents

  • Expert Advice – 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.
  • Accountability – Some people are self-motivated while others depend on being accountable to others to get a job done. If you are the latter then you may find it challenging to work alone.

Benefits of Real Estate Teams for New Agents 

Will you work with others? Although you’ll need to pay your team leaders and your brokerage, there are some pretty big benefits to joining a team

  • Shared Leads – With more money directed to advertising, you may have access to more leads and more substantial income with a team. 
  • Flexibility – If you hope to work part-time or need to take time off, there will always be someone to cover you. 
  • Camaraderie – Competition, in real estate, is fierce and being a lone wolf can be pretty isolating. As part of a group, you can encourage and motivate one another and be inspired by the success of those around you. 
  • Expertise – For new agents, the learning curve can be steep. With a focus on cooperation rather than competition, teams typically have built-in mentorship. 
  • Specialization – If you would like to focus on a particular client or property type, teams may offer more opportunities for you to niche down. 
  • Division of Roles – On some teams, you’ll take care of all the needs of each client while others may divvy up responsibilities. One agent may handle negotiation, while another shows property, and a third stages homes. Depending on your team, you may be able to use your unique skills and abilities. 
  • Administrative Support – Teams often have resources to hire virtual or on-site assistants that you may not be able to afford on your own. 

Cons of Going a team for a New Agent

  • Time off One reason agents like working solo is that they can schedule vacation time without worrying about whether or not their request will be approved. 
  • Expert Advice – 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.
  • Accountability – 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.

Is it better to join a team or go solo?

Clients may choose teams because they see more availability and expertise without a higher commission. On the other hand, they may find it harder to develop the trust and rapport they have with a single realtor. 

From both the client and the new agent perspectives, it really comes down to personality and working style and agents can be very successful either way. 

Is it good to be on a real estate team?

With pros and cons on both sides, the decision often comes down to personality and work style.

What does it mean to be on a team in real estate?

When working in a team your business expenses are shared among agents and tasks like marketing and advertising are not your sole responsibility, freeing time to spend looking for leads. However, you also share commissions with your fellow agents.

Can I work independently as a real estate agent?

The answer to this question is yes you can. If you choose to go solo rather than join a team then you are free to work independently.

Joining a real estate team
Real Estate Student Who Completed Her Pre-License Courses

Flexible Study Options 

At Agent Real Estate Schools, you choose the learning method that works best for you. We offer a 12-week Group Study course with in-class or interactive webinar sessions for online learning or a self-paced Fast Track program for independent learners.  

Our courses cover all the state-regulated materials, and we provide over 1000 practice questions to get you ready for the exam. We’ll walk you step-by-step through the real estate licensing process. Need a little one-on-one? With the Tutor 6-Pack, you’ll get extra support from approved instructors. 

If you’re just getting started, why not sign up for our next Career Day? Ask our licensed realtors about their experiences as individuals or on teams. If you’re ready to take on the responsibility of leading your own team, you can get your Broker’s License here too! 

If you’re planning a career in real estate, as an individual or as part of a real estate team, at Agent Real Estate Schools, we’re on your side!  To find out more about becoming a real estate agent, contact Agent Real Estate Schools. Reach us at (858) 329-0999 or email us at [email protected].