The Pros and Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team


In a traditional real estate transaction, the buyer or seller will deal with one agent who sees them through the entire process from start to finish. In modern times, real estate teams are becoming a more common option.

Just as the name suggests, a real estate team involves a team of agents assisting with real estate sales as opposed to one agent. This type of approach is becoming more common as years go by. A 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors showed that 26% of agents are working in a team setting.

A team can work in any manner of ways. One agent may be responsible for open houses while another handles financial matters or all agents may be able to carry out duties as needed. The members represent a variety of levels of expertise. Often newer agents may join a team to learn the ropes and get experience in the industry.

What Does the Team Leader Do?

Most real estate teams have a team leader. The leader is generally in charge of handling the listings. He or she will list homes and the team members will work with the buyers.

In some cases, the team members pursue listings, but in most instances, this will be solely up to the team leader. The leader will be responsible for bringing in business.

The members may oversee duties like holding open houses. If there are enough members, the team may be able to host four of five open houses at once. Open houses are great for attracting buyers and closing sales and the more you can host at a time, the more profitable the team will be.

How Does the Team Split Compensation?

jotting down notes at a meetingTeams can be compensated in a variety of ways. Members may be paid a flat rate salary, or they may receive a percentage split based on their performance. In some cases, a combination of salary and commission will be used.

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors shows that most real estate teams use a fixed commission split payment system. That means that there is a consistent split between the team leader and team members.

For example, in a three-person team, the leader may get a 60% commission off each sale with the members get 20% each.

How Do Fiduciary Relationships Take Place in Real Estate Teams?

real estate team hands inMost real estate teams represent sellers. This means they won’t have a fiduciary responsibility to the buyer, and they won’t have to look out for them in the transaction.

This is ideal because agents must develop different skill sets based on whether they are representing buyers or sellers. If they specialize in representing sellers, they will have strong skill sets in that aspect of real estate making them qualified for the job.

The buyer may be brought in by the brokerage firm the team represents, or they may be brought in by another company. This won’t make much difference to the team. Their priority will be to represent the seller.

Dual agency may come into play if a team member brings in a buyer. Then the buyer must be concerned that the agent representing them may be working both sides. For example, the agent may be convincing their buyer to pay a high rate for the home so the team will bring in a higher commission.

Fortunately, there are laws in place which vary from state to state, but in most cases, both parties will have to agree to dual agency in writing. This will ensure that processes are carried out in an above-board manner.

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Teams

sold signReal estate teams come with their share of pros and cons and both the agents and sellers will see their share of advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few things to consider.

Benefits for Realtors

Realtors who join real estate teams benefit in the following ways:

  • They learn from others: Working on a real estate team is a great way for beginners to get guidance from more experienced members. It can also benefit seasoned professionals who can share valuable tips and tricks with one another.
  • Less Stress: When you work in a team, you always have someone to lean on. If you can’t cover an open house, you can ask one of the members if they are available.
  • Better Service to Clients: Clients benefit from a team experience, and when the client is happy, everyone is happy.

Disadvantages for Realtors

Here are some disadvantages of working on a real estate team:

  • More Organization Required: When you work on your own, you only have yourself to deal with. When you work with others, you must keep everyone organized to make sure they are on the same page. This takes more time and work overall.
  • Split Commissions/Payments: The split commissions and payments limit your earning potential. However, it’s hopeful that working on a team will help you close more deals, so everyone brings in more money.
  • You Are Not Your Own Boss: When you work on a real estate team, you must answer to others. This differs from branching out on your own and being your own boss.

Agents have weighed in on the pros and cons of working on a real estate team and here’s what they had to say.

morgan hamerMorgan Hamer
Broker & Director of Operations
Blanq Real Estate Brokered by eXp Commercial

“As the Director of Operations for a rapidly Growing Commercial Real Estate Firm in Charlotte, NC, I can say with confidence that working as a team has played a critical role in my firm’s success. It creates mentoring opportunities for new agents and encourages a collaborative, creative work environment. New agents aid the senior brokers with their listings which allows the new agents to get a few big wins under their belt quickly to keep them motivated.”



Cameron Miller Headshot 3Cameron Miller
CEO, Cameron Miller Real Estate

Reaping all the profit alone as an independent agent could be rewarding, but the process is truly hard, yet joining a real estate team, the sacrifices, and the harvest could be well-balanced. You will also reap new skills, wider connections, and could gain more listing opportunities from the other members which are great for your growth as an agent and the team. 

 With the challenges faced, being in a team is an advantage because you will not have to face it alone, you have your team to help you stand and overcome those struggles. Lastly, you can enjoy your work because you have your team with you, we people love being with the community, and so with real estate.”



richard-connelly-profileRichard Connelly
Real Estate Agent, Founder of Connelly Team
Connelly Team Real Estate

“Being part of a real estate team has many benefits when compared to operating as a solo agent. When you are part of a team, that in itself is a selling point Informing potential clients that they won’t only have a single agent working to sell their property or find them the perfect home, rather an entire team of agents is quite a competitive advantage. 

In addition, having a team can help every individual agent close more deals. With a team, you have a support group that you can rely on. If you need someone to cover an open house or follow up on a lead, help is only a phone call away. This is all the more valuable as you grow as an agent and handle an increasing number of listings at the same time. Another important consideration is as your team grows, your network also grows exponentially. This has proven an invaluable asset in both finding buyers for certain properties and obtaining new listings from sellers.

 Working on a real estate team also helps you grow as an individual agent. While working on a team, you are often times given the ability to work alongside agents who have more experience than you, or have a different skill set. Using the team environment as a learning experience and a way to better yourself is crucial to becoming the best agent you can be.”



Spenser Harvel HeadshotSpenser Harvel
Licensed Realtor
Rachel Urso Real Estate

Working for a real estate team can be very valuable for new agents getting their feet wet in the industry. When getting into real estate, there are a lot of expenses as a new agent (realtor fees, signs, printing, lox boxes, marketing materials). If you are an individual agent, you will likely be required for paying for all of those things yourself. On a team, most of the time they will have all of these things already taken care of for all of the agents. Also, it is very important for a new agent to have some type of mentorship. There is a lot to learn in real estate and a lot of the learning comes from hands-on experience. Most real estate teams will have mentorship opportunities for the newer agents, from the more experienced agents on the team. 

 One downside of a team is that you will give up more of your commission, which most of the time pays for all of the things they are providing. 

 Overall, it can be very valuable to join a team at the start of your real estate career. When the time is right, and you feel comfortable you can always venture out and create your own branding for the future.”



Cristina-web2020Cristina Edelstein-Skurat
Team Lead
Kerby & Cristina Real Estate Experts

“At Kerby and Cristina Real Estate Experts, we believe in doing business differently than most real estate agents for both our clients and our agents. Being in the real estate industry for over 13 years we have been consistently recognized as the #1 Remax Results Team in Minnesota and have served over 3,700 clients. It all starts with our team of expert agents who roll out the red carpet for each client no matter their price point, financial situation, etc. and truly listen to what it is that they need.

We provide them with a road map on how we can help them achieve their real estate goals. We pride ourselves in being industry leaders with our teams systems, training, and marketing. This has resulted in clients who work with us selling their homes for 3% more money and  two times faster.

Our relationship doesn’t stop after the transaction is completed as we hold over 6+ client appreciation events annually to stay in touch and thank our clients for their continued support. We are their realtors for life. What does our team do for our clients that gets us raving reviews? We are proactive, truly care about them and are the experts they can trust with their biggest assets!”



BarryBarry Jenkins
Chief Marketing Officer & Team Owner
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
Native American Group

“I started in the real estate industry when I was 18 and I’m 41 now, so I’ve seen a lot over my 20+ years in the industry. When the market crashed back in 2008 I waited for things to go back to “normal” and I was wrecked financially as a result. As we all know, things never went back to “normal”.

Fast forward to 2020 when the quarantine hit and everyone started freaking out about the market and what we were going to do I had a meeting with my agents and I told them that the last time a major issue hit our society I waited for things to go back to normal and I starved as a result. And because of that experience, this time around I would not wait for things to go back to the way that they were, but that I would immediately adapt and find a way to make things work in my current circumstance. This proved to be the right focus as we ended up selling 857 homes that year and were the number one team in the state of Virginia for the year 2020.”

Pros and Cons for Sellers

shaking handsPeople selling their homes also have advantages and disadvantages when working with real estate teams. Here are some things to consider.

Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Team

  • Quicker Home Sales: When sellers work with a team, they have more agents getting more buyer leads. This means their home is likely to sell quickly.
  • More Agents Available to Assist: Sellers have more agents available to assist them, so they are more likely to get their needs taken care of quickly.

Disadvantage of Working with a Real Estate Team

  • Possible Disorganization: For the most part, sellers who work with real estate teams will have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Problems can arise, however, if team members aren’t on the same page. Then sellers may end up not getting the seamless service they expect.

How to Form the Right Real Estate Team

Real estate teams can work well if you have a strong game plan and the right people on your side. Here are some things to think about if you are considering getting a team together.

Consider Your Goals and Systems

Before getting your team together, think about your goals and how you are going to execute them. Here are some things you will want to focus on:

  • Your business goals
  • The vision and purpose of your brand
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Listing policies
  • Productivity and profitability

Learn How to Lead Your Team

Let’s face it, not everyone is a team leader. But if you think you have what it takes, you may be ready to step up to the role.

Part of being a good team leader is knowing your team. Usually, members will fall into one of four personality types in accordance with the DISC assessment. The traits are as follows:

  • Dominance: Direct, strong willed and forceful
  • Influence: Social, talkative and lively
  • Steadiness: Gentle, accommodating and soft hearted
  • Conscientious: Private, analytical and logical

Once you figure out your team members’ personality traits, you will know how to work with them, and you will be able to determine what duties they should be assigned.


lance lokenLance Loken
The Loken Group with Keller Williams Platinum

“The Loken Group is the highest-producing non-expansion team in the US and building our team has been a journey! There are many advantages to working on a real estate team instead of as an individual agent, and I’d like to highlight two: shared resources and the ability to specialize. 

Shared resources are a huge advantage to working on a team. Teams generally have a larger budget for things like advertising and marketing, and that can significantly springboard your growth and production in this industry. Another shared resource that agents on teams enjoy is more advanced training. You get the benefit of working side-by-side with successful agents and learning scripts and best practices that the team has already tested for you.

Specialty roles is an aspect of our team that we have adopted since the very early days when we established one of the industry’s first and most successful Inside Sales teams of its kind. Our setup is unique in that each team member focuses on their specialty. An individual agent wears many hats, doing their own advertising, marketing, lead generating, working with clients, managing paperwork, and guiding them to closing (and more!), and you see these duties combined in various ways even on other real estate teams. Our team is made up of specialists that complete these functions. We have a full-service marketing team, an ISA team who does our lead generating, skilled production agents who work directly with clients to help them buy and sell homes, transaction coordinators who manage paperwork and help guide clients to closing, and other specialty roles and departments. This offers team members the opportunity to work in a role doing what they are truly good at and produces a 5-star client experience that is unique even among other real estate teams.”



John GormleyJohn Gormley
CEO, Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®

“Associations exist to elevate and bring out the best in their members while protecting their interests. Most associations have three key areas of focus in common – education, advocacy and community.

At Mainstreet, we actually have five pillars in our strategic plan: Lead, Promote, Educate, Advocate and Community. Everything we do – committees, staff and board – supports achieving our strategic goals in at least one of these five areas. It’s the last part, community, that’s perhaps most important. We support members’ philanthropic efforts throughout Chicagoland. Over the last three years, with the help of our national association, we’ve poured more than $200,000 into Mainstreet REALTORS® community-improvement projects. Refurbishing parks, playgrounds, walking trails and other areas to enhance the quality of life in our communities.

As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t care what you do until they know why you do it.” And our Big Why for Mainstreet? We give members a home for their ongoing success and well-being. Our culture is all about serving members – all 20,000 Mainstreet REALTORS® and affiliates – and really caring about them. Not just their success in real estate but their success and fulfillment as unique individuals, regardless of background, specialty or interest. That’s why we say, “You can always come home to Mainstreet!”

Come Up with a Team Structure

signing contractYour real estate team structure can follow a variety of models including the following:

  • Mentor/Mentee Model: In this model, your team looks to you to be their mentor. Once they advance past the mentee role, they may take on mentees of their own.
  • Team Lead Model: The team lead model is ideal for agents who have developed their personal brand. The team will be modeled after the brand identity they created.
  • Lead Team Model: This model focuses on generating leads. It will be reliant on lead generation and marketing.

Once you get a strong team together, continue to encourage them with positive reinforcement and plenty of motivation.

Real estate teams can help agents get ahead in the industry, but they are not for everyone. They have their shares of pros and cons and joining or starting one is not a decision to be taken lightly. Will you be moving in this direction in your career?

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 11/2/2022