How Real Estate Teams Work: Structure, Advantages & Disadvantages

Rita Akekelwa | March 2, 2023 | Content For Agents

real estate team having a meeting, the expert is explaining them plans for upcoming projects for clients
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Do you get enough leads to justify forming a real estate team? Or are you receiving too many listings and transactions that you’re turning down new leads?

Does lead generation keep you so occupied that you can’t focus on generating new business? These are all important questions before starting a real estate team.

Once these questions are answered, the next important thing to ask yourself is: how are real estate teams structured? There are seven steps in how to build a real estate team structure.

These involve ensuring you have the makings of a great leader, deciding on which systems to integrate, hiring a solid team, getting to know your real estate team, creating your team structure, setting measurable goals and your team’s ‘why’ factor, and building your lead generation strategy.

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The most important thing to note, as well-known real estate agent Kyle Handy says in his video about how to start a real estate team and make money, is, “It’s not a get-rich-quick thing.

You’ve got to be committed to the cause, ready for many ups and downs, always be ready to learn, and be willing to learn from your mistakes and other people.”

With that in mind, this article uncovers questions like how do real estate teams work and how to build one, the advantages and disadvantages of building a real estate team, and some advice from some of the best experts in the real estate field.

Quick Links:

  1. Advantages of Using a Real Estate Team
  2. Advantages of Joining a Team
  3. Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Team
  4. Learn From Some Of The Best
  5. How Real Estate Teams Split Commission

Advantages of Using a Real Estate Team

Whether building a real estate team or joining one, both offer plenty of possibilities for a successful career. Let’s examine the advantages of building and joining a real estate team.

Advantages of Building a Team

If you’re looking to build a real estate team, here are a few advantages of choosing agents who know how to collaborate within a group.

1. Several Specialists Instead of One Generalist

Solo real estate agents have several responsibilities to carry out during their workday. This includes all aspects of a real estate sale or purchase, such as market analysis, managing contracts and negotiations, home estimates, marketing the client’s home, admin, and copywriting.

A real estate team structure allows your clients to benefit from several specialists who each focus on specific aspects of the real estate purchase or sale by working together on specific areas.

2. Tasks are Delegated

Having a real estate team structure doesn’t mean homebuyers and sellers will be thrown around from agent to agent, resulting in losing the agent-client relationship.

Even in team structures, the client’s needs are most important. You can manage, distribute work, and personalize your service to each client to ensure their satisfaction.

3. Around-the-clock Support

All real estate agents, like anyone else, need a break from time to time to balance family, career, and personal demands.

Even so, they can receive home offers anytime while unavailable or away.

In a team structure, someone always picks up the phone, calls back, and negotiates on the absent agent’s behalf.

This ensures your clients have around-the-clock support during critical buying and selling times, even if their usual agent isn’t available for every process step.

4. A More Efficient Process

Real estate transactions run much smoother when a team of professionals works together to make them happen. While the agents in the team are invaluable, the support staff is even more so.

For instance, a skilled closing and listing coordinator can make the process much more efficient by coordinating the next steps, verifying important financial and legal details, and preparing crucial documents.

These skilled professionals will ensure fewer hiccups on the way to finishing the deal.

5. Better Connections

Relationships are the key to serving clients in real estate. With a team of real estate agents, there is a higher chance that the business will always have professional connections.

This means that your agents can provide the contacts they need if your client requires the ideal buyer or someone to do minor repairs on their house before selling.

Advantages of Joining a Team

Now that we know the benefits of building a real estate team, here are five advantages of joining one.

1. Great Way to Gain Experience

The significant part of working in a team is that the team is likely to consist of more experienced agents.

Teamwork forces you to work closely with other agents. Doing so lets you learn things from them, like how they handle their clients and leads, ultimately helping you become a better agent yourself.

2. Training and Support

Joining a real estate team can benefit new agents who find the industry overwhelming. These teams often provide their agents with proper education, training, and professional support from the team leader and agents.

3. Shared Business Expenses

Working in real estate comes with many expenses. These can include licensing fees, operation costs, marketing materials, brokerage fees, continued education, MLS fees, office supplies, and self-employment income fees.

However, working in a real estate team allows you to split these expenses between all members so that everyone can save some extra money.

4. Everyone Works Together

In real estate, agents usually compete against one another. The same goes for real estate teams—it’s team against team. With that in mind, you’ll be able to lessen your competition considerably by joining a team and working with your teammates to beat competitors.

Teammates can achieve this by combining each other’s resources and marketing power to gain clients. For instance, when one team member cannot take on a client, the client can easily be transferred to you instead of having the competition gain them.

5. Keeps You On Track

Working alone can give you more control over your time. But it can also cause you to become lazy by procrastinating and dilly-dallying.

Working in a team, however, makes you automatically accountable to your teammates and team leader. Ultimately, this will push you to be more productive and consistently work harder.

Disadvantages of Using a Real Estate Team

Joining a real estate team may be best for new agents, but not all experienced agents can benefit from a team.

Most experienced agents want independence and freedom, which teams do not provide. Before making any commitments, it’s essential to ask yourself: is it worth it?

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t join a real estate team:

1. Smaller Commission Cut

While real estate teams allow for shared expenses, you will receive a smaller commission cut. The team leader and your broker will take a percentage of your commission, leaving you with around 30-45% of the commission.

To balance this out, you must anticipate more clients and do the math to ensure it is worthwhile. If this is not an option for you, joining a real estate team may not be worth it.

2. Group Identity

If you want to establish a reputation for yourself, you may struggle to do so on a team. A team’s identity is usually centered around the leader’s name recognition.

This can make it challenging to create your professional identity and be recognized as an individual.

3. If you are a Part-time Agent

If you are a part-timer, being on a team may not be ideal for you. As an agent in a real Estate team, you will be expected to attend morning meetings at the office.

Team leaders may also expect you to spend several hours daily or weekly in the office “smiling and dialing” or doing regular follow-up calls.

4. More Personalities

The thing about teams is that they come with people of various personalities. While you may get along with some of them well, others may be more difficult.

To work in a team, you’ll need to engage your people skills to ensure you can work with your teammates while being productive and successful.

5. Branding the Team, Not Yourself

Joining a real estate team will mean accepting that you are expected to concentrate all your efforts on enhancing the team lead’s brand and not your own.

Unfortunately, this also means you won’t get the chance to pursue the type of leads you want since you are carrying out the will of the brand and team leader.

Learn From Some Of The Best

Before you make your final decision, let’s look at what some of the most successful salespeople in the field have to say about building a high-performance sales team.

In Tom Ferry’s video on how to build and manage a high-performance sales team, he asks team leader and agent Tim Smith what he would recommend for agents who have never had an assistant or those who have had a bad experience with one.

He responded, ” Each agent needs to understand their unique selling proposal, and you need to sharpen your skill set. I see people constantly making mistakes because they don’t do any business but want to grow a team.

Understand your unique selling proposal. That’s key because whatever you’re doing business-wise needs to be duplicatable, and you need to track and measure your results. Once you’re doing one transaction a month, and you can do that consistently, you need an effective assistant.”

In another video by famous salesperson Grant Cardone, Grant does a live training session with his sales team and discusses the importance of solving at least one problem when prospecting or doing follow-ups. He says about calling potential leads:

“You can have fun with people if you have a big list. If you understand that you’re going to be calling these people more than once, and you’re going to be relying on this one deal, then that’s just awful.

You must build a list in the beginning. It will be ugly because you don’t know anybody, and they don’t know you. But that’s the price you have to pay. Get your pitch down, and work your pitch out.”

Lastly, successful entrepreneur, Patrick Bet-David, discusses 11 reasons why some sales teams are more successful than others:

“When somebody tells me their sales are flat, I ask them this simple question: ‘tell me what an ideal salesperson in your company looks like.’ They say, ‘uh, hard-working, uh, great attitude.’ If you say ‘uh’ too many times, then you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Take a piece of paper and pen and write exactly what the ideal salesperson looks like. Pick the best salesperson in your industry and look for people like that.”

How Real Estate Teams Split Commission

The conventional 50/50 split is a good starting point when discussing commission splits. This means 50% goes to the agent and 50% to the brokerage. However, the precise figures can change based on your leadership style and business philosophy.

For instance, setting the level as high as an 80/20 split brokerage/agent can make sense if you give the agent most of the leads and some administrative assistance. That’s only if you’re using marketing, lead generation, and other time-consuming administrative tasks to do most of the hard work.

Some teams give 100% commission while adding a monthly or transactional fee. Although the brokerage typically offers little assistance with this choice, well-established agents may find it advantageous.

If you want to drive high performance, you can give an agent a bonus for each deal they close that exceeds a specific standard.

For example, you can provide a 5% bonus for each extra transaction if your norm is two monthly transactions and the agent completes three or more.

Lastly, should you pay agents a salary? Some real estate coaches firmly detest paying agents’ salaries.

Most agents’ income is fully commission-based. Ultimately, it depends on how your team operates and your expectations.

A salary-based compensation strategy can make sense if your objective is attracting new agents affected by the 2008 financial crisis.

But there are genuine legal repercussions to misclassifying employees as independent contractors, so you don’t want to take any chances.


Whether you’re joining or starting one, a real estate team can offer professional growth, more resources, and more clients. However, you should consider your options because they are not always the ideal route for everyone. Still, joining a team is often the next stage in an agent’s journey to success.

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Rita Akekelwa

Rita is a professional real estate and finance writer who has built up a multi-disciplinary portfolio over the years. She has over ten years of writing experience, focusing on the U.S and Australian markets. Her topics have ranged from credit scores to home loans, mortgage redraws, and refinancing. She has a natural ability to dig deep into her subjects, crafting the highest quality informative texts.