I vividly remember, the very first time I heard a young Real Estate Agent refer to the Team Concept in Residential (Resi) Real Estate. It was 1997, I was living in Atlanta just after the ’96 Olympic Games and was serving as the General Sales Manager of Georgia for Pulte Home Corporation.
At 31, I was doing what most singles do at that age, I was “out on the town” with my peers in Buckhead the premier entertainment district in “Hotlanta”. Since I managed a large homebuilding operation, I think everyone assembled in that particular social circle worked for Pulte Homes or was a General Real Estate Agent somehow connected with our projects most likely by bringing in loads of clients and participating through “co-ops”.
Back then, I really took care of the local General Real Estate Agents in that market because we had nearly 20 new home communities spread out all over the massive Atlanta Metro-Plex and many of them were located off wooded, winding roads which were somewhat difficult to drive consistent buyer traffic to at times. Plus, our competition in that market (the largest in the country at the time) was brutal. Therefore, the General Real Estate Community was extremely important to our company.
In fact, in Atlanta where I was assigned by Pulte and in Tampa where I would go next, both markets had large successful agencies like New Homes America that did nothing but focus on bringing clients to Builders. That’s in effect all they did and serving builders was their sole business model!
At any rate, I asked this young agent where she worked, and she proudly replied, “…for Re/Max…” on the “such & such” team. So, I promptly asked her what that was “exactly”? You see, I had been accustomed over the last ten years or so to marketing the Top Individual Agents in my marketplace. And, quite frankly I thought “this team thing” was a little weird and seemed kind of, I don’t know; “weak”!?! It quite frankly seemed a bit like socialism to me!
But, I was indeed wrong and now fast-forwarding almost 20 years later, the Team Concept within a given organization has become the gold standard of how to leverage, attack and win in Resi RE.
Having been a Broker for well over 20 years and knowing the rising costs to field a team of Realtors® , I can both assure and quantify with massive certainty that when closely examining the Three (3) most common schematics of practicing Resi RE, i.e. 1) Owning a Brokerage, 2) Being an Individual Agent, and/or 3) Creating a Team, the most profitable configuration by a fair margin, with the least amount of headaches & liability is going to be the Team Concept within an existing brokerage.
The Team Concept (although it must be operated lawfully) is free from the over-all burden of liability and large office overheads and most Individual Agents simply cannot work fast enough and/or effectively enough to become a high earner on their own.
Going forward, I can tell you that the Team Concept and the emphasis on “How to Build a Real Estate Team” will be the focus not only for large Franchisees who are now openly studying and marketing ways to help agents build teams as a recruitment tool, but; even more importantly Teams are also the primary focus and main topic of interest by Millennial Agents who are quickly becoming a force in the industry not only nationally, but; internationally.
After 30+ years in the business, if someone asked me if they should open their own real estate brokerage? My honest reply would be that it might not be the best idea, if earning a high income is your goal. My advice would be to find a brokerage that adheres to the same ideals and has a culture that you find attractive and then start a team within that organization rather than hanging up a shingle.
We have to “think big”, to survive and succeed in business today and if real estate is your calling by all means jump in. But, for the most profitable path think Team.
Authored by Michael G. Hutchings, Broker for Meridias Realty Group LLC