I was lucky to have worked in a Real Estate office, side by side with the broker, before considering getting my Real Estate license. Others do not have the same luck; they go on to do Real Estate on their own or they join a team. Now, I am not against joining a team. I am against joining a team that is not a right fit for you as a new Realtor®. With that being said, I am sure you are thinking, "I can't possibly do it by myself. I need someone to guide me". "He/she is successful in Commercial, Residential, luxury, etc. Real Estate. They can help me be successful in that market too." Yes, there is some truth to both statements. However, there is only so much a broker can teach you or so many doors another Realtor's name can open for you. You have to be willing to put in the work, be self-motivated, and dedicated to working "smarter", consistently. The drive to make it in Real Estate is not something a broker, team, or other Realtor® can teach you.
The ideal team leader will take the time to sit down with you to discuss your goals and realistic plans to achieve those goals. They will ensure you join them during listing appointments, show you how to write listing agreements and sales contracts, they teach you which addenda you will need to protect your Buyer or Seller, and most importantly, they will be available at all weird times for you to pick their brain. I haven't met many team leaders who fit all of this criteria. I have met team leaders who were always on vacation leaving the other newish team members to help the newest ones. There are the team leaders who are too busy or impatient to teach you every aspect of the business. They are most likely out there selling Real Estate while you wait for them at the office. There are even team leaders who take an arm and a leg portion of your commission for you being on their team. Here is the thing: Not everyone has the communication or teaching skills to be leading a team. They are great as an independent Realtor® or as part of the husband-wife (parent-child, sibling, enter any other kind of relationship here) team.
Here are my Do's and Don'ts of joining a team:
Do: Have a sit-down meeting with the Realtor® or team leader you are planning on joining. Make sure you are on the same page and have your goals at the forefront.
Don't: Rely on your friend's recommendation, email or text communication, or the team's/ Realtor's big name as a way of determining this is a good fit.
Do: Make sure you like this Realtor® or team leader as a person.
Don't: Join a team because of the other team members. At the end of the day, it is the team leader's group and if you can't see eye to eye, there's not much other team members can do.
Do: Discuss money. You don't want to join a team only to find out your split is small compared to what you have to give towards the team/office. Besides, open and transparent communication is important for all aspects when working with others. If the team leader doesn't promote open dialogue, DON'T JOIN THE TEAM!
Don't: Assume they will bring up money. If money is more important than the experience or amount of help, make sure to say so.
Do: Join a team/ Realtor® who is settled or has been with the same company for at least two to three years.
Don't: Join a team/ Realtor® who is in the middle of moving brokerages. The reality is, you will likely not get the attention, lessons, information you need to get yourself started in this industry. Besides, the listings belong to the broker and most Realtors will not willingly or easily give up their listing and will have you waiting at the new office until the property(ies) get(s) sold.
What I am long-windedly trying to say is DON'T let anything or anyone put you and your Real Estate career on hold. Get started whether you are part of a team or not; learn from those who are experienced and willing to teach. Be patient, flexible, and practice open communication to express what your needs are to be successful. For me, a team did not work but learning from my broker in a one on one setting, did. She guided me, invited me to every listing and showing appointment, and made sure to get my name out there.
I hope this shed some light if you were considering joining a team. Did I miss anything? Feel free to let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you!