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To Team or Not to Team? That Is the Question

To Team or Not to Team? That Is the Question

By Darrin Friedman

For many agents in the real estate industry, there comes a time when they must answer one fundamental question: does teaming with one or more other agents benefit me, or should I remain in business by myself as a solo agent?

Historically, the question of forming a team has usually come later in the evolution of one's real estate business, when an agent has achieved a certain level of competence and productivity. The agent may become inundated with more business than she can reasonably handle alone, or perhaps he may begin to feel that sharing the responsibilities of client service and other business matters with a complementary player would help him achieve even greater success.

Though this is still often the case, recently the industry has also seen a new trend in which less experienced agents are joining together in hopes that they can do better and grow faster with each others' help.

Regardless of whether you are a veteran or a newer agent, here are some important points to consider before you enter into any kind of team or partner arrangement:


1. A partnership is just like a marriage -- You and your new partner will be "married" in a business sense, and you can't take that lightly. Just as you would before choosing a spouse, before you partner with someone, you must consider many factors and ask yourself the really important questions: Does this person believe in doing business the same way I do? Do we share similar philosophies and values? Is this the kind of person I can trust with my very livelihood? Do our strengths and weaknesses complement each other well? You will be spending a LOT of time with this person, and your financial futures depend on each of you doing your designated jobs well. If you can't trust your partner completely -- if you have even a moment of hesitation -- then this is not the right person with whom to join forces.


2. A team is more than just a slogan; it's a business model -- Choosing to go into business with another person requires a thorough business strategy. After all, it's a business model that requires serious planning. If you and your potential partner are considering the team route, get advice from people who have done it. Ask them if they are willing to share their business plan with you, then take it to your business coach and use it as a model. Only then can you confidently go forward, knowing you are choosing the right path and doing so in a way that others have done well before you.


3. Couples therapy is not for wimps -- Every strong team sometimes needs outside help. It is inevitable. When communication breaks down, or ideas clash, or business styles differ, guidance from an impartial third party can be an invaluable way to help you and your partner work together more effectively. Some of the most successful business teams out there work so well together because they arrange regular appointments with a therapist or coach on a monthly or quarterly basis. Make an investment in your new team by hiring an objective professional to teach you how to work better together. Trust me -- you will be happier and healthier in the long run!

Whether you are brand new agents or seasoned veterans, forming a team can be a rewarding experience. Just make sure you do so with your eyes wide open. If you don't, the road can be rocky and unnecessarily unpleasant. The trick is to set yourselves up for success by investing in good planning. Don't be afraid to seek advice, guidance, and yes, even therapy, and you will do just fine.