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Real Estate Team Basics: How They Work & How To Build One

When it comes to real estate agents, many people envision individuals working solo. While that may be the case for some, there is another option: working as part of a team. Joining a real estate...

When it comes to real estate agents, many people envision individuals working solo. While that may be the case for some, there is another option: working as part of a team. Joining a real estate team can provide numerous benefits, including shared resources, workload support, and the opportunity to leverage each member's unique skills. In this article, we will explore the structure of real estate teams, their compensation models, and the different team models available. We will also discuss the pros and cons of joining a team and provide guidance on who should consider joining or starting a real estate team.

How Are Real Estate Teams Structured?

A real estate team comprises two or more agents who pool their resources, split their commissions, and support each other's clients. Each team member brings their expertise to the table, allowing the team to work more effectively. Larger teams often assign specific tasks to different agents, based on their strengths. For example, one agent may handle lenders, another may focus on open houses, and another may handle phone calls.

real estate team Image: Real Estate Team

Real Estate Team Models

There are different models for structuring real estate teams, depending on agents' experience levels. The three most common models are:

Mentor/Mentee Real Estate Team

In this model, a seasoned agent serves as the team leader, mentoring and guiding less experienced agents. The mentor benefits from the mentee's growth, as they contribute more to the team's bottom line over time.

Team Leader Model

This model works best when an agent has a strong personal brand and a high demand for their services. The team leader builds a team around them to handle the workload, while maintaining strict branding guidelines for other team members.

Lead Team Model

The lead team model involves multiple agents working together as equals, leveraging their complementary skill sets. By focusing on their strengths, each team member contributes to the team's overall success.

Pros and Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team

Joining a real estate team offers various advantages, including:

  • Access to a larger resource pool and more leads.
  • A supportive environment that fosters personal and professional growth.
  • Opportunities for professional development and mentorship.
  • Access to a broader range of knowledge and experience for clients.

However, there are also some drawbacks, such as:

  • Sharing commissions and potentially earning a smaller share.
  • The possibility of a toxic work environment.
  • Less control over your business and personal branding.
  • Potential drawbacks for clients who prefer working with a single agent throughout the entire process.

Who Should Join a Real Estate Team?

Joining a real estate team is beneficial for newly licensed agents looking to gain experience and grow their careers. It is also beneficial for agents who specialize in specific aspects of the real estate process and can partner with others to create a top-tier team. Individuals who have recently relocated and lack a strong local network can also benefit from joining a team.

When to Start a Real Estate Team

Starting a real estate team requires careful consideration. If you have little free time for finding customers, it may not be the right time to start a team. Generally, when your brand is strong enough that you are turning away customers, starting a team becomes a viable option. However, leading a team comes with additional responsibilities, such as accounting, coaching, mentoring, and recruiting.

real estate teams Image: Real Estate Teams

How to Build a Real Estate Team in 7 Steps

If you are considering building a real estate team, here is a 7-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Establish underlying systems for communication, role assignments, and client coverage.
  2. Calculate expenses and determine how commissions or salaries will be divided among team members.
  3. Get to know your candidates thoroughly to ensure their goals align with the team's mission.
  4. Hire team members based on their strengths and assign appropriate roles.
  5. Align motivations by selecting team members who share the same values and goals.
  6. Prioritize client satisfaction by maintaining positive relationships and providing exceptional experiences.
  7. Don't be afraid to let go of team members who have a negative impact on the team dynamic.


Real estate teams offer numerous benefits for agents and clients alike. While they may not be the right choice for everyone, joining or starting a team can provide opportunities for professional growth, increased resources, and a supportive environment. It is essential to carefully evaluate the pros and cons and consider your personal goals before making a decision.

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