Lean, Mean Team Machines

Real estate teams are growing, and whether you’re on one already, a solo practitioner competing against them, or a broker trying to manage them, you’re likely looking to learn more about how they work.

Credit: Highways England, IMcreator

Credit: Highways England, IMcreator

The reason I presume you want to know more is because there isn’t exactly an abundance of statistical information on teams. A big part of the reason for the absence of data is because the definition is hard to pin down. What’s the difference between a top producer who has a licensed assistant and a mentor-protege team? Sometimes teams are really just two individual agents who work together on certain deals but have their own separate books of business; other times they operate more like mini-brokerages with their own branding and detailed internal structures.

The only way we can reliably “count” a team is if they self-identify as one. And that’s why the newly-released report, The Real Estate Teams Playbook: Aligning Structures and Strategies With Goals and Growth is worth a look. Released by REAL Trends in collaboration with BoomTown, ERA Real Estate, and dotloop, much of the insight used to create this playbook comes from a study conducted in the first quarter of 2016 by REAL Trends to better understand the landscape. They interviewed 25 team leaders and broker-owners and surveyed more than 2,450 real estate professionals across the country. The size of teams varied widely, from three team members to more than 50.

One interesting element of the findings is the large role that culture plays in establishing a successful team. The report puts a fair amount of responsibility on leaders for their “ability to conceptualize and foster a team culture.” However, the authors also note that the personalities and goals of team members and the tools available to them “have an equal impact on team culture.” But the buck doesn’t stop with team leaders and members, according to the report. Broker-owners, brand leaders, and coaches must play an active role in how teams operate and function in the wider industry, according to the report.

Here are some of the more surprising findings from the study:

  • The average monthly compensation for team members (not including team leaders) ranges from $2,000 to $12,700, depending on their role in the team.
  • Most teams are on the small side. Of the surveyed teams, 38 percent comprised of 2 to 3 members; 41 percent counted 4 to 9 members
  • The majority of the teams that were part of this survey are relatively new. More than one-quarter (26 percent) formed less than a year ago and 37 percent formed within the last one to three years.

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]realtors.org.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook