Real Estate Teams: Are They Always the Right Choice? How about You?

You’re a newer agent–or an agent struggling. Voila! You have the answer. You’ll join a team. Before you leap, take the time to answer the questions here.

Otherwise, like thousands of agents, you’ll get sold on a team and find out it wasn’t what you thought it was.

(Find out more about teams in my award-winning book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School).


  • How many leads are distributed to a team member per week? Per month?
  • Am I expected to generate leads for the team? How many a month?
  • How are you going to help me generate these leads?
  • Let me see your vision and mission statements. What are the values you expect your team to uphold? You want to match the values and vision of the team.
  • If I want to leave the team, how will you help me transition to my own business?
  • How will I be held accountable? (meetings/reports/CRM input)
  • What are the minimum expectations to stay on this team?
  • How much turnover has there been on the team?
  • How many people are selling on your team?
  • What is the average number of transactions per team member in a year?
  • Can I sell and list houses outside the team—and how much the rainmaker will charge me if I do..
  • What is your experience as a leader? (courses, jobs, etc.)
  • What are the systems you use? See the specific systems the rainmaker will use with his team. These should be precise, detailed processes that the team follows. Lack of systems means the team will not operate as a team, and you will be left trying to figure out how to take action on your own.
  • What is your real estate team commission structure? Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign. Be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement. Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is.

Interview tip: Do not lead with a question about real estate team commissions! As a manager, that was a red flag to me. I want to see if we are a ‘fit’ before we talk specifics about pay.

Your Real Estate Team Leader: Successful and Balanced with the Team?

Unfortunately, some team leaders don’t sell much real estate, and don’t generate many leads. They think they will thrive if they just get lots of agents on their team. It’s a mess–and certainly not in the interest of a team member. Or, the team leader somehow sells lots of real estate and the team members sell little. Not a good balance.

A Great Real Estate Team is a Franchise Structure

What do all good franchises have in common? They all operate from the same systems and processes. If the team you’re thinking of joining doesn’t have an identifiable structure through processes and systems, you won’t know what to do or how to do it. Run the other way!

Great Salespeople; Lousy Leaders

Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders. As a result, their team never jells. Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads in addition to team leads. If you cannot meet the rainmaker’s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team membership seriously.

Starting Over

When you leave the team, you are generally starting again as a new agent, since you have not generated your own leads (unless you have worked for an exceptional team leader who has helped nurture you so you can transition successfully into your own business).

What did I forget? What did you discover was important to know about teams before you committed?

Read more about teams in Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.