Independent Agent vs Real Estate Team: Which is Right for You?

One of the biggest questions new real estate agents ask themselves is, “Should I join a team or work as an independent agent?”

You’re not alone!

The real estate world is big. And deciding whether to work as an independent agent or join a real estate team can impact the entire direction of your career.

Let’s explore the differences between these two exciting paths. By understanding what each option offers, you’ll be better equipped to make a choice that’s right for you.

What is an Independent Real Estate Agent?

An independent real estate agent is like a solo artist who writes, produces, and performs their own music.

These agents run their own business. They make all the decisions from how to market properties to setting their work schedule.

Independence means you’re the boss. You handle every aspect of your real estate transactions. From finding clients and listing properties to closing deals.

Being an independent agent offers a lot of freedom. You get to choose your marketing tactics, decide which clients to work with, and even set your own goals.

Real estate agent holding keys with a couple hugging in the background with their new home

It’s a path that rewards self-motivation and hard work with potentially higher commission splits. Along with the flexibility to build your business just the way you like it.

But it may not be the best path for everyone. Some people may find that working with a real estate team is a better fit for them.

What is a Real Estate Team?

A real estate team operates as a group of real estate professionals working together, each with their own role. This typically includes lead agents, buyer’s agents, listing specialists, transaction coordinators, and administrative support.

This setup allows the team to handle more transactions efficiently. While also providing top-notch service to clients by leveraging each member’s strengths.

Joining a real estate team means you’re part of something bigger than yourself.

You might focus on specific tasks instead of juggling everything yourself. That can lead to more consistent leads and support from your teammates.

Joining a real estate team is a great way to learn the ropes, especially if you’re new to the industry. Agents also benefit from the established systems and brand recognition of the team.

KP Elite | Zaback Group real estate team photo

Whether you’re leaning towards the independence of flying solo or the collaborative spirit of a team, both paths offer unique advantages.

Independent Agent vs Real Estate Team: Pros & Cons

Deciding between flying solo as an independent real estate agent or joining a real estate team? Both paths have their ups and downs.

Let’s break it down so you can see which option might fit you best.

Pros of Being an Independent Agent:

  • You’re the Boss: As an independent agent, you call the shots. You decide how to run your business, from choosing your clients to setting your schedule. It’s all on you.
  • Potentially Bigger Paychecks: Without a team, you won’t split your commission as much. If you make a sale, a bigger chunk of the profit goes directly into your pocket.
  • Flexibility: Want to explore creative marketing strategies or niche markets? As an independent agent, you have the freedom to try new things and pivot your approach as you see fit.

Cons of Being an Independent Agent:

  • All the Responsibility: The flip side of all that freedom? You have to handle everything yourself. Marketing, scheduling, paperwork, transactions, and client relations—it’s all on you.
  • It Can Be Lonely: Without a team around you, real estate can get a bit lonely. You’ll have to find your own support network and do your best to keep in touch with them.
  • Initial Costs and Effort: Building your brand and client base from scratch takes a lot of time and money. Be prepared to invest both if you’re going solo.

Tired and stressed independent real estate agent

Regarding the potential issues of being an independent agent, Aaron Craig, a real estate agent with KPZ Group said, “Being on your own, there’s a lot of freedom. But with that freedom comes a lack of accountability. I think a lot of entrepreneurs think of it as freedom but in reality you work more because you’re trying to do everything at once. You may be working on your own terms but you’ll also be working longer hours.”

Pros of Joining a Real Estate Team:

  • Training & Mentorship: Some of the best real estate teams offer specialized training as well as mentorship programs. You’ll get the education and assistance you need to be successful.
  • Support System: Being part of a team means you’re never alone. You have colleagues to share ideas with, learn from, and get support when things get tough.
  • Shared Responsibilities: On a team, you can focus on what you’re best at because other team members will handle other tasks. Love closing deals but hate paperwork? A team can help balance those tasks.
  • Faster Learning Curve: New to real estate? A team can provide a structured environment to learn the ropes. Plus, you’ll see more parts of the business, more quickly, by working alongside experienced pros.

Aaron Craig also commented on the pros of joining a real estate team saying, “A team can provide you with a new income source thanks to their access to top-tier lead platforms like Zillow. That means you get leads that you wouldn’t get being an independent agent. These tools and the training you receive create an abundance of opportunities.”

Real estate team working together in the office

Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team:

  • Less Independence: If you’re someone who likes to steer the ship, being on a team might feel a bit restrictive. You’ll have to align with the team’s strategies, schedules, and decisions. Though you’ll still be able to run your own business for the most part.
  • Commission Splits: While you might close more deals on a team, you’ll split some of the earnings. Make sure you understand how the commission structure works.
  • Team Dynamics: Just like any group, teams can have conflicts or differences in work style. Finding the right fit is key to your happiness and success.

Whether you thrive on independence or excel in a team environment, there’s a path in real estate that’s right for you. Consider your personal work style, financial goals, and where you see yourself in the future.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Path

Picking between being an independent agent or joining a real estate team? Think of it like choosing between a solo adventure or going on a journey with a group. Both are exciting but they suit different types of travelers.

Here’s what to think about:

  • Your Work Style: Do you like making all the decisions and having space to do your thing? Or do you shine when you’re part of a team, sharing ideas and victories?
  • Financial Goals: Consider how you want to earn. Independent agents might take home bigger slices of the pie per deal. But teams often close more deals. What fits your financial dreams better?
  • Support and Resources: If you’re new or love having tools and help at your fingertips, teams offer built-in support. Going solo means you’ll need to build your own support network.
  • Learning Opportunities: Want a fast track to learning? Teams can be great for seeing more deals and learning from experienced agents.
  • Lifestyle: Think about the life you want. Need total flexibility? Going solo might fit better. Thrive in a collaborative environment? A team could be your best choice.

How to Join a Real Estate Team

Have you found a team that feels like a good match? Here’s how to hop on board:

  • Do Your Homework: Research teams in your area. Look at their reputation, the types of properties they handle, and their market presence. Also, find out what training and marketing tools they offer their agents.
  • Reach Out: Once you have a shortlist, get in touch. Send a friendly email expressing your interest and what you bring to the table.
  • Prepare Your Pitch: A reputable real estate team won’t let just anyone join their group. Treat this like a job interview. Be ready to share your achievements, what makes you a great team player, and why you’re interested in their team specifically.
  • Ask Questions: This is also your chance to interview them. See if their vibe fits your goals and style.

Questions to Ask When Joining a Real Estate Team

Joining a team is a big move. Here are some smart questions to ask to ensure you’re making the right choice:

  1. How does the commission split work? Understand how you’ll be paid for your hard work.
  2. What kind of support and resources do you provide? See what tools, training, and other perks the team offers.
  3. How do you handle leads? Get the lowdown on how leads are distributed and what you can expect.
  4. What are the team’s expectations of me? Know what they’ll expect from you in terms of deals, participation, and culture.
  5. How does the team handle conflicts or differences? It’s important to know how issues are resolved within the team.

Making the Decision Between Independent Agent or Joining a Team

Choosing between flying solo or joining a team in the real estate world each have their goods and bads.

Listen to your gut. Sometimes the best choice just feels right. Think about where you see yourself shining brightest.

Weigh the pros and cons. Look back at the benefits and challenges of each option.

Which set lines up better with your goals and lifestyle?

Choose between being an independent agent or joining a real estate team

Consider where you are in your career. If you’re just starting, the support of a team might be invaluable. If you’re experienced and have a solid client base, going solo could offer greater freedom and potential earnings.

Think about your long-term goals. Where do you want to be in five years? Pick the path that aligns best with your future career aspirations.

Find Your Place in the Real Estate World

Deciding to work as an independent agent or join a real estate team is a big step. And there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s about what fits your style, goals, and where you’re at in your career.

If you’re leaning towards the team route and are curious about the benefits, our team is ready to chat. We believe in collaboration, support, and helping each member reach their full potential. Joining our team means becoming part of a group that’s all about winning together.

Reach out to us! Let’s talk about how we can help you achieve your career goals and why our team could be the perfect fit for you.


Get in touch with KPZ Group to learn more about our team!
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About the Author
Logan Derrick
Logan Derrick is a lead generation expert specializing in content marketing strategies. As the Marketing Manager for KP Elite | Zaback Group, he develops and runs magnetic lead gen strategies that drive real business growth and success.

Using digital marketing tools like email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing, he helps small to medium businesses thrive.