To Team, or not to Team? That is the question…

Every agent who follows me in the Zero to Diamond-Real Estate Agents Facebook group, on my YouTube Channel or on Instagram knows that I preach “single agent“. Why is that? Why do I tell agents to be single agents? Well, I don’t exactly say that. I believe that being a single agent is the way to go, and I advise agents to go that route (my reasons are below). However, I am not stern about it, and here is why: every agent succeeds differently. There are no two agents that have found success in the exact same way. I always say that each agents career is like a fingerprint, no two are alike. There is no way. Too many personalities, possibilities and probabilities. You could do mailings and cold calls to the exact same property owners as another agent in your office, and you will get two completely different results. This is because prospects respond differently to different agents due to personality. However, the agent themselves also have different paths and beliefs. Different strengths and weaknesses. There are so many variations and differences in this arena, but for the sake of this blog, I want to talk about two different characteristics of agents. Some agents are Salespeople, and some are Managers. In other words, some agents’ strengths lie on the sales side of the business, or dealing with the customers in the day-to-day sales processes and procedures. While others are good at managing people or agents in this business. Agents who are Manager oriented are more inclined to become a Qualifying Broker or Team Leader. The Salespeople agents end up either in the sales department of a team or as a single agent. These two types of agents are just built differently, its the way they are wired. There can be success either way. This is not a team bashing article. These are just my opinions based on experience and observations made throughout my career.

When I tried to Start a Team

Back in 2011, I wanted to work on building a team. I mean, that was popular at the time. Everyone was doing teams. So, I went through 12 agents within three years, and after the last one, I was done. I never found that ace team agent. Now, what did I learn through that period? Well, the agents I hired were either good quality agents that left me quick. They just wanted to join the team to learn what they could from me and move on to being single agents or go to another company or team. Or  the bad ones that would suck all of my time and energy. It drove me crazy because that was taking time and energy away from my clients and deals. This is when I knew I was a salesperson, not a manager. It was like a huge weight on my shoulders when I was spending time away from MY business. I finally decided it was time to quit trying to build a team and focus solely on my clients. How to serve them better and find more to serve. This is where the money is at. When you control your clients and your income is predicated on you instead of others, you sleep better at night. Once I made the decision to commit as a single agent, that was the first year I sold over 100 properties (2014-today I hit 101 closings on the year so far this year). This is because I was able to put 100% of my energy into my clients/business, and focus on increasing my market share.

Why I Believe in Single Agent

Through my experiences, I feel single agent is the best for long-term, healthy real estate business. For one, after going through the market meltdown of the late 2000’s, I firmly believe in keeping your overhead as low as possible. Real estate is the kind of business that you can find the highest quality prospects for nearly nothing. Why would you build a team and increase your overhead if you could be a single agent and reap all the highest quality prospects yourself for hardly any cost? Overhead will kill you when the market crashes. I want to be prepared for a crash at anytime, and I am. Another reason is customer quality. The point of having a team is to refer prospects to agents under you, right? Well, I cannot do this because I feel like I am watering down my business by not securing the relationship myself, and by showing the prospect that they don’t mean much to me because I just sent them to another agent. One reason my business is so strong is because I am not only the face of the business, but every single one of my clients know that when they have a question, need anything or want to meet, they will be meeting or talking directly to me (not someone on my team). For me, its all about relationships and customer service. I don’t see how you can grow clientele and relationships by sending your clients to other agents. Not to mention you don’t have time for your clients due to spending so much time managing your team.

So, overhead and lower customer service are my reasons for being a single agent. I am sure there are some team leaders that can debate these issues very well. However, the name of this blog is “Why I am Still a Single Agent.” And, that is why. Seeing how I just hit over 100 closings this year for the 4th straight year and its just September, I feel like I have figured something out.

Please comment in the Facebook group or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Ricky Carruth, RE/MAX of Orange Beach



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