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Survey: Teams May Cut Into Brokers’ Profits

July 24, 2018

Teams are an attractive venture for real estate agents to share in costs, build careers, and help create a work-life balance. The team structure is paying off for brokers as well. In a survey of nearly 200 brokerage leaders by Imprev, an automated marketing services platform, the vast majority, 80 percent, said real estate teams have helped their brokerage’s business over the last five years.

However, there is an emerging paradox about brokerage teams. Seventy-six percent of surveyed leaders said teams have a greater impact on total sales volume, and 91 percent of surveyed brokerages said they have one or more teams. But with 45 percent of brokerages having six to 20 teams, the “profitability per agent is lower.” Nearly two-thirds of brokers surveyed said teams cut into brokerage profits due to higher commission splits and a heavier strain on office space and resources.

“We knew teams were making a powerful impact on real estate. There are many fantastic studies out there covering the inner workings of teams, but we felt there was a need to understand teams from leadership’s perspective,” said Renwick Congdon, CEO of Imprev. “This study shows that the effects are more double-edged than we anticipated.”

Nevertheless, brokers are embracing teams. When asked, “Does your brokerage fear or embrace teams?” on a scale of 1 to 100—with 1 fully fearing teams and 100 fully embracing teams—the average score was 73. This marks “a surprising turn in sentiment over the past five years,” according to Imprev.

“Based on brokers’ feedback, the key at the moment seems to be putting more comprehensive policies and frameworks in place to ensure team leaders and brokers build strong, mutually beneficial relationships,” Congdon said.

The study also found that current brokerage guidelines and technology could be improved to better support teams. Surveyed brokers ranked their desires for team improvement: “create guidelines, team models to assist new teams” at 78 percent, followed by “provide technology that supports both teams and individual agents” at 71 percent.