Real estate teams have continued to grow in popularity during the last five years, but their effects on leadership remain a complex puzzle.
That’s the takeaway from the latest Thought Leader Study by Imprev, Inc., The Team Paradox: Benefits & Risks from the Real Estate Leader’s Perspective.
Imprev surveyed offices, firms and brokerages ranging from less than 50 agents (20 percent of survey respondents) to more than 500 (15 percent).
The number of teams per brokerage and number of agents per team varied, likely based on brokerage size:
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One thing that’s clear: The majority of real estate leadership (80 percent) believe teams have helped business over the last five years, with 76 percent saying teams have a greater influence on their brokerage’s total sales volume today compared to five years ago.
Additionally, 63 percent said teams have a greater influence on their brokerage’s profitability than they did five years ago.
While the improved business is good — and 68 percent said the creation of teams is encouraged at their brokerage — many leaders voiced concern regarding teams.
Slightly more than half (53 percent) believe teams are harder to manage, with half saying it’s harder to get teams to adopt broker-provided technology.
And, looking down the road, nearly half (48 percent) believe teams can become a competitive threat to their brokerage, with 64 percent saying teams cut into their brokerage’s profits.
Still, asked to rank on a scale of 1-100 whether their brokerages fear or embrace teams — with 100 being embrace — the average was 73.
So, while the majority of leaders believe teams have helped their business and increased sales, they also have real concerns. The results are mostly all over the place and provide no clear answer, with “paradox” in the study’s title summing it up nicely.
As Imprev CEO Renwick Congdon writes: “(Real estate teams) present management and profitability challenges for the brokerage, but on the flip side, well-run teams can have a positive impact on sales volume and brand perception.”
Whether you’re a brokerage that embraces teams or have yet to accept them, the most important thing, 78 percent of respondents said, is to create guidelines and team models to assist new teams. Seventy-one percent also encouraged fellow leaders to provide technology that supports both individual agents and teams.
“With a clear structure,” Congdon writes, “a brokerage is more likely to build a mutually beneficial relationship with teams and drive greater success overall.”
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