Individual Real Estate Agent Vs. Real Estate Teams; Which is Better?

Written by Posted On Monday, 23 March 2015 04:32

When looking at the topic of Individual Agent Vs. Agent Teams, I know agents on both sides are very passionate in their beliefs as to which side of the coin they happen to fall on. For years I have looked at the idea of a team. For me personally I usually end the year as the top individual agent in my company and my production puts me in the top 4-5 even considering agent teams, which should and do produce more home sales annually due to having more numbers! 

Teresa Boardman had a post in Inman on February 24th of this year where she touched on agent teams in her typically candid fashion. As an Agent, Realtor, and Broker I love reading what she has to say, but I think the comment I most enjoyed was something to the effect that it doesn’t take “9 women to have one baby faster.” To her point, it doesn't take an agent team to sell a house faster, but they will usually sell more houses.

This spawned a slew of comments. One that I thought typical to the team mindset noted, “Unless you're selling a very small number of homes every year, there's literally no way an individual agent can provide all the same resources to their clients that well oiled and operating team can. It's impossible.”

My response to this thought process would be, “No it’s not impossible!” Let’s be honest, a 3,5, 10 member team is not going to work with one buyer. That buyer is not going to get the experience of the lead agent after being delegated to a team member, but of that particular buyer’s agent that happened to get the call or nod to respond to a lead. I am an individual agent and have worked that way for 10 years, yet when I get a call I can’t respond to as fast as I might want, I have someone in the office who I may ask if he can go work with a given buyer. He doesn’t do the production I do. He hasn’t the confidence or personality I found to be as good a negotiator as I am. He is a good agent, but that buyer loses out on the benefit of my experience at that point. Same with any team. 

Most buyers don’t want to work I have found with multiple agents. They want one person who can assist them.

How dysfunctional does it get, for an example, when helping a client through a new home build out on the construction side with different site superintendents? It is terribly frustrating because one does not know what the last one promised the buyer! Same can be said for multiple buyer’s agents working with one buyer! Communication and client satisfaction will suffer. It just will! Look at the lead agent’s reviews on a team where inevitably they will get hammered because the buyer had worked with a team member who didn’t justify in the consumer’s experience the reputation that the lead agent had brought to the table!

In real life we work this way so why do we feel in the context of real estate it will be better to have a group of people doing the same task? For example, I have a CPA. She is not a CPA “team.” Most people have a stock broker handling their investments. Not a stock broker “team.”

 To share a personal story, I bought a 10 year old Land Rover for one of my kids a few years ago. I found the “team” at the shop I had taken my cars to for years were in the end useless! Every “team member” who happened to work on it each time it came in for a service or repair (and with Land Rovers that was quite often) didn’t bring anything more to the table than the last! I finally found a guy who knew the vehicle. Took it to him, a true “shade tree” mechanic working on European cars in his barn, and he fixed it. It was fixed! No leaks no issues finally! Didn’t that larger shop have “more people and more resources?” Yes, but that did NOT fix the problem!

Another comment to Teresa’s post noted within this debate, “You cannot be in two places at once. If I'm meeting with a Seller my transaction coordinator keeps track of all details and my Sellers always have two other agents to help them if I'm on another call, another appt. am sick or on vacation.”

Yes you cannot be two places at once. This is why I use Showing Time Appointment Manager to schedule my showings, track feedback, and I know everything that goes on! I am constantly in the loop and from an app on my phone I can track or follow every showing even if in a closing, home inspection, or wherever I happen to be! Once again though, the team does not sell a home faster, just more homes. Yes if I wanted to take my business up a notch to sell over 100 homes a year I would need a team. For me and my business that is not where I want to be. It does not mean however that the service I offer to my clients on a still strong volume of business is lacking in any way. Why? Because as I tell my clients, I am a “recovering Type A personality.” This also means I am “in denial because you never recover!”

The last comment I will share, and one I probably enjoyed most, “I'm interested in quality, focused clients and I'll use background administrative help as/if needed. However I am 100% hands on with the clients. My experience with "teams" using new agent slave labor is not good, in fact it's exactly what you would expect. There's a big difference between quality and quantity....”


This post was shared from my blog at


Rate this item
(9 votes)
Hank Bailey

Hank was born and raised in Athens, GA. He moved to Oconee County in 1984 and has been a resident ever since! Hank started his career in 2005 so he's been on the roller coaster of both up and down markets. Throughout Hank's real estate career he has learned many lessons. He values doing a good job and doing it the right way. His motto is "hard work is not to be applauded, it's to be expected." As he tries to be a good student of his business, he watches trends in every angle of the real estate business, including having an eye to look for and identify the quality of construction on newly renovated flips to new homes.

Also being in front of the MLS or multiple listing service daily on three different MLS platforms (Georgia MLS, FMLS, and Athens MLS) he knows comps, keeps up with new listings, and knows the markets. Having experience for years as an Accredited Buyer's Representative he is adept to knowing what inspections are needed and the right inspector or contractor for the job! Finally, his most fun is negotiating with buyers and sellers. After almost 500 closed sales in his career, he has a lot of experience doing it! In 2010 Hank emerged as the #1 agent with Prudential Georgia Realty, Hoschton, GA. From that point on he has been the #1 agent in each office he has been apart of through 2017. He also is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement club Hank attained in just 3 years!

Hank's key attributes include his dedication to his clients, responsiveness, hard work ethic, and last but not least, his knowledge of how to market residential real estate. He has an unparalleled desire for every client he represents to be part of his extended family, and he has a true commitment to do anything to help them achieve their #housegoals !

Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.