The Rise of Real Estate Teamerages
A real estate team model beneficial for both agents and brokers
The “teamerage” business model has exploded in the last several years, though the concept isn’t entirely new. Not exactly a real estate team, and not a brokerage, teamerages–as the name suggests–combine the best of both worlds. They often provide shared resources like training, support staff and technology while letting agents operate independently and build their own brand and book of business with less risk and financial burden.
Build your personal brand
Buddy Blake, a 20-plus-year veteran in the industry, runs his own teamerage, Waypost Realty, out of Wilmington, North Carolina. It’s a brokerage that has all the functions and structures of a team, but as agents grow, it allows them to brand themselves (and even create an individual site with a custom domain if using Sierra Interactive), develop their own success statistics and receive high splits on their own personal deals. According to Blake, this enables them to build their own business and eventually their own teams if that’s their goal.
“A teamerage gives you a bigger vision. Our people who work at Waypost can work our leads or work a duty shift, or they can do their own thing. All our agents have their own brand, and they can market themselves. When the sale goes in the MLS system, it goes under them so they start getting metrics attributed under their name,” said Blake.
Effective training for new agents
“For new agents, there’s no better training ground than joining a teamerage,” said Blake. In larger brokerages with hundreds of agents, competition looms large and getting enough at-bats to even get experience can be tough. In a team-based environment with a strong, open culture, new agents benefit from working alongside more experienced agents and get one-to-one training on how to build relationships – and a book of business – quickly.
“Go to a company who will do 1:1 mentoring, who will sit with you through those first awkward phone calls. You’ll learn so much in the first 60 days,” said Blake. “You have to learn how to talk to people. Have conversations and listen to them. Get them to open up about what’s really going on. You have far more opportunities within a teamerage or team because that’s where you will learn the fastest.”
Team-based environments also enable new agents to listen: “In an open culture where people aren’t keeping secrets, you get to hear so many conversations and experience what goes on. Shadowing other agents in a good culture allows you to learn other agents’ customer stories because you won’t have any of your own when you first start. A team is the best place to do that.”
In addition, teamerages can offer training and development through a learning management platform like Sierra Academy which provides on-demand content from industry experts, as well as the ability to create training videos and upload them on a platform embedded within the CRM. With an accessible and customizable learning solution like this, brokers/owners don’t have to pay an additional fee to host training content and agents can learn processes, best practices, industry insights and more.
Blake explained that over the years as brokerages have had to pay top-producing agents and teams more money, they can’t operate profitably without charging ancillary fees to make their margins. They have to hire additional operations staff as they get larger, and if they’re part of a franchise, there are fees associated with that as well. All this limits the splits an agent is able to earn. With a team, however, there’s generally more flexibility and lower overhead and that results in higher splits for agents, particularly for top-producing agents who generate their own leads.
“Do the math. A lot of people are shocked after the first transaction and all the fees come out,” said Blake “50 percent of 95 percent on a team is very different from 50 percent of 64 percent after franchise fees and other costs in a franchised brokerage.”
On top of being an attractive option for both new agents and experienced top-producers, real estate teamerages are appealing for broker/owners and team leaders as well. By allowing agents to build their own brands and business, including generating their own leads, brokers/owners can see a better return. While a teamerage is not a real estate team, exactly, research has shown that team-based models tend to be more profitable than brokerages, too. In fact, a 2021 Real Trends profitability study comparing teams to brokerages, showed that real estate teams have double the average per-agent sales volume of brokerages and almost 4.5 times the gross margin.
“As a broker/owner, I make more profit on a deal even with an agent who has a high split because I did not invest in that lead, so I don’t have to factor in that loss,” said Blake. “You have to open the door to allow an agent to build their business in order to see that kind of return.”
Another benefit of the teamerage model is that it typically includes administrative or operations staff that enables team leads and agents alike to do what they do best: build relationships and close deals. With a robust CRM like the Sierra Interactive platform, hiring admin support can increase a team leader’s salary simply by taking on the back office operations and paperwork and giving them back time to focus on building the business.
“That’s the first thing I recommend doing: hire a really good admin to help you handle the non-agent related operations. That’s the first place you can start leveraging yourself,” said Blake, who also noted that admins can also have conversations with leads to add even more value.
The best of both worlds
It’s no surprise that many are opting for the teamerage business model. Teamerages are the optimal environment for new agents who need to learn fast, get access to tech and tools, and be supported by seasoned pros while at the same time being an attractive model for top-producing agents and broker/owners to make the most money.
Like what you’ve read? We talk about these hot topics and more every Thursday at 2 pm ET in a real estate industry mastermind co-hosted by Buddy Blake and Sierra Product Manager Robert Sagers. Learn more at AgentIdeas.com.