As an individual embarking on a career in real estate, one of the crucial decisions to make is whether to join a real estate team or to operate as a solo agent. Both paths have their unique advantages and challenges. This article aims to provide insights into the pros and cons of both options, providing a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Real Estate Team?

A real estate team is a group of real estate professionals who work collectively to achieve common objectives. The team usually includes real estate agents, transaction coordinators, administrative staff and a team leader.   Some teams have additional support including things like staging, sign installation, inside sales people, marketing, etc.  Each member plays a specific role, contributing to the overall success of the team.

What is a Solo Real Estate Agent?

A solo real estate agent, on the other hand, operates independently. They are responsible for all aspects of their business, from lead generation to closing deals. They typically work alone, managing all tasks and responsibilities themselves.

Why Consider Joining a Real Estate Team?

Here are some reasons why you might consider joining a real estate team:

An Excellent Start for Newcomers

Starting in real estate can be overwhelming. As a newcomer, an agent will  benefit from the mentorship and guidance provided by more experienced team members and leadership. This can fast-track your learning process and provide a solid foundation for your career.

Consistent Lead Generation

Lead generation is one of the toughest challenges in real estate. Being part of a team often guarantees a steady stream of leads, ensuring consistent business opportunities.

Collaborative Environment

Working in a team fosters a sense of camaraderie and cooperation. This collaborative environment can be motivating and can provide opportunities for learning from peers.

Access to Resources and Support

Teams often have access to resources like marketing tools, office space, and administrative support. These resources can significantly reduce the operational burdens of agents, allowing them to focus on their core duties

Commission Structure

While commission splits may seem like a downside, they come with the benefit of consistent business and nearly no expenses.. Knowing that the average agent in Virginia only closes around 4 transactions per year, having the opportunity to create more income more consistently is appealing to many agents.  Teams often negotiate special plans with their brokerage that flow down to their agents including annual caps on what is paid to the broker.  GTRE offers an exclusive hybrid program that allows agents to benefit from business they generate similar to a solo agent while still taking advantage of everything the team offers. Find out more.

Why Consider Being a Solo Agent?

If you’re considering operating as a solo agent, here are some factors to consider:

Building Personal Brand

When you operate solo, you have the freedom to build your personal brand. This can be advantageous in attracting clients who resonate with your unique selling propositions.

Greater Control Over Business

As a solo agent, you have complete control over your business. You make all the decisions, from marketing strategies and expense & budget allocations to client relationships, without having to defer to a team leader.

Commission Structure

Operating solo means you are only splitting with your broker, not a team.. This can be financially rewarding if you have a steady stream of clients and are able to manage expenses to create the net profit you’re looking for.  It’s important that an agent understands their agreement with their brokerage including whether there is a cap on what they can pay the broker as the agent’s business grows.  


Solo agents have the flexibility to manage their schedules and workflows. This freedom can be appealing for those who prefer independent working conditions.

Making the Right Decision

Deciding between joining a real estate team and operating solo depends on your personal career goals, work style, and preferences. Consider the following aspects:

Assess your Goals and Systems

Before choosing, consider your long-term career goals, your brand vision, your marketing strategies, and your lead generation techniques. How would these fit within a team, and how would they work if you were operating solo?

Understand Your Personality Traits

Your personality traits can play a significant role in choosing between a team and solo operation. If you thrive in a collaborative environment and enjoy learning from others, a team might be a better fit. If you prefer working independently and have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, being a solo agent might be more suitable.

Consider the Structure

If you’re considering joining a team, understand how the team operates. Does it have a mentor-mentee model or a team lead model?  Is there structure and support or is it a looser collaboration between a group of agents to defray expenses? Understanding this can help you assess if the team’s approach aligns with your career aspirations.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you choose to join a real estate team or operate solo, what matters most is your commitment to consistent prospecting.  The trap many agents fall into is believing that once they have a license the business will come to them.  This is why over 80% of new agents are out of the industry before they renew their license for the first time.  Having a plan to put yourself in front of buyers and sellers is critical to success.  Real estate is an amazing industry but too many careers don’t get off the ground because agents don’t know where to start and have no support structure. 

With Ascend Agents and the Gillies Team Real Estate, we provide a supportive and collaborative environment that encourages growth and success.  Our community welcomes independent agents and teams looking for a leg up in the market, agents seeking to join a team and even agents that are currently on a team and seeking new opportunities for growth.  Regardless of your current situation, we’re here to help you reach new heights in your real estate career.

Join us today and ascend to new heights in your real estate career! Click here to schedule a call to talk about your real estate career.