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The team format is still relatively new in the history of real estate. Formats are constantly shifting, and today’s brokerages must decide whether they want to embrace teams or risk losing business to mega teams aligned with competing brokerages.

Additionally, consumers must gauge the best fit for them: the support of a team or a lone agent?

Luciane Serifovic, CEO and founder of Luxian International Realty and a real estate thought leader, helps to outline some of the pain points and challenges when dealing with the team format so today’s real estate professionals can best determine the appropriate model for their business.

“I have been in the real estate industry for 17 years,” says Serifovic. “When I started, teams didn’t really exist. I have a very different perspective. I understand the evolution of where it was and where it is now from a management standpoint, from an agent standpoint and from a consumer standpoint.”

Brokerages
Profitability is the biggest challenge for today’s brokerages when it comes to teams. Serifovic says that from the perspective of a broker, teams can often hurt the bottom line of the brokerage if not structured properly.

“It’s a conversation that’s been happening behind closed doors at management meetings,” she says.

Why is that? Because the commission goes to the team at a higher split.

“On a typical brokerage model, if agents work independently, the brokerage often earns a higher commission—as an example, say, 50 percent,” says Serifovic. “But when they’re under a team leader, they occupy desks that show zero dollars in revenue due to the commissions being paid to the team leader at a much higher split.”

Team Leaders
The biggest pain point for team leaders? Management, says Serifovic.

“Very often, team leaders are not great managers,” she says. “I think the biggest problem is there is no training to be a great leader.”

This training, she says, should begin at the brokerage level, teaching team leaders how to effectively lead. If they find they do not want to lead, however, they should consider the alternatives.

“Not everyone was born to be a leader,” Serifovic says. “If that’s the case, hire a manager or maybe take someone from the team who wants to lead. Make sure there is value to being a part of your team.”

Agents
At the agent level, the biggest pain point is communication and translating value. Often, team leaders’ egos get in the way, says Serifovic, who has witnessed leaders who don’t treat their agents with respect and who do not regularly recognize them for their efforts.

“Promote an environment of growth and success,” she says.

Additionally, communication is key to ensuring that agents are productive.

“It’s all about communication,” she says. “How can we be better together? How can we exceed client expectations? Have team meetings and be constantly communicating and networking.”

In order to ensure the profitability of teams, and of brokerages that host teams under their brand, real estate professionals must first determine what the pain points are so they can directly address them. Teams aren’t going anywhere, believes Serifovic. That’s why it pays to be prepared.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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