Real estate can be a brutally individualistic trade. Some agents are committed to the one-man (or one-woman) show. Many choose the field precisely because of the opportunity to work and make a living on their own, without the constant presence of a boss or the need to collaborate with a team of colleagues.
But there are also some real estate agents who find partnerships rewarding. They enjoy the companionship of an ally as well as the increased ground that their partner helps them cover.
Here are a number of things to consider if you are thinking about partnering with a fellow agent:
Pro: Divide and conquer
Partners can split up the work based on their strengths, which can make things much more efficient. For instance, REALTOR® Magazine tells the story of an agent who partnered with her twin sister, with one concentrating on being a buyer’s agent and the other primarily dealing with listings. When you are focused on a narrower set of duties, you become very, very good at them.
Con: Too much specialization
There is a danger in becoming too specialized, which might prevent you from understanding key parts of the real estate business. You’ll also be more dependent on your partner to do certain things that they might not always be there to do.
Pro: Twice the network
You start the business with twice as many potential friends, family members and former colleagues who might be in need of a real estate agent in the future. This is the cost-free marketing that is built into the business and can play a critical role in landing your first clients.
It’s unrealistic to expect that you will always agree with your business partner. Disagreements can be healthy if you know how to deal with them productively. But there will be times when a decision has to be made and if the two partners cannot agree, things can get really ugly.
Another good point by REALTOR® Magazine: Two agents lend more credibility to your brand than one stand-alone agent. This is particularly true if you are just starting out in the real estate game. Rookie agents with little experience are not nearly as compelling as a power duo. What’s more, if you are early in your real estate career, partnering with a more experienced agent allows you to parlay that experience into more sales opportunities.
Pro: Collective experience
A REALTOR® partnership also benefits from a greater range of experiences than an individual agent. Partnering with an agent who has experience in different areas of real estate or job duties means that you can market your partnership to different types of customers. There may also be situations that one agent may be unfamiliar with –– and unequipped to handle –– but that the partner understands well and can turn it into a profit!
Pro: Picking up slack
If you’re on your own, it’s really, really tough to take a vacation or ask a client to reschedule because your kid is sick. When you’re not working, all you can think of is how the business is going to your competitors. That’s not the case with partnerships!
Con: Partners can enable slacking off
Things can turn tense very quickly if it seems like one partner is lifting more weight than the other. There are some partners who, consciously or unconsciously, will not be as vigilant about their duties if they know they have a competent partner who will deal with anything they neglect.
Have you partnered with another agent before? Are you in a partnership currently? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!