We meet with home buyers and sellers everyday, and one of the questions that many people ask us is “what’s the difference between working with a team and working with a solo agent?” As you can imagine there are several differences in how things are handled when you work with a team vs how things are handled when you work with an individual agent. There are pros and cons to both so here we will layout the key differences between the two and hopefully this will help you make the right decision when it comes to hiring the right real estate professional(s) to help you with your real estate goals!
Working with a Team
The main thing you need to understand about working with a real estate team is that you will likely be communicating with more than just your listing or buyer agent. For example, an agent with a team may have an administrative assistant, listing manager, transaction coordinator, buyer agents, etc. Think of it more like working with an Attorney office whereby you would have your personal Attorney who is the main point of contact, but in addition to them, you would likely be in communication with their paralegal(s) and/or office staff as well.
The other important thing to understand about real estate teams is why they exist in the first place. The reason why agents end up creating teams is because it allows for service standards to remain high as their business grows. In other words, for a high producing individual agent, it is nearly impossible to still provide high level customer service because you end up doing so many jobs once you get busy (i.e. scheduling appts, showing houses, hosting open houses, meeting with sellers, meeting with buyers, negotiating offers for sellers, negotiating offers for buyers, processing paperwork for new listings, processing paperwork for new transactions, marketing properties, coordinating appraisals, attending inspections, following up with agents, following up with attorneys, following up with buyers, following up with sellers, and so on and so on.
The end result is usually the agent getting burned out, spreading themselves too thin, and an overall drop in customer service. When agents care a lot about their customer service and reputation, then they will typically end up forming a team. The tradeoff at that point is a new approach with 2 or 3 points of contact as opposed to just one individual person handling everything.
Working with a Solo Agent
As you can imagine, when you work with a solo agent you have one point of contact and that’s all. You have one person that you will be in communication with the whole time. Some buyers and sellers prefer this because they only want to deal with one person, and in all honesty, it is not a bad way to go, unless your agent is very busy. One of main reasons we see buyers and sellers complain about their agent is because there was a lack of communication, not enough attention, or too long of a response time. This usually happens if the agent is a high producer because if they are a top selling agent, that means that you are not their only client, and since they don’t have an assistant or other team members, everything lands on them.
If your agent is not a high producer, or if they’re brand new, you will likely get white glove service because you will be one of their only clients. They’ll have a lot of time to devote to you and that is definitely great, the only downside would be their experience. These newer or lower producing agents may not know what to do in certain situations because they don’t sell a lot of properties and as a result, they don’t have as much experience or expertise as higher producing agents.
The truth is that it depends. If you want to deal with one person and nobody else, than working with a solo agent may be your best bet, but keep in mind that the service may or may not be up to par depending on how many clients they have and how much they have on their plate.
On the other hand, if service and results are your top priority, then working with a team may be the way to go because teams typically have systems & operations in place to make sure things go smoothly, and they usually have someone you can speak with in the event you can’t get a hold of your agent right away.
Hope this helps you in your decision making! Have a question? Contact Us anytime.