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What teams are looking for in a brokerage — and why they switch

November 16, 2023 | Inman

The needs of real estate teams are unique and varied, according to Troy Palmquist. Here’s how brokers can better serve those needs and team leaders can make choices that work for everyone

why they switch

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The needs of real estate teams are unique and varied, according to Troy Palmquist. Find out how brokers can better serve those needs and how team leaders can make choices that work for everyone.

When navigating the growth of a team — and the career growth of each of its individual agents — the choice to switch brokerages becomes complex and multifaceted. Team leaders must evaluate a blend of elements, including culture, technology, financial perks and brand reputation.

By understanding what teams seek in a brokerage, agents and brokers can collaborate to cultivate environments that not only encourage growth but also pave the way for shared success.

Teams leave all the time. Here’s why

Just as with individuals who are making a move, teams move for a variety of reasons. These can include personal conflicts, a lack of professional support or a desire for a change of setting. Sometimes a culture change is needed, and sometimes it’s a simple matter of dollars and cents.

Frank Panunto, senior director of growth for eXp Realty, told me that teams, and particularly team leaders, make a switch for all of the following reasons:

  • They are looking for an opportunity to grow: They want to grow their business, grow their team and grow their brand. By doing so, they have expanded their reach resulting in more production.
  • Team leaders are looking for collaboration: Many times, teams are in a situation where they do not really have a peer group to learn best practices from or work in a brokerage where the broker-owner or branch managers don’t really understand how teams work. Because of this fundamental lack of knowledge, teams stall out and hit a ceiling causing frustration.
  • Teams are looking for support: Many times, leadership sees a successful team and assumes things are going well, and therefore, they are self-sufficient. Most highly successful teams that I work with are constantly looking for more opportunities. Being able to count on leaders and their support is a key factor in achieving their goals.

If you’re a brokerage owner, it’s important to look at how teams fit into your company’s structure both financially and logistically. Keep the lines of communication open with team leaders, and find out what they’re looking for and whether or not you’re providing it.

If you’re a team leader, think about your goals for the team.

  • Do you want more independence?
  • Do you want a bigger cut of commissions?
  • Do you want to eventually transition to an independent brokerage or franchise?
  • How does your current situation serve those goals?

The support structure teams are looking for

Teams thrive in environments where they feel a sense of community, where knowledge-sharing is encouraged and where the brokerage’s values align with their own.

Here are some of the support services to consider so that teams can flourish:

Marketing services

A strong brand, robust marketing, plus convenient and fast access to collateral, such as photography, video and professional copywriting services ensures that your value proposition is strong and allows you to serve those who are building their businesses as buyer agents and marketing properties as listing agents.

Training and development

Providing ongoing training, mentoring and other types of development support will make you an attractive option for high-performing teams. Keep in mind that most teams have agents at a variety of experience levels, so make sure your training is geared toward both newer agents and veterans who may be looking for more sophisticated masterminds and leadership development opportunities.

Ancillary services

According to WAV Group’s Victor Lund, because teams cap out early, their value proposition from the brokerage perspective comes from their use of ancillary services, such as lending and title. Because you want your recruitment to be a win-win for both your brokerage and the team, ensuring that the numbers work for both of you is essential.

The tech support teams are looking for

Teams often seek brokerages that invest in cutting-edge technology and provide robust tools to streamline processes. From advanced customer relationship management (CRM) systems to innovative marketing platforms, tech-savvy brokerages have a competitive edge in attracting and retaining high-performing teams.

Remember that it’s not just about paying for the tech; it’s also about making sure that you are providing onboarding and training that makes that tech as effective as possible. Negotiate with the tech provider and integrate ongoing training into the purchase of each element of your tech stack so that there’s always someone available to answer questions and provide tech support.

The top thing a team should consider when deciding where to land

The decisions a team leader makes impact everyone, not just the leader. It’s not as easy for a team to switch brokerages as it is for an individual. Therefore, decisions should be made collaboratively and should be based on something more than temporary frustration or personal preferences.

As the team leader, make sure you’re communicating with the members of your team, including any support staff you employ, to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that the changes you’re making will serve everyone’s goals. The more this feels like a group effort, the more everyone will be pulling together in the same direction to make it successful.

Troy Palmquist is the founder of DOORA Properties in Southern California and director of growth for eXp California. Follow him on Instagram or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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