When you think about buying your dream home or selling your current home, do you think about who you would most want to work with?  What is your perception of real estate agents?  One decision you need to consider is whether or not you will work with a team or an individual.  Deerwood Realty runs a hybrid team, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but I want to go over the team versus the individual philosophies and where you might fit in.

The Real Estate Team

I suspect this is what actually happened.  One day, an agent was working out in the field showing houses.  When they got back to their office, two other buyers had called and left messages.  “How am I going to show all these houses!” the real estate agent exclaimed.  After all, they were just one person, and they couldn’t be everywhere at once.  And at that moment, the real estate agent had an idea.  “I’ll start a team of agents.  That way, we can show more houses and make more money than if we were on our own.”  This must have been the start of the modern team.

Maybe it didn’t start that way at all.  Maybe it started like this.  A real estate agent is in the office.  He has no listings and he has no buyers.  The agent at the next desk has more home buyers and home sellers than he knows what to do with.  Our agent friend, who certainly doesn’t have that issue,  says to the busy agent, “Hey, let’s work on a team, that way we can divide up the work evenly and it will work out great for both of us.”  In this case you have one good agent and one awful agent combining to provide average service.  Still, it’s a great deal for the awful agent.

The Real Estate Individual

When you start working as a real estate agent, it is kind of rare to start off on a team.  No one really wants to go through the amount of time it takes to train you, and honestly, you could be out of the business within 6 months, so it’s kind of a waste of time.  Therefore, you start off as an individual.  As an individual agent working for a brokerage, you control every aspect of your business.  Who you choose to work with, how you decide to market your services, whatever business decisions you make; everything is dependent on you.

Real Estate Team Negatives

As real estate teams have grown in popularity over the years, there have been a few negatives associated with them.

  1. You may deal with 8 specialists throughout the buying or selling process. Some clients want to talk to a human being who is responsible for the entire purchase or sale of a home.  They don’t feel comfortable telling 8 different people the same thing as it seems counterproductive.  Look at this scenario.  You call a phone number from a real estate commercial you see.  The person that picks up the phone identifies themselves as the inside sales coordinator.  You talk to that person for a few weeks before the listing specialist comes to your home to sign paperwork to list.  The staging and design coordinator comes out after you’ve signed the paperwork to give advice on staging your home, and when she is done, the media specialist comes to take pictures of your home, put out the sign and enter the listing in the multiple listing service.  The showing coordinator alerts you to new showings and feedback on your home for sale, and then when a contract comes in, a contract specialist negotiates the offer.  Finally, a closing coordinator handles all inspections and repairs until closing day.  When you get to closing it’s you and the representative of the title company.  Can you see where this might be an issue for our seller?
  2. There is usually very high turnover on a team. Let’s assume you had a great experience working with a team and you are now ready to buy a new home.  When you call, the person you worked with hasn’t been in that office since shortly after you sold your last home.  Where do agents go?  Well, let’s just say that working with a team doesn’t always work out.

Real Estate Team Positives

On the other hand, there are some advantages to working with a team.

  1. The people in each department specialize in their tasks. In theory, if everyone was a specialist, the process would go very smoothly and you would get a better finished product.
  2. The team turns many more houses than an individual. If something happens in the real estate marketplace, the team knows way before anyone else.

The Real Estate Individual Positives

I’m partial to working on my own.  I like to do many different things, and I feel uncomfortable knowing that I will do the same tasks over and over again.

  1. With an individual involved with the entire process, you have one point of contact. This means that the real estate agent can be responsive to your needs and adapt quickly.

The Real Estate Individual Negatives

  1. The biggest negative in working with an individual is that real estate in the Midwest tends to be seasonal, so there are times when the agent is spread thin. The vast majority of real estate agents work on commission, so they have to be assisting buyers or sellers or they starve.  During peak buying or selling season, normally around June, real estate agents can get overwhelmed and pulled in many different directions.  It’s a feast or famine cycle and it can really cause issues with client service.

The Deerwood Realty Team

Deerwood Realty is a hybrid team.  Here are some of the ways we combine the individual and real estate team concepts.


  1. All of our agents work as individuals. When they need help showing property or some advice, the other team members pitch in.  This helps alleviate those tough times in the year when there are many deals at once.  It also helps because the agents don’t have to worry about other real estate agents stealing their buyers or sellers during the course of a transaction.
  2. Office tasks are centralized. Instead of everyone having a handyman they like, we use the one that works and is consistent.  The lenders we use are ones that we’ve used in the past that have done great work for our clients.  The title company is the same one and we use the same people so that the closings are always consistent.
  3. Everyone works for Deerwood Realty. Deerwood Realty doesn’t have 10 agents working underneath our broker license all doing different things.  Everyone is committed to the success of Deerwood Realty.  This eliminates some of the rivalries found in larger offices.

When you work with Deerwood Realty, you have an advantage.   When you are looking to buy your new home, or looking to sell your current one, one call to our office could be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your purchase or sale.