NAR warns government may crack down on real estate teams

1 in 4 Realtors now part of real estate team, according to results of a new National Association of Realtors survey

Real estate teams have generated buzz in recent years and a new survey from the National Association of Realtors shows there’s a reason for that.

Just over a quarter of Realtors, 26 percent, are members of a real estate team, according to NAR’s 2018 Teams Survey, fielded in July.

The majority of Realtors, 73 percent, don’t self-identify as being part of a team, but the trade group says teams are becoming more common.

“Over the last few years, Realtors have continued to embrace changing technology and business tactics that are modernizing the industry,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg in a statement.

“Real estate teams are an increasingly popular business model in response to consumer demand for a wide range of specialties from their Realtor as they expect constant support throughout the real estate transaction.”

The survey found the median number of people on a team was four, though 29 percent had two people and 33 percent had six or more.

Source: NAR

Real estate pros on a team work together to provide real estate services, and teams can help sales productivity by letting individuals on the team “thrive with their own strengths and skill sets,” the trade group said.

The vast majority of respondents, 80 percent, said all the members of their team held a real estate license, while 16 percent said more than half of their team members, though not all, held a license.

“This growing trend not only helps our members share workloads and responsibilities, but also allow Realtors to benefit from the experience of fellow professionals,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, in a statement.

“The synergies of a well-functioning team are often an incentive to relinquish some of the independence of a solo practitioner and offer many attractive features for both licensees and their customers.”

However, the trade group warned that as teams become more ubiquitous, they will attract the attention of regulators. Already, 24 states have laws in place regarding real estate teams, NAR said.

“These regulations may continue to be relatively minimal, limited largely to advertising rules. Yet, as teams continue to develop and as the practice continues to evolve, it is possible that more extensive regulations will also develop and evolve,” Mendenhall said.

When asked to choose their primary functions on a team, survey respondents most commonly answered agent (88 percent), followed by broker (50 percent), marketing (47 percent), administrative (47 percent) and transaction coordinator (34 percent).

Source: NAR

Fourteen percent of respondents said they used a virtual assistant in their real estate team, but the vast majority (78 percent) said they did not. Eight percent said they didn’t know if they did or not.

The median year respondents said their real estate teams were established was in 2014 while respondents typically joined their current team in 2016, according to the report.

When asked about the type of compensation arrangement respondents had with their team, the greatest share (38 percent) said they had a fixed commission split while 22 percent said they had a graduated commission split and 13 percent said they had a 100 percent commission split.

NAR’s report used a total of 3,483 responses and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.66 percent. The median age of respondents was 57 years and they had been in the business for a median 12 years. Almost two-thirds, 65 percent, worked primarily in residential real estate while 30 percent worked mostly in residential and some commercial.

at 62 percent, most of the respondents were sales agents and 16 percent were associate brokers. Respondents typically worked 40 hours a week.