Which Type of Real Estate Team is Best for Branding, Leadership, and Life Balance?

by | Aug 28, 2023

In a previous article, we compared the bottom-line performance of each of the three types of real estate teams, including client service, ability to grow volume and manage capacity, costs, and take-home income. But there is more than just the bottom line. For example, which type of team is best for building your brand? How does marketing work? What kinds of leadership opportunities come with each type of team? And finally which type of team best supports a great work-life balance?

If any or all of those questions are important to you, keep reading! Or you can view this information in video form below! 

Hi, I’m Mike Regan, the founder, and CEO of Relevate Real Estate. Quick disclosure up front, one of the support team models I will be discussing in this blog is the Relevate support team. We developed it, and all the agents here use it. The Relevate model is perfect for some agents and not perfect for other agents.

I promise to be as objective as possible in comparing the three support team alternatives because my only goal is to help you find the right fit for your needs.

In my fifteen-year career as a real estate agent (the last ten of those years at $10-$23 million in volume) I learned there are only three primary types of support teams used by high-producing agents:

  • Part-Time Team: You hire friends, family, other agents, or virtual assistants to help you part-time with the marketing or client service work.
  • Industry Standard “MREA” Team: Described by Gary Keller in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent book. In this model, you pay other agents to convert and serve buyer leads, and you handle the listings. 
  • “Relevate Team”: This is a support team hired, trained, and managed by Relevate Real Estate as part of a comprehensive system for running your real estate business.

If you have not watched it already, you may want to watch this video for a deep dive into all three types of teams before considering the questions we will be discussing in this article.

Let’s jump into comparing and contrasting these three types of teams with regard to building a brand, marketing, leadership, and life balance. To guide you in your research, I will give you a straight scoop about how each type of team performs for agents in each of these areas. By the end of this article, you should have a clearer vision of what type of team is best for you and how to move forward with this decision for your business.


Question #1: How Will You Build Your Personal Real Estate Brand? 

To build a personal brand, you will need to be at a brokerage that supports and even encourages personal brands (such as KW and eXp). Many of the largest franchise brokerages (such as C21, Berkshire Hathaway, etc.) do not.

  • Part-Time Team – As the leader of a Part-Time team, you will be free to build your personal brand as much as possible based on your own marketing skills.
  • MREA Team – The MREA team structure is excellent for you to build a personal brand for two reasons:

1.The team may have many members and is totally controlled by you, so all marketing and signage can feature your personal brand.

2. An MREA team acquires clients partially by advertising, which is delivered to a large audience and can also consistently feature your brand.

  • Relevate Team – Relevate Real Estate, on the other hand, does not support personal brands. I made a video about this subject and the logic behind it. Click right here to check it out. 


Question #2: Which Type of Team Will Give You the Best Opportunity to Manage and Lead Other People (or Avoid Doing That)? 

Which Type of Real Estate Team is Best for Branding, Leadership, and Life Balance?

This question is “double-sided.” Some agents love the idea of becoming managers and leaders. Some agents would rather stick forks in their eyes.

    • Part-Time Team – In this Part-Time team, it usually does not make sense to do much managing and training because, in most cases, the support team is not full-time committed to you, and they are only doing fairly simple “fill-in” tasks. You could invest more time in leading them, but the return on investment will be limited unless you plan to evolve into an MREA team of full-time team members. 
    • MREA Team – In this team, managing and leading others will be your main role (especially hiring, developing processes, training, and holding people accountable for performance). You will also have an opportunity to do website development, brand development, marketing, payroll, workers comp., vacation, benefits, etc. MREA teams have fairly high turnover in the buyers’ agent role (as they learn the business, many want to go off on their own), so that will give you continuing opportunities to hire, train, and grow new team members.
    • Relevate Team – In the Relevate model, you will receive training on how to work in partnership with your support team. You will lead your clients and make all important client service decisions. Beyond that, Relevate bears all the responsibility for management. Relevate management will give you opportunities to participate in process improvement efforts, or to mentor agents new to the Relevate system. Of course, your success can also be an inspiration for other Sales Agents to “follow the process” and be successful also.

Question #3: Which Type of Team Will Give you Control and Creativity in Your Marketing?

This is another “double-sided” criteria. Some agents love the idea of having control over marketing and see marketing as a creative outlet. Other agents would love to have marketing completely planned and executed on their behalf.

    • Part-Time Team – You have complete responsibility and control over the planning, writing, design, production, and delivery of all marketing materials and events.
    • MREA Team – Similarly, in the MREA team model, you also have complete responsibility and control over the planning, writing, design, production, and delivery of all marketing materials and events.
    • Relevate Team – In the Relevate model, the marketing team brainstorms with all interested agents near the end of each year to plan the monthly marketing campaigns for the next year. The marketing team then writes, designs, and produces all the marketing materials as well as plans and manages all events. Each piece is “personalized” for each agent (including their name, photo, and contact information) and most agents participate in the same marketing efforts at the same time.

Question #4: Which Type of Team Will Give you the Life Balance You Need? Will you be Able to Take Real Vacations?

Which Type of Real Estate Team is Best for Branding, Leadership, and Life Balance?

  • Part-Time Team – You can utilize a Part-Time team more for life balance than for growth. The team can fill in mainly when you get too busy, or when you want to be off for evenings, weekends, or vacations. You will need to stay in touch with them during your time off because part-time team members are normally not prepared to “handle everything” in your absence. You may not truly feel like you are able to unplug for vacations.
  • MREA Team – MREA teams require consistent and ongoing management, which will require your daily personal involvement. Unless the team is big enough (at least 20+ people) to have a full-time Chief Operating Officer (COO), the team leader typically must stay in close touch with the team.
  • Relevate Team – The Relevate team is designed to free you up to grow and build relationships with your sphere of influence (SOI) in order to receive the most referral business. Once you have built your SOI, one to two hours of this activity each day, combined with the Relevate marketing and CRM systems, is enough to bring in over 75-100 referrals per year. In addition, because of the deep understanding that your support team has of you, your business, and clients you can truly leave your work behind and enjoy your time off without having to check your phone. So, will your next vacation be in Costa Rica, Hawaii, Italy, or Australia?

Question #5: What is the Biggest Disadvantage of Each Type of Team? 

Boy, you ask tough questions! Okay, I guess I will go ahead and spill the beans on this one too:

    • Part-Time Team – The biggest disadvantage of the Part-Time Team is that it just will not get you big results. It will help you grow your volume by 20% or get you 20% of your working hours back but you will have to do some people managing to make that happen.
    • MREA Team – The big drawback of the MREA team is that you have to be a really good manager, or you risk losing a lot of money. Those managerial responsibilities will probably cause you to end up working more, not less. At least 80% of agents who start to build this type of team say “Oh forget it” and go back to being an individual agent.
    • Relevate Team – The most difficult hurdle with The Relevate Team is that it comes as a part of a (basically all-or-nothing) comprehensive system of processes and software for running a real estate business. You might not want or like some of the other parts of the system.

Which Type of Real Estate Team is Right for Me? The Part-Time Team, The MREA Team, or The Relevate Team? 

When you are a busy real estate agent and need good support, the last thing you need is confusion and uncertainty about which type of support is right for you.

If you have not seen it yet, you may want to watch this video about how these three types of teams compare when it comes to the bottom-line business fundamentals. This includes delivering great client service, having the ability to grow volume and manage your capacity to handle that volume, minimizing total costs, and of course maximizing take-home income.

Here at Relevate Real Estate, we are enthusiastic about educating the right agents about our system. If you are an agent in the Triangle Area of North Carolina area and you’d like to visit with us to learn more about Relevate Real Estate, click HERE to set up a time to talk with us.