Difference Between Broker, Team Leader, Mentor, Coach

Aug 22, 2022
5 min.

Whether you’re just starting out in your real estate career or are looking to grow your business to the next stage, you’ll need advice and guidance from those more experienced to get you there. 

From mentors to team leaders and everything in between, the more people you have in your corner encouraging you, the more you’ll grow your business and feel confident in the process. 

But what is the difference between a broker, team leader, mentor, and coach? The terms are often used interchangeably, and while they will all encourage you, each person has a slightly different role in your career.

What is a Real Estate Broker?

When you join a brokerage, the head honcho at your office will be your broker. A real estate broker is someone who has completed more training and licensing requirements than a traditional agent, can work independently, and hire individual real estate agents to work for them. 

While they might still help clients buy or sell a home, they will also have added responsibility to manage the office or provide support to the other agents. As you get your license, you will likely have to interview with a broker to get hired and hang your license at that particular office. 

You should find a broker that you respect and trust — they’ll be an advocate and resource for you as you go through your career.

A broker is not only the boss of the office, they will also encourage you and ensure you’re growing in your career. They want you to succeed and advance in your career, just like a boss or manager in any other industry. 

There are technically three types of brokers: associate, managing, principal, or designated brokers. An associate broker will have a license but often will not supervise agents. A managing broker will oversee an office, train and hire new agents, and help manage agents' transactions. 

Lastly, a principal broker is one that ensures all national and local laws are obeyed and complied with. Each real estate office is required to have a principal broker. 

What is a Team Leader at a Brokerage?

As you start your real estate career, you’ll have the option to work as a solo agent or within a real estate team. If you choose to work within a real estate team, you’ll have a team leader who is in charge of that group. 

The team leader will oversee this smaller group of real estate agents that are working together under that joint team brand. They’re responsible for the transactions of the team members and will likely take a percentage of your commission to be on their team but in return, you’ll be able to benefit from being associated with them through lead generation and career advice. 

The team leader will give you instructions to help you grow, ensure you’re representing the team appropriately, and provide encouragement as you start your career. 

Because of their strong leadership skills and experience, a good team lead will improve your skills and give you the guidance you need. And maybe eventually, you’ll feel confident enough to leave the nest and start your own team!

What is a Real Estate Mentor?

Do you want to learn from someone who is experienced and respected in the real estate world? A mentor might be an excellent fit for you. A real estate mentor is someone you look up to and who provides guidance in the real estate transaction process. 

Many brokerages will offer mentorship programs, so check to see if your brokerage has a similar program. If your brokerage doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, you can still find mentorship opportunities within your own network or through online groups or forums. 

Also, check with your local realtor association to see if there are mentorships opportunities there. 

Since mentors are often successful agents busy running their own business, they usually will have a cost associated with them in the form of a percentage of your commission. But in exchange, you’ll get invaluable guidance as you navigate transactions and deals. 

Their role is to help you build confidence and pass on valuable lessons you can use as you start your real estate career. 

What is a Real Estate Coach?

While a real estate coach and mentor are often used interchangeably, they are slightly different. A mentor will walk you through various transactions and situations, but a coach will work to improve your specific skillset and give actionable advice. 

This specific skillset advice will be based on where you have weaknesses and will help hold you accountable as you build your career. They’re someone that is also experienced in the industry but also can guide you on a formula and process to help you improve your real estate skills. 

Whether that’s knocking on doors or improving your social media presence, your coach will work with you to develop a specific, actionable plan to achieve your goals. 

Some brokerages will offer specific coaching programs, but a variety of national schools and programs can also pair you with a real estate coach. 

Hiring a real estate coach can often be expensive, but if done correctly, you’ll notice an increase in your business and become a better real estate agent. 

If your brokerage doesn’t offer a formal coaching program, ask respected leaders in your market what they recommend. A lot of the top agents have also likely been through coaching programs before!

Final Thoughts on the Differences Between Broker, Team Leader, Mentor, and Coach?

Brokers, team leaders, mentors, and coaches all have one thing in common — their main goal is to encourage you and help you grow as an agent. Depending on your needs and the stage you’re at in your career, having extra support and guidance will benefit you today and as you advance in the real estate industry. 

As the great Andrew Carnegie said, "Never be so foolish as not to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” Surrounding yourself with more experienced agents will encourage you to be your best self. 

TL;DR: The real estate broker, team leader, mentor, and coach are all key professionals who help the real estate agent grow and develop in their career. But, they all have different ways of helping the agent grow.

Aug 22, 2022
5 min.