Building Your Own Real Estate Team

In the first part of this Team Building series of articles, the ‘Why’ behind the decision to build a team was the focus. In this article the ‘How’ is covered. Story by Andy Herrington.

Building Your Own Real Estate Team

In the first part of this Team Building series of articles, the ‘Why’ behind the decision to build a team was the focus.In this article the ‘How’ is covered.

This is not going to be a step by step guide on the actual actions of building a team (it would be far too long), but a depiction of the philosophies that quality teams need to be successful. For a more complete “how to manual”, you can visit www.danplowmanteamsystems.com and research the Driving your Dreams system.

So first I would like to share my definition of a successful team. A team is a success when:

  1. It is a place people want to be, this means adding quality team members is not difficult, as well as the fact that the people once on the team wish to stay for extended periods of time.
  2. It is a well organized and simple to run organization. They are not reinventing the wheel every time a task is done.
  3. It is a profitable endeavour on its own. i.e. the Team Leader doesn’t have to work IN the business in order to earn a living

So with that in mind, the core beliefs that the team needs to be built around are:

  • Time/Money/Effort
  • A Quality Work Environment
  • Systemization – then manage the system not the people
  • Focus on Leads
  • Find the right person for each task
  • Franchise concept


We cannot build a team overnight. We need to focus and build over time.We need to make sure that every action in the team environment is using time, money or effort wisely. It will take some investment of money early on with the opportunity of cashing in later. It will involve effort from everyone on the team pushing forward to the same goal. Team building is not a get rich quick scheme. You can attempt to build very fast and see some results quickly even great ones, but in the vast majority of these examples the success is short term and the team is a house of cards, a constant worry and juggling act.

Take the time to build a proper plan and understand that things will not happen as fast as you think. But when you take the time to build it properly the very first time, you will not have to rebuild it when it crumbles.

A Quality Work Environment

The great teams are focused on making everyone on the team better in all aspects. It is how we create intense loyalty and the desire to become a part of the team.

The best Team Leaders improve the lives of everyone around them in many ways, financially, educationally, time management, environmentally and many more. Most people want more out of their workplace than just money. People want security and quality of life. People want to grow mentally and emotionally. We need to provide a place to work that people look forward to being a part of. The Team Leader needs to remember that for the vast majority of the planet, work is the time they spend away from their families. The easier that is for them the happier and more productive they will be.

For this we recommend having regular skill development sessions, team events outside of work, providing a positive environment (rewards/bonuses), a place where their ideas are respected, a pleasing environment (aesthetically speaking). Remember what might be important to them could be very different from what is important to you. You’d be amazed how much some “frivolous thing” by your definition has a huge impact on productivity and workplace satisfaction.

In order to do a lot of these things, we need to have systems in place to manage them.

Systemization – then manage the system not the people

We need to create systems through-out the business. Any and all tasks should have or be a part of, a greater system. Even if you don’t currently know the best way to do something, start with whatever system you use currently and write it out in great detail. Begin to track its results, analyse it and improve it. It is these systems that will make the team more organized and run smoothly.

The systems in a team should never be considered ‘completed’. They should be open to ideas and change, as long as the result from the ideas and changes can be tracked. Change is only worth doing if you can learn something from it.

Once we have systems in place, we then need to manage the systems, not the people performing the tasks. A system provides a standard result. For example a telephone script, when used properly and tracked, will provide a specific, repeatable conversion percentage unless outside factors are changed. Those factors could be type of lead, the phone system, physical location of lead and many more. Once we have a script and know what it does, I can now look at a person’s conversion percentages and determine if they are using the script solely based on this statistic. I can then provide training if that conversion % is low, and I can look for what they might be doing differently and make changes if the conversion is high. I’m then managing the system, not the person. This can be done through-out the organization.

Then I can also implement new ideas to improve the systems (one at a time) and measure their impact before deciding to keep the changes or not. Systemization is the core of any successful business, and real estate is no different.

Focus on Leads

A team is a sales business and a sales business without leads is not one that will last for very long. The team needs to be constantly looking to create more, new and better leads for everyone on the team. Marketing and Lead Generation is the life blood of a real estate team. This is for a couple of reasons, one it is the main downfall in most real estate professionals businesses and two it is the easiest way to immediately show value to Team Members. This being said it is obviously not the only way to show value throughout the process but the best way to provide an immediate wow.

Too many Team Leaders get stuck on the idea that Team Members are going to create their own business and bring that to the team. If the people on your team could create and convert their own business, they would be successful solo agents or looking to build their own team.

Find the right person for each task

The best thing a team offers is experts in each portion of the business; marketing experts, administrative experts, negotiation experts, phone experts, and more. But in order to make sure we can find these experts we need to have a solid game plan and system for adding team members. We need to know that we have team players who have what it takes to excel at their position on the team. Each position takes a different type of person to become the best. The new additions also need to be able to meld with the others they will be working closely with. The best run team works together as a machine they pick up each other’s slack and make sure there is no duplication. They also should be able to have fun together outside of work. Team morale is often over looked by people building teams. It is this issue that causes the vast majority of non mutual Team Member departures.

Joining a team should be a process that tests the ego level, co-operation level and the willingness to learn new ways of the applicant. It should not be easy to join your team, and we should have standards of only looking to add the best people for the team.

Franchise concept

The franchise concept is a bit tricky. It is the psychological environment on the team. It is a concept not an exact science. But the foundations are as such: ‘No one joins Real Estate to work for someone else.’ If this is true then how can a team be successful? We must treat each other as business owners working under one brand name, like a franchise. We are not a franchise, nor do we hire Real estate Professionals. We are a membership based organization. We need everyone to be individually in charge of their own business while be held accountable to the quality of service and standards of the brand / Team Leader. This concept when used effectively will raise retention levels and build loyalty. The people on the team will be more inclined to follow systems, and help improve the team through ideas and implementation of new systems. This is a core belief that the Team Members and Team Leader need to share. This produces long term effects that are amazing.

Now I wish I could spend time getting into specifics but it is very difficult to do in a medium such as this. You can see now what it takes to build a team as well as the basics of how to build a team. When you start your journey on this path, I would be glad to help in any way that I can. Feel free to email me, good luck and I wish for you all, the team of your dreams, and a future that is filled with success!

Andy Herrington is a founding member and master coach with Dan Plowman Team Systems Inc. He is regarded as a specialist in human behaviour, scripting and team development. Email andy@danplowmanteamsystems.com.

Show More

Andy Herrington

Andy Herrington has been a full time real estate coach since 2008 and is currently the Director of Coaching at Powerhouse Coaching Inc.