The first in a series by Andy Herrington in what it takes to train, manage and motivate and hence build a Real Estate Team.
I was asked to write an article on Team Building, and to include, why, how, the history, myths … a lot of information. My response; “Can we do a series of articles? Because the straightforward truth is one article will not do the topic justice”. So this is the first article, it will continue on eliteagent.com and in future issues. I’m hoping by the end to have provided a good understanding of what it takes to build a successful real estate team.
So, let’s talk about why someone would want to build a team. I am a big believer in the “WHY”. Without this understanding, nothing is ever really accomplished. Without knowing why we are doing something, we can never know if we are successful or not.
Team building is hard work (like anything else business related). Building a team is an entrepreneurial endeavour. You are building a small business. Like any small business it takes time, effort and money to get it moving and growing. Without the right motivations behind our actions we can destine the project to fail right from the start.
The first thing you need to decide is why you want a team. Is it a status symbol? Is it to create immense profit, or to provide a better way of life for you?
One of the most common mistakes when agents first start a team is they focus on the selfish reasons, ‘the results,’ instead of the grand picture of what a quality team provides to everyone. A team like in any other sense of the word cannot function solely for an individual. The reasons why to build a team include:
- time and financial freedom (for everyone on the team not just the team leader)
- providing better service to clients
- the satisfaction of teaching
- raising the reputation of the industry as a whole
The more the Team Leader focuses on others (clients and team members) the better the chances are of the team becoming successful. The direct result over time is that the Team Leader will also reap huge rewards from the Team environment. Let’s look at these benefits closer.
Time and Financial Freedom
A team provides a platform on which to work that creates an easier way to do things. It should provide sources of leads, as well as help doing the non dollar productive activities so the Licensed Team Members can spend more time doing what they are best at, buying and selling homes. This means that one of the very first benefits to Team Members is time freedom. They need to spend less time per transaction, and therefore they can spend their time on either making more sales or living their life outside real estate.
What we have found is the Team Members tend to do a little of both, which allows for them to make more money, and have more free time with their families. These extra deals create the financial freedom they desire.
The Team Leader on the other hand, begins to reap benefits from each Team Member. As the Team Members do more business the Team earns more money and the Team Leader now can focus on turning a profit. As the team grows and is successful, eventually the Team Leader can also start to back away from active duty in the business and focus on building the business. This will allow the Team Leader to work more regular hours and avoid late nights. Soon the Team Leader can stop selling Real Estate and solely run the team (if they so choose) and have immense time freedom as well as financial freedom. Then when the business is running completely smoothly the Team Leader may even hire someone to run the office and step away completely, just collecting profits and having complete time freedom for whatever they want.
Providing Better Service to Clients
The reason most real estate people chose this profession is to help people. The team is the ultimate client service tool. No one can be an expert in everything, but together we can provide expert service across the board. This creates a better experience for our clients which in turn creates more loyal clients, and simply put more clients in general. This allows the team to grow and do more transactions with less effort and cost.
A quality team will have experts doing every piece of the transaction. Administrative experts ensuring paperwork is complete and filed properly, marketing experts writing the best ads and marketing pieces, sales experts negotiating and putting deals together, telephone experts converting phone inquiries into appointments, and more. Having a well oiled machine takes time but as the team grows we provide better and better service.
The Satisfaction of Teaching
The amazing effect on the human being that is only achieved when we help others improve themselves is greatly undervalued. It is not a financial or time benefit, but an intense psychological one. On a team there are chances for everyone to have these moments. The Team Leader shares their knowledge and systems with Team Members making them more efficient and more successful. The Team Members share ideas and tips on how to improve the team as well as teaching each other new ways to be more successful, both of which improves the company.
The cohesive unit becomes better and better, and the energy is extremely positive and conducive to being successful in all parts of life including sales. It is a power that people want to be around including clients. This power is one of the benefits people don’t know about until they live it. It is also one of the best benefits a team provides its members.
Raising the Reputation of the Industry as a Whole
Our industry is full of highly skilled professionals who help people make one of the largest financial decisions in their lives every day. Yet it is often seen as a shady and surly business. This has got to change. Teams are on the front lines of this battle. The public are used to dealing with professionals in a team environment, Doctors, Lawyers, Accounting firms and more. They all use a team format, and when we do this as well we begin to change the public perspective of us and our industry. If we continue throughout the transaction to provide quality professional service this will solidify that mental change.
This is an altruistic goal for sure, but I believe it is something all real estate professionals should strive to do. I’m not saying this can’t be done by an individual, but I will say it is an easier transition when performed by a quality Real Estate Team.