Brokerage

Team building: what you should know before you begin

Take time to thoroughly consider your needs before you begin

It’s 8:30 a.m. as I scan my calendar to review the day’s events: meetings, prospecting, appointments and follow-up.

I take a deep breath, look around and realize that I’m the only agent in the office in addition to a few administrators. How long can I keep going like this?

I’m stretching my resources, time and energy doing every single thing in my business. Marketing, helping buyers, regulating my business budget and tedious administrative paperwork. Life would be so much easier if I just had … an assistant.

A partner agent would also be helpful — splitting the profits would not be a concern if the amount of work has the potential to multiply our return with the right strategy.

What about an assistant and a partner? Of course; a team is the answer!

However, there are some questions to think about before team building:

6 ways empowered agents embrace disruption to drive success
Using technology to generate leads and win listings READ MORE

What makes an excellent team?

Diversity, an entrepreneurial spirit and ambition are some of the key makings of a successful team in any industry. Gathering talent from a variety of backgrounds can better ensure a multitude of tasks get done by the most qualified person.

Promoting a culture of creativity and not being opposed to failure does wonders for making strides in team growth and relationship building. Surround yourself with those who will hold you accountable and won’t accept anything less than your best, which will help you hone and develop your talents.

When is it time to expand?

The only thing we can truly manage in our business is time. With business booming and clientele growing, there will come a moment in your career when you simply cannot do everything you once did.

Why? Because there is only one of you and a multitude of clients who have demands and requests — not to mention the paperwork.

At some point, you will misstep. At some point, you will forget a seemingly small task. At some point, your service will decline for one client, who will not be happy. This could cause a ripple effect if you continue to spread yourself thin.

Finally, at some point, you will crash because we are all human and make mistakes. Luckily, there are a few telltale signs to give you a heads up to get help:

    1. Opportunity cost
      Is what you are doing greater than, less than or equal to another task that you could be doing to grow your business? If “less than,” it’s probably something you should delegate.
    2. Playing to your strengths
      Are there certain tasks or things about your real estate business that you dread doing? What might be a burden to you could be a joy for others. Imagine only doing the things in your business that you excel at doing. The time that you would gain back in your life for work or leisure would be priceless.

Spreading yourself thin

    Your business is your baby, which you’re developing, training and molding to be the best that it can be. It makes sense to want to have your hands on every single aspect. But for growth to take place, you need to trust others’ abilities to do tasks just as well as you would, if not better.

How to form your team

How do you go about creating your dream roster? Recruit like a college coach:

  1. If you know your local industry, then you know who your colleagues are.
    Who’s making moves, noise and positive change in your city? Not necessarily the most sales — instead, someone who genuinely has all the compatible characteristics most compatible with whom you’d like to partner. For administrative work, don’t neglect reaching out to your sphere of influence. It’s a knowledge bank of connections.
  2. Invite them to lunch or dinner.
    An intimate personal setting in which you both can get to know one another will help you both gauge whether there is potential for a working relationship. This exchange should be a win-win; they should be the yin to your yang. Because you are putting this team together, it makes sense to assume a leadership role, but everyone should feel like equals.
  3. If you want it, just ask for it, or someone else will.
    If there is someone you wish to work with, tell them why you want to work with them and why they would be a valuable partner. Chances are they’re not psychic, so you need to be as clear as possible: “I want to partner with you and would love for you to join: Team All-Stars. What do you say?”

Creating a team is not something that will happen overnight. Instead, it will take creating a vision for how the team will come together, being proactive in pursuing those who would be a great fit, and finding the ability to trust those whom you’ve selected to do thing things they are great at so you can do the same.

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, rest assured there are those just as eager as you are — they just need a team.

Anthony West is a real estate agent, the founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.

Email Anthony West.