• Once you have wisely chosen your team members, set up systems and processes, keep communication open and celebrate your success with your team and your clients.

Real estate teams are increasingly more popular throughout the industry. Teams can provide a strong competitive advantage when you combine people with skill sets that complement each other and with personalities that work well together.

A team that includes successful listing agents with expert showing agents, someone with an eye for great documentation detail or staging and the communication talents of a masterful marketer creates an unstoppable force.

The best way to compete with today’s teams is to create your own. Here are seven steps to building a successful team:

Start with a business plan

If you are considering building a team, evaluate what you are trying to achieve and set goals.

Build a one-year business proforma, with estimated sales and commissions (revenue) and anticipated payables (expenses).

Figure out job descriptions so that every team member will understand what they bring to the team and what is expected of them.

Pick your team members wisely

Just like any other partnership, a real estate team is only as successful as its weakest link.

Everyone needs to be on the same page and needs to be a team player. A team does not work without trust and reliance on each other.

When hiring, ask yourself: will this applicant strengthen to the team? Does he or she have the skill set we need? Is his or her work ethic comparable to my own?

Lastly, I suggest avoiding those who are always surrounded by drama. You want to choose team members you can have a lasting professional relationship with, make sure they are people you admire personally as well as professionally.

Figure out your processes

Specify your operations, and map out a process for each one.

For example, when you get a new listing, what happens next?

For our team, a new listing triggers a set of communications including new photography, a listing brochure, website updates and MLS listings, mass e-blasts, social media postings, a postcard, Realtor and public events, and a call campaign to prospective buyers.

To make sure things go smoothly, a process was established and clearly communicated so that all team members are on board and can act efficiently.

Communicate often

Our weekly team meetings are another way all team members are kept in the loop. Create an agenda that includes reviewing closed sales, contracts, listings, showings and prospective listings.

Discuss outstanding tasks (remember your processes), and brain storm about other ways to move your properties to the next stage. If there are challenges, discuss them.

Everyone should have a voice at this meeting.

Document your successes

During our meetings, we review the team achievements, including financial reports for our team. This transparency works well for us and is appreciated by all members.

Expand your team

Once you have established your team, consider adding people or organizations who can help in your (and their) success. Explore opportunities with the agent community, not-for-profit community, service community and other business leaders.

Our team invited the local Realtors to join us in sponsoring a walking tour and open house event in one of our local neighborhoods.

Any Realtor with a listing in the community was invited to participate. This allowed prospective buyers to see more properties at one time, which gives the event greater marketing power and builds goodwill among competition.

Celebrate with your clients

When you establish a successful team and implement a business plan, your clients benefit.

Clients recognize and appreciate the commitment from a team of talented individuals, especially when you communicate regularly with different members about the showings and marketing activities for their property.

At closings, celebrate with your team and your clients.

Carole Rogers is the associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in Warwick, New York. Follow her on Facebook or connect with her on LinkedIn

Email Carole Rogers.

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