• Formed together with your team, business plans should be living documents that adapt and change to market conditions and opportunities, with team member buy-in and a strategic vision that everyone can rally behind.

Effectively running a modern real estate team is not a group exercise. You should not expect to compartmentalize every aspect of the services your team provides to its clients.

On the other hand, you also can’t expect one person to do everything. When it comes to long-term success for real estate teams, balance and opportunity are key.

Our industry can have a high burnout rate because real estate agents are expected to do everything. Individually, they are tasked with taking on anything from the “janitorial” duties of supporting a real estate business to channeling their inner CEOs in a single day.

It’s a tall order, and not everyone is successful at sorting through the demand.

Each aspect of real estate work — and every individual job and task — is important to the overall health and growth of the company.

But if you expect all the agents on your team to do all things and perform all roles all the time, the individual aspects of running a real estate business will suffer. And the process can negatively impact the overall health of your business.

A helpful strategy is to take a page from large-scale corporations: identify specific departments and areas of specialization that enable individual talents to thrive, while keeping their responsibilities varied and challenging enough that there is room for development and growth.

The keys to motivating a team are finding balance between compartmentalizing and utilizing individual talents, finding out what personally motivates each team member and creating a business plan for the team and each individual. Below, we’ll go in-depth into each of these.

Finding balance

One of the most challenging and elusive concepts that teams face is balance.

As a team leader, you must focus on balancing workload, skill set, lifestyle and opportunities.

The entrepreneurial spirit of your team members require that their tasks and workload balance between important tasks and the overall mission of the team with the opportunity for advancement and growth sprinkled in.

If you compartmentalize roles and responsibilities too much, your team members will get bored doing the same thing day-in and day-out.

But if you don’t focus your team members’ skill sets on that which they are most effective in doing, you miss the opportunity to leverage the collective strength of the team you have assembled to optimize the growth of your business.

Balance is critical to long-term success.

If you are a broker owner, balancing the workload, the skill set, the lifestyle and the entrepreneurial spirit of your team members is critical to retention and motivation of your team.

Motivation is an investment

Churn is the biggest challenge teams face. As the leader of a team, the best and most effective way to keep it at bay is through motivation — and that doesn’t always mean money.

Being rewarded financially is indeed a driver, but it is rarely the primary one. Find what truly motivates each of your team members to perform at their peak capacity, understand how to support it, and embrace it so that they will stay motivated and effective.

When team leaders invest in providing motivating opportunities to their team members, they not only strengthen the relationship with the individual, but they also fortify the entire team.

Seeing a colleague thrive motivates others to strive for excellence and opportunity in turn.

The best laid plans

The best business plans are the ones that are actually used. The most effective recipe for success comes from input of all the team members.

Don’t create the plan in a vacuum; instead, create and form it with your team. Having a strategic planning session with the team creates the motivation and the buy-in that solidifies a commitment to excellence.

Don’t confuse your business plan with your team members’ business plans, and don’t avoid having both!

As a team leader, you should have a comprehensive and strategic business plan with strong metrics for analysis and revision.

Business plans should be living documents that adapt and change to market conditions and opportunities, with team member guidance and a strategic vision that everyone can rally behind.

If your brand is the flag you fly to motivate and focus your team, then your business plan is your roadmap to success.

Don’t forget: Each of your team members is running an individual business himself or herself, and as such, he or she needs a strategic plan for success.

Working with each individual to find his or her motivators and focusing on a road-map for success will translate into your team being hyper-motivated toward achievement and goal-realization.

Your ultimate goal, at the end of the day, is creating a highly focused, integrated team of entrepreneurial experts working together to achieve the highest level of client service and support in your marketplace.

Jeff Martel is the broker/owner and chief inspirational officer with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43° North in Meridian, Idaho. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn

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