Building a real estate team? Avoid these super common pitfalls

Team leaders share mistakes they made when they built their first real estate team at Inman Connect in New York

To build a successful team, you need to acknowledge the work of your agents, get to know them personally, hire people that aren’t your carbon copy and model your success after others, according to a panel at Inman Connect in New York.

Rachel Adams Lee, a Realtor and team leader at Keller Williams recalled the tipping point of when she knew she needed a team.

Rachel Adams Lee

“I remember that my big moment happened when I was compromising my standard of service,” Lee said.

At a Keller Williams company event she noticed that all the agents that were selling 500 to 1,000 houses a year were part of a team. So she went back to her home market in California, talked all her friends into getting a real estate license and the team she built completely imploded, causing a rift between her and her best friend. The big mistake was not taking an interest in the agents she brought in and only thought about her own goals.

“I never asked what their goals were,” Lee said. “I didn’t know the names of their kids or pets. Your agents want you to know the name of their dog.”  

It spoke to a bigger issue, Lee realized. People that work for you want to be acknowledged and praised.

“People want praise, almost more than they want a raise,” Lee said. “People want acknowledgment and they want to know you care.”

Lee also noted that it’s important to find the right mentors in life. At an early age, she only idolized agents who have no work and life balance and that can lead to burning yourself and your agents out quickly.

Jeremy Stein

Jeremy Stein, a real estate agent and team leader with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City, explained that the growth of your team needs to be timed correctly. You always want to be keeping up with the growth up your business but you never want to get ahead of yourself.

“You don’t want to get to where you’re paying people and they’re sitting around doing nothing,” Stein said. 

Stein also said it’s important to hire the right people – and that doesn’t mean hiring different versions of yourself.

“Often we try to find people we think are just like us or an extension of who we are as salespeople,” Stein said. “It’s important to find people who are different than you.”

Daniel Beer

Daniel Beer, the CEO and owner of Beer Home Team at eXp Realty stressed the importance of building a team if you want to be successful in real estate. He explained that it’s important to start a team because there are only so many hours you can work and building a team is like starting a real business.

Beer said the real currency of success is information – nobody is really inventing anything from scratch.

“We are great at modeling what’s already been done,” Beer said.

Email Patrick Kearns