What does it take to create an in-depth system for training new hires to handle transactions exactly the way you would? With his agents averaging 39 annual deals, the systems set in place by Terrence Murphy are obviously working. Find out how to protect your brand, boost agent productivity and train your team during periods of growth here.

With nearly 150 posts on Inman, a successful podcast that interviews over 100 real estate pros per year and a 25-year real estate career, Pat Hiban knows the ins and outs of real estate. Catch his regular monthly column on Tuesdays.

Whether you’re a rookie agent, a rising team leader or an established veteran broker, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. Follow our “Back to Basics” series to learn fundamental strategies, tactics, philosophies and more from real estate pros across the industry.

Terrence Murphy

When running a small real estate business, you can see to it that all clients receive high-quality service. But how can you ensure new agents continue to deliver the same level of service when scaling?

According to the CEO of TM5 Properties Terrence Murphy, it all comes down to systems.

On a recent podcast, Murphy and I discussed what it takes to create an in-depth system for training agents to handle clients’ transactions exactly how you want. Murphy did this for his business, and it helped protect his brand while giving new agents everything needed to succeed.

With TM5 Properties’ average of 39 annual deals per agent, the systems set in place by Murphy are obviously working. Read on to discover how Murphy developed his team’s systems, and get recommendations on tools you can use to do the same.

For additional insight on team training, tips for boosting agents’ production and more, listen to my podcast interview with Terrence Murphy below.

Why every real estate team needs systems

Murphy has always seen value in systems, but he didn’t truly understand how important they were until TM5 Properties started to grow.

In his company’s early years, it was enough for Murphy to know and follow these systems himself. Because he had a more direct role in most deals, he could see to it that each client received five-star service.

But micromanaging each part of every transaction wouldn’t just be a bad use of his time these days; it’d be impossible.

To protect his brand, Murphy had to ensure his agents would deliver the high-quality service that consumers in his market had come to expect of TM5 Properties in central Texas. He had to find a way to get agents to follow the exact same procedures he would when servicing real estate transactions.

For ideas on how to do this effectively, Murphy drew inspiration from an unlikely source — McDonalds.

What can team leaders learn from McDonalds?

Why would a real estate professional turn to a fast-food chain like McDonald’s for ideas on systems?

While it does sound somewhat strange, it actually makes sense when you think about what Murphy wanted: a detailed system that outlines all of the procedures to follow during each part of the transaction.

Murphy studied McDonald’s training manual and found that it covered all employees’ duties in extreme detail; it even described the proper placement of pickles on a burger.

Because McDonald’s has guidelines in place for basically everything, it’s able to deliver the same product with consistency despite the fact that there are more than 35,000 stores operating worldwide.

Think about it: There’s virtually no difference between a Big Mac ordered in Murphy’s home state of Texas and a Big Mac ordered in New York or anywhere else in the world.

By taking a similar approach to his own team’s systems, Murphy can be certain that all TM5 Properties’ clients get the same great service, regardless of which agent they work with.

Tools for building your team’s systems

If you’re interested in creating comprehensive systems of training and procedures for your agents, here are the tools Murphy uses and recommends to other brokers:

  • Google Docs: When TM5 Properties first started growing, Murphy used Google Docs to get a training system together. With the ability to access and collaborate on documents from anywhere, you can use it to create and revamp training materials as needed. Although it’s not the most feature-rich training option, it is free.
  • Trainual: As you scale your business, you might find that your training needs outgrow what Google Docs is able to provide. Trainual is an excellent option in this case as it offers everything needed to create top-notch training, assign it to members of your organization and monitor their progress.
  • Loom: Writing out each and every procedure for agents to follow would be incredibly time-consuming, and it wouldn’t be very effective. Certain types of training are better suited for video recordings, which is exactly what Loom offers. Using Loom, you can capture your screen and your voice to show your agents exactly how you want tasks done. The service is free for some kinds of video calls. A paid-for service offers features such as high-definition video and recording, storage and editing tools.

Listen to Terrence Murphy’s podcast interview

For more information on the systems that helped make TM5 Properties one of the most successful brokerages in College Station, Texas, listen to my podcast interview with Terrence Murphy.

In addition to advice on systems, Murphy shares strategies for investing in real estate, building up an exclusive list of off-market properties and more.

Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription