Starting a real estate team isn’t easy. It takes a lot of planning, a lot of effort and some guts. While there’s a lot of information out there on the steps to take to start a team, the insights of those who have already done it (and achieved success) are invaluable.
Here’s some advice from a few leading Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate agents on what they wish they had known before starting—or joining—a real estate team.
Zelda Heller of Heller Coley Reed
“I wish I’d known the value of working with a team,” Heller said. “So much more is accomplished by delegation and support. The feeling of family that is built up in a well-balanced and loyal team is much more than the sum of the individuals.”
Heller worked as a solo agent for more than 20 years before joining the team of Jamie Coley and Leigh Reed. She was highly successful on her own, but she still calls joining a team the best move she’s ever made. Quoting Steve Jobs, she said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of great people.”
Wendy Banner of The Banner Team
“One of the things I didn’t realize is the synergy that happens when you have collaboration among professional agents and administrative support,” Banner said. “In other words, I thought I was a pretty successful agent when I worked by myself, but being able to combine forces with nine other agents benefits the clients in ways that were not originally anticipated.”
Working with a team means all members can look for buyers for their listings as well as homes for their prospective buyers, Banner said. This leads to better efficiencies and more transactions. “It got to a point where I couldn’t work any harder, so I had to figure out how to work smarter,” she said.
Melinda Estridge of The Estridge Group
“Knowing how to hire people is crucial. It’s a very slow and long learning process to be able to hire efficiently and know how to train people, or even what their job descriptions are,” Estridge said. “If anything, having a very detailed job description of what you want the person you’re hiring to do is beneficial.”
Estridge said growing a team is replete with success and failure and people will come and go. Those who want to start a team should keep in mind that it’s rare that people stay with a team for more than a few years. Additionally, every time you hire a new team member, you get better at selecting and training them as you learn how to work through the process.
Your real estate brokerage matters, too
In addition to joining and hiring the right team, it’s critical that you choose to work with a real estate brokerage that’s supportive of your team and its growth. At Long & Foster | Christie’s International Real Estate, the firm’s agents-first culture has long meant that it invests in the resources and tools that its agents and teams need to succeed.