Being a real estate agent is tough, but building a real estate team can be even more difficult. Assuming your team grows out of your solo real estate business, it means you’ve gotten to the point where your network and large circle of influence in the real estate industry is so solid that you are going to have more leads coming in than you can handle.
Essentially, it means that your volume of business has reached the point that you can’t handle it all on your own, except if you hire people.
Once you reach that point, before you can even start building your team, you have to develop a solid foundation. That means you have to have a game plan.
For example, it’s critical that you develop revenue goals and work backward to determine how many leads and team members you’ll need to meet them. Furthermore, you have to make sure your lead generating and nurturing systems are in solid shape — ready for the influx of leads that your new team will be bringing in.
Once the foundation is shored up and ready to go, it’s time to make your hires.
Typically, the first hire for your real estate team would be an admin. This way, you can have someone to help you with your subsequent hires. Next, you’ll want to go after a solid buyer’s agent to take your lead generation systems and put them into action.
Then hire a powerhouse real estate inside sales agent (ISA) to generate new leads while you and your agent work with your existing clients.
From there, it’s just a matter of growing your business and hiring new agents and ISAs as your sales volume demands it.
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid while building your real estate team.
1. A bad training program
A mistake that many real estate agents fall into while building their real estate team is training on an ad hoc basis.
As they hire new people, they conduct the training case by case instead of developing a set, standard and consistent curriculum. Although developing this standardized training program can take time, in the long run, it will make your business far better off.
The problem with hiring agents for your real estate business is that it can often take a significant amount of time before they begin closing deals and consistently producing.
This makes hiring an even more significant upfront investment for you. Having a standardized training system will allow you to train new hires faster (instead of recreating training methods for each person) and get them on the path toward a productive team member more quickly.
2. Not setting clear expectations
Many real estate team leaders make the mistake of not setting goals and benchmarks for their agents or, conversely, not holding new hires accountable to those goals.
Open and clear lines of communication are always the best and most productive route to go. That way, your agents know what is expected of them, and you know where to expect them to be at different points in their training.
For ISAs, I like to set out a series of 30-, 60-, and 90-day expectations for the new hire in their role. That way, if they turn out not to be right for the job you will know much sooner than waiting the six months it typically takes for a real estate ISA to ramp up.
This means tracking things like the number of dials made, number of contacts made, contact-to-appointment ratio, number of appointments set versus appointments converted — and having benchmarks for where the ISA should be with each of them at each time mark.
3. Not tracking key metrics
As your real estate team starts to grow and have success, taking the time to track and analyze key metrics can often go by the wayside. Times are good, deals are being closed, money is coming in — so what does it matter if you are keeping track of everything?
This type of thinking will land you in trouble in the long term. A well-organized customer relationship management platform (CRM) can help you avoid this problem.
When you have an intelligent CRM that works with your website, you can eliminate the guesswork on tracking every metric in your business and your real estate team’s performance from a single centralized reporting function.
This means you can see what’s working and when it’s time to change course, and you can make better decisions, faster.
4. Expect too much success too soon
You should always aim high and celebrate every win as they happen. But also always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Training your team takes time. Getting them to produce consistently like rock stars takes time. New marketing techniques take time. New strategies and ideas can take time. It’s important to not get discouraged or demoralized if things aren’t happening as quickly as you feel they should.
Try new things, put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but don’t forget that it is not the end of the world if those mistakes happen.
5. Not creating a coherent, positive culture
To create a feeling of opportunity and self-responsibility on your team, you have to tie them together, creating value for the company and creating value for themselves. One of the main things that can sap the motivation of your employees and cause their confidence and numbers to drop is the feeling that they are working for the benefit of someone else and not themselves.
By building a culture that emphasizes that when your employees are creating value for the company, they are also creating value and opportunity in their own lives, your team will be much more inspired and productive.
Building a real estate team takes time and effort. Once you develop a solid foundation as a solo agent and make your first couple of essential hires, your business is going to start growing exponentially. After that growth takes off, keep it going by avoiding these common mistakes.
Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia. Follow him on Facebook or checkout his Facebook group.