How to pick the right person to join your team

Choosing the right team member is critical, here's what to look for

Picking members of a team is a critical function of having success in real estate. There may be no “I” in team, but you do have to think about what you want and need when building and growing your real estate team

Do you pick a member based on the age group you’re targeting? Do you choose a member based on previous production numbers? Do you pick a member who is type A or more go with the flow? These are just a few of the questions to consider. Choosing the wrong person can lead to many headaches. Hiring team members must be approached with caution and care.

1. Age group

So let’s say you want to pick a team member based on age group. That’s great, but obviously limits the pool of candidates to choose from. When hiring people close in age, they have shared hobbies, are at similar points in their life and likely have similar goals and outlooks. But those factors alone may not be an indicator of success. That may just mean they will get along.

Conversely, having someone who is Gen X with a baby boomer may end up much more productive. Why? Because they will learn a great deal from each other based on their differences not how much they have in common.

2. Production levels

Hiring team members based on production levels makes total sense. In theory, this is a great concept; they’ll likely be a lead and revenue generator immediately. However, you have to be careful to make sure that’s not the only thing this team member would bring to the table. They have to be a team player, and you need to be wary of ego if previous production is a deciding factor.

You don’t want an Antonio Brown scenario that played out in Oakland and New England this year happening on your team. While you probably won’t have to worry about helmet size or off the field allegations, personality and character matter. The risk versus reward is a heavy one.

Picking a team member also gets into ego and competitiveness. The more you can take ego out of any equation that is real estate-related, the better off you will be long term. Production is awesome, but the ego factor is one to be avoided.

3. Personality type

Let’s say you have a choice between a Type A person and a candidate who is more go with the flow. Putting the two together could be like oil and vinegar or could turn out like peanut butter and jelly. From past experiences, I can say the experiment is definitely worth it. This would be a situation that would require constant monitoring to see the progress, but having agents who complement each other can lead to significant advantages.

Having people with a similar personality type, however, makes the most sense to me. Remember your childhood, your best friends and classmates were typically just like you. This option seems to work the best in my observation. I have seen this one work many times over in the real world, not just on paper.

The bottom line, when you are looking at what type of people to have on a team, you have to go in with a game plan with the kind of people you want to hire, you then have to monitor the progress and then adjust based on the results. There is no one way to build a team, but just remember to be flexible and know you’re all working toward the same goal: winning. 

Jay Dongieux, co-founder of The Dongieux Team, is an experienced real estate agent in Austin, Texas. Jay is a first-time homebuyer expert and first-time homebuyer grant specialist. Jay is a third-generation Texas realtor.