For the past few years, I’ve met with more agents than I can count. And one trend that has emerged over and over again is agents feeling like they need to start or grow a team. The fact of the matter is, most of these agents have no business doing so, at least not yet.
Now I’ve enjoyed the benefits of owning a team business for some time now. In fact, I love this business and the mere fact that I have the opportunity to run my business the way I do. But there have been hard times. And if you’re doing something because you feel like you need to do it, it’s easy to quit when things don’t go as planned.
Building a real estate team business is hard and not for the faint of heart. The truth is, there are a lot of ups and downs. Everyone loves the ups, but the downs can be frustrating and hard to deal with. If you aren’t clear on the answers to the four questions below, it can be easy to give up.
1. Why are you starting a team?
No, seriously, why are you starting a team? All too many people are starting a team because it seems like what they should do. Everyone else in their office has a team, so why not them too?
The truth is, I’m not sure there is a worse answer to this question. So I challenge you to think about this one. For some, it might be that they want some of their time back.
Are you starting a team because it feels like everyone else is building a team? Are you starting a team because you believe success comes from growth (rather than the other way around)?
Are you starting a team because you think you’ll be able to make more money this year by doing so? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’d beg you to reconsider.
A friend of mine called me a few weeks ago. He’s been wondering if he should start a team. Last year was the best year of his career (he’s been in the business for quite some time and had a lot of success.) He told me he hadn’t taken a single day off in over four months. I’m still not sure he needs to start a team, but that might be a good reason once the other three questions are answered.
2. What is your mission?
This one can be a little hard to connect with, but it matters. In 2008, when my business partner Fred and I were starting out on our journey, we were fortunate to have a few mentors in our life.
One of them was Steve Chader, a local agent and brokerage owner in the Phoenix, area. I remember one day Steve sat us down and encouraged us to get clear on this one (and the next key question, which I’ll get to in a moment.)
The way Steve explained it to us was like this: “Your mission is what others will say about your accomplishments in the future when it’s all said and done.” That always resonated with me.
It forced us to get clear on our mission. Our mission is, and has been since that day, to “Produce extraordinary results, influence people, and impact lives.”
When tough times arise, and they will, being clear on the mission has helped me to stay the course.
3. What is your vision?
In other words, what others experience when doing business with you. This goes for consumers, peers, service providers and anyone else your company comes in contact with.
Our vision is to “change the way the world views the real estate agent.” This has a deep meaning to Fred and to myself.
As a whole, our profession is not seen in the best light, and to be honest, to some extent, we’ve earned it. In fact, if you ask me, this is the reason we are feeling the “disruption” in our industry these days.
It’s a constant reminder to us to up our game, and get better at what we do.
4. What is your USP, both for your team and consumers?
This one might be the toughest one of them all because it is a two-parter. The definition of Unique Selling Proposition (USP) by Entrepreneur magazine is as follows: “The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.”
An example USP for consumers would be, “Consulting you on all the options in today’s technology-driven market, not just the traditional options.”
One for your team (to agents) might be “Delivering the training, tools and strategy you need to have the real estate business of your dreams.”
Think about that. It can be a tough one to answer. I know it was for us. And once we got clear on these questions, we were better equipped to move forward in our business not only with the consumers we serviced, but also with the agents in our business.
Kevin Kauffman is an agent with eXp Realty and the host of the Kevin and Fred Show, a podcast for the real estate industry.