This July, Inman’s editorial theme is Teams — what it takes to build and join one, how to optimize your team for summer 2020, and even when to consider leaving one. And if you’re not already a subscriber to our Teams Beat email newsletter, sent every Thursday, sign up now.
Running a team means that you have to wear a lot of hats at different times and continually balance the time you commit to each task. If you don’t have a guide to your priorities, you’re never going to be able to grow, and that’s essential for every team leader.
Inevitably, people leave, and attracting great agents while maintaining the culture and productivity of your existing agents is the key to growing responsibly. Here are five tips for team leader productivity that work for me.
1. Follow the 3-task rule
Pick three simple tasks that you’re going to do every day, no matter what. Because my priority is growth, I pick (and recommend) picking tasks like calling five agents a day, texting five agents a day and writing five handwritten notes or emails to agents a day. Because these are my priorities, I know that I have to get them done even when I have agents calling me all day for problems.
2. Start thinking about giving up transactions
This is a really tough thing for most team leaders and brokers to do but it also really frees up time. It’s tough because it takes 30 agents in your roster to make up for a team lead giving up transactional work.
But once you’re at a point where you’re not taking up time with transactions, you can really start focusing on the business. I’m not entirely there myself, but close. When I take on a listing, I do so with my office manager, and I meet the client with her as well. The expectation is that I will be dealing with the agents and the marketing, and my office manager does the rest.
3. Build a hierarchy of leadership to support your agents
I let all my agents know that I will be there if they need anything, day or night. But I also introduce them to my office manager, my sales manager and my marketing manager. They set the expectations to call them when they need something related to their designated category and that allows me to deal with the really high level problems, like coaching them on their business practices.
4. Use a collaborative chat software
Employ software that helps you with your virtual presence where your team members can answer questions as well as you and your leadership. We use Workplace by Facebook, and we invite our agents to a group called Questions and Answers and Contracts. We tell them to search that group for previous discussions and to post questions into the group.
Our veteran agents really like to help out some of the newer ones, and this takes a lot of the pressure off the leadership to always be available. It also fosters a collaborative environment.
5. Hire a lead manager
If you’re providing leads to your agents, consider hiring a lead manager to go through and make sure the agent’s tasks are being completed. A big part of what takes time out of my day is checking in on the leads we provide our agents.
Our solution is to hire and Inside Sales Agent who is also a “lead manager.” Before we hired this person, I estimate that around three hours of my week were devoted to checking on the company leads. And even with amount of time committed, it’s not enough to ensure none of the leads fall through the cracks.
Even after all this, you’re going to be hit up with questions and concerns from your agents, but if you prioritize your goals and focus on the growth of your company, scaling your business is going to allow you to hire the right people to take some of these smaller tasks off of your plate.