Often, teams are created in a rush — which is why a lot of them crumble instantly. Instead of hiring help as quick fix, here’s why you should take a step back and create a structure for your business.

In the traditionally individualistic world of real estate, the dream of a perfect real estate team is becoming more difficult to realistically create. The age-old question for someone looking to dip their toes into the real estate team world is — when is the right time to start a team?

Here’s how you can know if you’re in the right space to start your own team:

  • When you know yourself
  • When you know your leadership type
  • When you know how you assess risk
  • When you know why you want to build a team

But the reality is that most teams are created in a rush, with little to no planning, which is why a lot of them quickly fall apart. They get so caught up in their own world that their business and personal life begin to spiral out of control. 

Naturally, they begin to feel helpless and feel that the only way to correct this is to hire help. This can be, and typically is, a total disaster. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to go too big too fast. 

If there’s an excess of business that’s out of control, instead of hiring someone new, create structure for your business. If you bring on help without having a structure for your business, you’ll find yourself suffering from the dreaded revolving door syndrome. You’ll end up even more burned out than before

Don’t let yourself fall into a situation where you repeat the same process with the same unsuccessful results.

If you’re not following a proven model, getting to your goals will take more time and resources. You’ll find yourself more tired and having less time than you did before — which doesn’t make much sense. Bringing on a new team member is supposed to take some work off your shoulders and free up more of your time. 

We say what takes 10 years to create and perfect takes two years to duplicate — and it doesn’t end there. The more we duplicate, the quicker we can adapt to replicating. The people with top teams in North America didn’t get there by recreating the wheel. They got there by plugging into proven systems.

We think we need more time, relief and somebody who can oversee parts of our business. But the problem usually is that we need clarity and strategy instead. Once we achieve those two components, we can take what we have and turn it into a proper business

When you have clarity, you’ll do what you need to do to continue to build your business. On the flip side, when you’re unclear, you want instant relief. This often results in hiring someone who might not be equipped with the right skillset to support you or your clients.

You need to be clear on what you want and need, to start from point A to point B. Ask yourself: Why are you starting a team? Is it to get freedom of time? Take over the No. 1 spot in your industry? To build a successful brand and business? 

The first hire you should make is an unlicensed assistant or administrator. It’s the least risky decision, financially speaking. The cost per hour and the salary is lower for an unlicensed person versus a licensed person.

However, if you’re a really high, top-producing listing agent, and you want to double your business, or you don’t necessarily want a big team in the future, then you might want to go with a licensed assistant. 

A licensed assistant — somebody who’s really listing-focused — can double your business. That said, it’s going to put you behind on expanding the rest of the team.

Do you want a team that is revolving around you, taking things off your plate? Or do you want a team where people can work — perhaps not fully independently because it’s a team after all, but somewhat independently — on their tasks?

If you know you want to build a team, you need to become a driving force ready to implement a strategy and strive for clarity. When you know you’re going to expand your business, you’ll want to get your business strategy in place and hire support as soon as possible. 

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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