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Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Our income, our health, our relationships, our personal growth, our mindset, our wealth, our experiences and our impact are all affected by the people we surround ourselves with.
Most of us spend well over half of our waking hours working. Take a look around you. Do you have the best of the best working alongside you toward a shared vision and common goal? If not, it may be time to reevaluate who’s on your team.
Part of building a real estate business — whether as an independent agent or a mega team — is looking beyond your core team members (agents and administrative or operational staff). There are a lot of other important vendors, independent contractors and business owners who help you get your job done at a high level.
And perhaps more importantly, as agents work to stay at the center of the real estate transaction and build an unbeatable customer experience, many of these relationships will come in handy to help serve the needs of your clients. When you are evaluating who is on your team, consider cultivating the following relationships:
Are you partnered with the right broker? Are they helping you cultivate your career? Do they fly the rescue helicopter when you need to navigate a tricky contract? Are they advocating for the agent with your local board of Realtors?
Choosing the right broker for you is an important first step in surrounding yourself with the right people.
2. Mortgage lender
When I decided to launch a real estate brokerage over 11 years ago, one of the first calls I made was to a lender. Over the years, she has changed mortgage firms, but she has still remained a valued partner on our team. (Her office is still in the same building as mine!)
Cultivating a strong working relationship with a lender or two can make all the difference in helping your client get to the closing table. They also can help educate you, the agents on your team and your clients.
Lean on their expertise. Invite them to team meetings and client events. They will be one of your most important partners as you build your real estate business.
Much like a lender, having a strong relationship with an attorney can help you get deals done. Whether it’s at the closing table for a client or having them review a personal investment property deal you are considering, an attorney is a great team member to have as you build your career and personal wealth.
4. Insurance agent
Developing rapport with a few insurance agents never hurts. Your clients are going to need homeowner’s insurance, and while they are at it, they may want a new quote for their auto, boat or perhaps life insurance. Help make it happen.
A great accountant can save you money on your taxes, identify and file for tax credits, and help advise you on when and how to make larger purchases or investments into your businesses.
Much like having an attorney on your team, having an accountant can help you build your business and your personal wealth.
6. Financial adviser
Want to build long-term wealth for yourself and your clients? Get a financial adviser on your team. A strong relationship with a financial adviser provides even more value to your clients when you host educational seminars or wealth building workshops.
In the past, we have often hosted wealth-building summits that include financial advisers, insurance agents, our agents, accountants, attorneys, our real estate investment team and more. When you can show your clients (and agent partners) a path to financial freedom, you will have clients (and agents) for life.
Particularly in this market, you want to find a few reputable builders and developers, and build a relationship with them. If your clients are unable to find the right home for them, building may be the best option.
Beyond that, there is massive opportunity for you to list an entire development. Depending on your market, that could be anywhere from 15 to 50 to 500 units. Who wouldn’t want to be the agent on those deals?
Find a builder or developer partner you can create a mutually beneficial partnership with. Learn everything you can about the building process, and then get to selling!
If you do not already have these staff members on your team, or if you are an independent agent looking to outsource much of this work, finding great administrative talent is a must.
From listing management and transaction coordination to marketing, client care and more, find someone you trust, and make them feel a part of the team, even if they are a third-party service. Your clients won’t know the difference as long as they receive exceptional service.
9. Marketing, graphic design, social media
Yes, I realize many of these functions require different skill sets, but the point is, you may need to have one of these types of individuals “on call” to help with ongoing or one-time projects.
For example, you just landed a listing for a 100 unit development. You will need a graphic designer and perhaps a website designer to help you properly market and sell that project.
Maybe you want to ramp up your TikTok game and go viral. Then a social media management service may be right for you. While we don’t currently need a website designer on staff, we have worked with the same designer for multiple projects over the years.
He is a great “team member” to have because he understands how we work and communicate, and he also understands the voice, vibe, and vision of the company, making his work easier and faster (i.e. less expensive).
10. Virtual assistant/outsourcing company
If you are building your team or simply need additional help, virtual assistant and staffing companies can be a great resource. We have worked with the same virtual assistant company for almost 10 years.
They understand our business model and who we need to best serve our agents and clients. They and their team members have been powerful partners to us over the years as we’ve built our company.
11. Lead generation and customer relationship management platforms
Leads are the lifeblood of our business, and managing those leads is just as important. This is another of those relationships that we have built over the past 10 years or so that has been invaluable as we’ve grown and scaled.
Our team is one of their bigger clients, so having great account reps who truly are a part of our team has saved us countless hours over the years. We invite our reps to participate in annual trainings for our agents, and ensure they know what an invaluable resource they are to the behind-the-scenes viability and scalability of our organization.
If you are an independent agent, your account rep can help you learn the system, optimize your lead flow, set up automation and more. Tap into the many resources your CRM has available and keep working on that relationship with your platform provider.
Before you know it, 10 years will have gone by, and you’ll be inviting them to your wedding. (This did actually happen to one of our team members and a strategic vendor!)
12. Coaching or training company
Investing into yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Do you have a trusted coach or training company you tap into regularly? Many coaching companies offer free trainings and resources to start so you can get a feel for their services and style of coaching before going all in.
Make sure you have some sort of coach, mentor, or trainer on your team who is challenging your thinking, holding you accountable to your goals, and helping you grow personally and professionally.
If giving back is an important part of your mission and vision, then consider adding a nonprofit organization to your team. Volunteering at several charitable organizations or interviewing organizations that align with your passions is a great place to start to determine the non-profit that is the right fit for you.
As you continue to develop your relationship with the organization, more opportunities to get your agents or clients involved will emerge. We grow in order to give, and this is a great way to do that!
After reviewing this list, who would you add? Are you missing some key relationships in your life? Do you need to focus on cultivating better relationships with any particular “team members”? Are there any partnerships that you need to reevaluate or that you need to let go of?
As you can see, there are so many options to consider when you’re thinking about who is on your team in the larger sense. Who you partner with matters. Who you surround yourself with in life and business matters. Choose wisely.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies