This June, Inman’s editorial theme is Teams — we’re going to go deep on what it takes to grow your team amid this intense seller’s market. And if you’re not already a subscriber to our Teams Beat email newsletter, sent every Thursday, sign up now.
Being on a team isn’t for everyone. Some agents don’t love having to be accountable to anyone. They love the flexibility of being their own bosses.
Others refuse to give up control for myriad reasons and, therefore, will never delegate anything to anyone else. Others will not entertain the idea of giving up part of their commission for any reason.
Although some solo agents manage to build effective businesses, teams can scale, build dramatically larger businesses and, in most cases, provide a much higher level of client support as well.
Here are our top 10 reasons being on a team is worth it:
Larger teams typically have comprehensive lead generation systems that produce an ongoing supply of leads. Lead generation sources can include a dedicated ISA/OSA department (inside sales agent/outside sales agent), buying bulk leads, extensive marketing, dedicated websites and so on.
Effective lead generation is an expensive proposition, and it’s usually above the financial ability of solo agents on any significant level.
Additionally, many teams with effective lead management do not just hand out leads; they provide actual appointments for their team members. They also realize that it’s not enough simply to provide a flow of leads. Effective teams understand the need to train team members to generate their own leads and, in many cases, provide incentives to team members who succeed.
Running a large effective real estate business is an expensive proposition. A primary reason solo agents never expand is their inability to fund the level of leads required to build a substantive business.
Although some solo agents manage to develop a decent flow of leads, many cannot afford the systems required to nurture the leads over long periods.
Effective administrative help is also costly. In contrast, the financial outlay for team members is low as the team handles the finances for everything so team members can focus on what really matters: converting leads and selling real estate.
COVID-19 has been hard on teams because it has undermined the fellowship that comes from being together in person.
Although videoconferencing has made it possible to stay in touch, many love teams because of the interaction and synergy of being a part of something larger than themselves. They genuinely love being together and the collaborative mindset that ensues.
It’s one thing to sit in a classroom or watch a training video, and it’s something different altogether to be provided a lead and then coached through the process of working the lead to a sale and then to an effective close.
Solo agents typically experience training in a classroom while team members experience it in the field. Primarily, many agents choose to go with teams because of the in-house training and nurturing the team provides.
5. Quality of life
I know of several solo agents with a decent book of business who have absolutely no life. Working 24/7, they do not go on vacations, cannot attend their kid’s events, and miss so much more.
Whether they don’t trust someone else to help them or don’t want to give away any part of their commission, they can’t let go to gain the time and energy required to live fulfilling lives.
Team members enjoy the benefits of backup systems and support, so a decent quality of life is possible.
Solo agents have to do it all: Team members can specialize and hand over tasks to be done better by others. Many agents I know love people and the interaction that comes from being belly-to-belly with clients but hate the administrative side of the business.
Teams segment the entire process and then hire specialists to provide the best possible support so that their members do not get bogged down with administrative tasks or other business components for which they either lack the requisite skills or desire to succeed.
With solid support comes the ability for team members to focus on those few things they do exceptionally well. A laser is effective because it intensely focuses light into a narrow beam.
In the same way, team members become effective when they can strip away the superfluous tasks that hinder and focus on the few key behaviors that will drive their success, knowing that the team will step in and take care of everything else.
Whether making burgers at the local fast-food restaurant or building cars, effective organizations run on systems. Successful teams understand this, segment their business into manageable chunks, and then develop the procedures required to run at peak efficiency and provide the highest possible level of customer service.
Team members do not need to develop the systems independently; they simply need to plug in and follow the guidelines already in place.
Solo agents, on the other hand, need to build things from the ground up.
Following up on No. 8 above, team members, once they get a lead into escrow, can move on to the next lead, knowing that the systems are in place to provide the highest level of care to the client they just handed over to the team.
A team can provide a dramatically higher level of service than can a solo agent. Team members benefit from the goodwill they develop through stellar service and the resultant positive reviews.
Large teams have substantial marketing budgets and, consequently, can establish a footprint substantially more extensive than a solo agent. Marketing produces leads when done correctly, and leads are the lifeblood of any business.
Although team members give up a percentage of their income for the benefits above, the reward can be a significantly higher level of transactions.
Because team members’ expenses are also low, at the end of the day, members of a dynamic team can potentially have a significantly higher income, less stress and generally a better quality of life.
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