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.
There are three pillars of a thriving real estate team (at least according to The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller): leads, listings and leverage. I agree. And really, this concept applies to any business. In other words, leads mean customers; listings equal products or services; and leverage means employees, team members and systems.
A real estate team helps agents generate and nurture leads and acquire and market listings, which in turn helps attract buyers. These functions are the cornerstone of why many agents join a team in the first place — to help them get more clients and close more deals. What really brings this all together, though, and separates the exceptional team from the average team is leverage.
So, what is leverage? Leverage (the noun) is the exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the manner of a lever. Leverage (the verb) is to use something to maximum advantage.
In real estate, leverage equates to a combination of systems and people who will increase efficiency and allow agents to delegate (leverage) tasks, projects and responsibilities to maximize their strengths.
Think of the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Principle. The Pareto Principle says that about 80 percent of your results (outputs) are based on 20 percent of all causes (input). So, we each must choose our 20 percent wisely. An agent’s 20 percent is typically lead generation, real estate consulting and negotiation.
Many other responsibilities fall to an agent; however, agents can leverage them if they fall outside the top 20 percent.
Teams have a unique advantage in being able to provide that leverage to many agents and collectively help them all to scale their careers and businesses. And the best part is when each team member is operating in their strength, they are usually more focused, more fulfilled and more successful long term — definitely a win-win.
Here are six ways to provide leverage to team members:
Whether they are on a team or not, this is a significant first step for any agent. Creating streamlined systems and utilizing automation as much as possible creates the first layer of leverage.
Usually, this leverage comes in the form of tools such as a custom relationship management (CRM) system, including automated follow-up and reminders, auto-dialers and bulk texting platforms, marketing templates, and more.
The bonus of joining a team is that it most likely has all of this set up and ready for you to plug into — instant leverage.
For busy agents, a great point of leverage can be a courier. Even with the advancement and adoption of digital paperwork and signatures, there are still times where documents need to get from Point A to Point B.
A courier can also help with installing for-sale signs, picking up paperwork from the buyer, seller, or attorney, as well as searching town or city records, as needed.
Yes, some areas (ahem, looking at you, Vermont) have not digitized their deeds or other real estate documents. On a large or bustling real estate team, couriers could be full-time. They can help keep agents from running all over the city, allowing them to focus on talking to customers and closing deals.
3. Showing assistant
A showing assistant or showing partner works closely with a buyer’s agent or lead agent to schedule showings and show the properties to their clients.
Although not all agents like to delegate this part of the process to another team member, for those who do, it can certainly save the primary agent time.
The key here is excellent communication and expectation-setting with the client and exceptional communication between the showing assistant and the primary agent.
4. Transaction coordinator
One of the best ways to provide team members with leverage is by taking any (or all) administrative tasks off their plate. A transaction coordinator can either be a third-party service or a staff member.
Either way, the TC manages the administrative process for the real estate transaction for buyers and sellers once the properties go under contract.
They also provide client care throughout the transaction and even after the sale. Taking this paperwork off of the agent keeps the agent operating in their 20 percent.
5. Listing manager
Like the transaction coordinator, a listing manager provides excellent leverage to a listing agent or lead agent by handling all the marketing support and client assistance to seller clients on behalf of the agent.
Once again, this keeps the agent focused on their most important work — negotiating the contract, interfacing with the client, and prospecting for buyers for the property. At the same time, the listing manager handles the administrative side of the deal.
6. Executive/personal assistant
This position is usually referred for high-producing agents on a team who have all of the above leverage points and are looking for that something extra to keep them even more focused and productive.
Enter the executive/personal assistant who is specifically assigned to one agent, sometimes two.
This assistant handles the day-to-day life of an agent — from calendar management, running errands, managing household vendors, meeting and presentation prep, email management and more. Again, anything that they can leverage that allows them to operate in their strength zone is generally fair game!
The above are the basic points of leverage. For even more positions that exist to serve a team in giving clients world-class service, click here.
But it doesn’t stop there. You could continue to expand on this year after year as your agents grow — until they are genuinely only operating in the real estate consultant and negotiator capacity.
For example, you could provide a driver so your agents could do focused work between client meetings.
You could hire a personal trainer or chef to go to their house in the morning to help them start their day right before heading into a day of client meetings.
You could hire a concierge to provide event coordinator, administrative support, moving assistance and personal value-adds to an agent’s clients.
Ultimately, for both the agent and the team, leverage is what allows everyone to utilize their strengths, ensures job satisfaction, and keeps a team growing and scaling over time.
Do you have the leverage that you need in your life? Which of the six ways would provide you with an immediate return on investment? Don’t want to reinvent the wheel? Consider partnering with a team so you can plugin and start increasing your production right away. Leverage leads to growth.
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Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s holistic approach to business here.