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Teams structures are evolving so quickly inside real estate that the teams track at ICNY was jam-packed to the brim with some of the best and brightest leaders our industry has to offer. One buzzword to note: teamerage, used to describe the hybrid role that brokerages and teams have evolved into.

All sides of ICNY seemed to lead to powerhouse teams and how best to support them. Our favorite highlights from the event focused on building strength, developing long-term careers, staying flexible, and encouraging brokers to work around teams instead of the opposite. 

1. How teams are evolving to keep up with their explosive growth

Teams have been a growing entity in real estate for decades now. But recent years have seen an explosion in the concept, with teams growing to become. 

Jena Turner, a Texas-based team leader with Found Realty, started building up her team during the pandemic and said that she has learned to focus not on fun, but on accountability.

“I try not to say, ‘come work here, it’s fun,’” she explained. “And as soon as I started recruiting for accountability, the culture started taking care of itself.”

Panel experts also weighed in on outsourcing administrative tasks, tackling client reviews, and how some are even using smart technology to monitor their staff/make themselves available when they are not physically in the office. 

Hot Tip: Is fun part of your business strategy for your team? Review your budget quarterly to save expenses, but don’t cut corners on building a little levity into your culture to reward your hardworking team members.

2. Industry leaders say teams will continue to be a force in brokerages

During a panel at Inman Connect New York on Wednesday called The Future Of Real Estate Teams And Their Impact On Brokerages, moderator Kendall Bonner chatted with speakers Cindy Ariosa of Long and Foster and Gary Ashton of RE/MAX about the kinds of teams supported in their brokerages and where they think teams are heading in the future.

Making sure that teams were incentivized for success, adding in special awards programs for teams and individuals, and even strategizing gamification into office structures are all things that these smart leaders are investing in to keep their teams happy and healthy.

Hot Tip: Ask your team what incentives they would like to see in the future, and make sure that you advocate for what your team needs to be successful to your supervising broker. 

3. M. Ryan Gorman: Honestly, building tech for real estate is a ‘nightmare’

One of the top complaints from agents and team leaders is how to find technology that works to improve systems, and that doesn’t need to be customized to work. Teams want tech that is easy to use, flexible and affordable.

In a session called “Are We Confusing Motion With Progress?” panelists M. Ryan Gorman, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, and Brian Donnellan, CEO of Bright MLS, answered that question mostly in the affirmative.

“It’s taking us way too long to get where we need to get to and I think there’s a lot of reasons for that,” Donnellan told attendees.

RE tech has been a pain point for years, as the needs and expertise of the agent userbase are so complicated that everyone can agree that building tech for RE can be a nightmare for all parties involved.

Hot Tip: Ask your team what their biggest frustration or barrier is with technology. Create an immediate plan to help tackle any tech problems that could be slowing down their progress.

4. How to attract, retain and guide agents for a ‘teamerage’ brokerage

If you are in the not-so-unique situation of running a brokerage, a team, and a brokerage full of teams you need resources to make sure that all parties are feeling happy and successful. This panel shared amazing insights and advice for leaders who are struggling to keep up with the demands of teams.

“A couple months ago I’d never even heard the word teamerage,” said Wendy Papasan, head of Papasan Properties Group in Austin, Texas. “It’s actually the natural evolution of our industry. And it’s kind of the combining of the smaller indy brokerages and then the big teams.”

Hot Tip: Build a special guide for your team and outline how your brokerage manages teams.  This guide can be used for recruiting and creating less confusing office policy for existing members.

5. 3 ways real estate industry pros can thrive in strange times

If your team is struggling with how to keep up with the changing marketing landscape, bring these three strategies to your next team meeting. 

The panel featured Jason Mitchell, president and CEO of Arizona-based the Jason Mitchell Group, John Wollberg, managing broker for Side in New York, and Chris Gill, chief commercial officer for Mexico-based developer Simca. The takeaway was that brokerages and agents aren’t going to thrive in these strange times by resting on their laurels. They have to be proactive.

Hot Tip: Keep the conversation going with your team. Make sure that team meetings are not just vent sessions, and that each member leaves with one proactive task they can do to improve their business.

6. Zillow adjusts Premier Agent pay plan with eye toward culling ranks

If your team uses the Zillow Premier agent for lead generation it may be time to give that program a second look. Teams will need to evaluate lead generation platforms to see how the team looks online vs. an individual agent vs. the brokerage and brand they work for.  It’s a complicated digital footprint to navigate.

Hot Tip: Evaluate all lead generation sources each quarter for your team and analyze ROI and conversion rates. Be ready to adapt to new programs if current programs are no longer serving your team.

7. As Power Buyers gain popularity, distinguish between friend and foe

Many teams are struggling with how to help their buyers win in today’s hot and competitive market.  By 2030, half of all residential real estate transactions could involve non-traditional financing like “Power Buyer” services that help homebuyers compete with investors making cash offers, predicts Era Ventures Managing Partner Clelia Peters and Divvy Homes co-founder and CEO Adena Hefets.

“The average down payment today on a house is the equivalent of the average American’s one-year salary,” Hefets said. “Meaning that even if you saved every penny and didn’t pay taxes for a year, you’d still barely be able to make the down payment on a house.”

Hot Tip: Take time during team meetings to talk about emerging trends with buyer negotiations and create educational opportunities that will give your team the edge over competitors. 

Keep your team ahead of the game

Teams are dominating and there are no signs that this trend will slow down. If you are on a team or leading a team you are uniquely positioned between your brokerage and the consumer.  Smart teams will be proactive and ready for even faster growth in the coming months. If there is just one takeaway from ICNY for teams, it’s that teams have to stay agile. There is no room for complacency.

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.

Join thousands of attendees and 150+ expert speakers for 3 days of unrivaled networking and essential, interactive discussions at Inman Connect Las Vegas, August 3-5 at the Aria. Attending is the best way to elevate your business and expand your network. Get your ticket now before prices go up.

Inman Connect | teams
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