Assembling a successful real estate team is no easy feat. It doesn’t happen overnight and finding your people may take some trial and error, but if you’re willing to put in the work, having a winning team behind you means a more efficient and profitable business. I would not be where I am today without the amazing Umansky team I work with every single day.
There are many benefits to forming a real estate team; however, make sure you aren’t rushing into growth simply for growth’s sake. Take your time planning the structure of your company and figuring out what your ideal hire looks like.
Here are the top seven things to keep in mind when building your team:
1. Strong leadership is key
In order to take this exciting next step, you’ll have to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. A leadership role comes with a host of new responsibilities, including helping others achieve their goals. Make sure you have the leadership qualities necessary to guide a team to success.
You can develop your management skills over time, but it’s important to reflect honestly on your current abilities before taking any further action.
2. Have strong systems in place
Don’t start building your team until you have the systems in place to support it. You’ll need to be ready to handle increased volume and new leads coming in from a variety of sources. From our founding agents to new agents who are quickly climbing the ranks, each member of our team is vital to our greater operation. Here are some of the key systems to set up before you begin hiring new agents:
- Business plan and goals
- Branding guides
- Client database and referral system
- Marketing and advertising
- Transaction management systems
- Lead generation and follow-up systems
3. Take your time with the hiring process
There’s no rush when it comes to finding top talent, especially in the real estate industry where all candidates need to be properly vetted before bringing them on to your team. I am a strong believer in quality over quantity in everything we do — and this is most important when it comes to our culture of collaboration.
Hire one team member at a time and make sure he or she is a good fit before moving on to fill another role. Don’t be afraid to be thorough; consider having all agents complete a trial period before formally bringing them onto the team.
Assistants are always a good first hire. With strong administrative systems in place, the
interviewing and onboarding processes will be smoother and less time-consuming for you and any others involved.
4. Set clear expectations
Make sure employees know what’s expected of them by providing detailed job descriptions. Once you’ve hired someone, give them measurable goals and be prepared to track their progress.
To avoid any miscommunication, put all your expectations in writing — the more specific, the better. You should also hold regular team meetings and professional development sessions to foster employee accountability. I also keep an open-door policy so every team member can be involved with learning opportunities, collective meetings, and collaboration.
5. Don’t be afraid to let the wrong person go
Just as you should hire slowly, be prepared to take action if and when someone is not the right fit. Although it’s your job as a leader to give employees every opportunity to succeed, there are some things you can’t teach, such as attitude and work ethic.
If someone is bringing down the team, don’t continue to waste your time or theirs. It’s better to act quickly so they can move on to other endeavors and you can focus on finding an employee who will help your firm prosper.
6. Always be on the lookout for new talent
Don’t wait to start scouting until you desperately need to fill a role. Even when your team is thriving, you should always be looking into potential additions.
Don’t shy away from hiring top talent, either. It’s better to work with someone highly skilled for a short period of time than with someone mediocre for years on end.
7. Level up strategically
Building a team allows you to increase your profits and delegate tasks that don’t suit your strengths. My best advice is, don’t rush the process. The more time you spend strategizing now, the less you’ll lose down the line to organizational issues.
Trust your intuition when hiring and look for self-motivated individuals with personality traits suited to the role they’re applying for. With a strong foundation, top talent, and an effective leader steering the ship, your team is sure to thrive in any market.
Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.