real estate industry real estate business

5 Ways to Create an Effective Real Estate Team

By Laurie McDonnell on October 16, 2018
Laurie McDonnell

If you’re an enterprising real estate entrepreneur, you likely experience a high degree of success—maybe even enough that you’ve considered starting and running a team.

If you’ve been thinking about forming a team, make sure you’ve got the right plan in place so that you and your entire team are set up for success.  

Creating your real estate team requires strategy from you, the team lead, to ensure your coworkers have every opportunity to develop, feel fulfilled, and be successful in the long term. Here are five ways to ensure your real estate team’s effectiveness:

1. Establish team agreements

Parameters, expectations, and rules are important for any team—otherwise, your team becomes more of a loose collective. Formal team agreements benefit not only you as the lead, but also everyone you are working with. Agreements should cement:

  • Team titles, definitions, and responsibilities (more on this later)
  • Compensation structures and commission splits
  • Licensing policies
  • Disclosure requirements
  • Recruiting policies
  • Separation procedures
  • Confidentiality policies
  • Referral fees
  • Anything else you feel must be set in writing

Without team agreements, improving your real estate team is difficult because effectiveness ultimately suffers. You might end up wasting time haggling over minor details that were never spelled out, thus diminishing efficiency, and team members are more apt to leave the business if they are constantly dealing with administrative chaos. Team agreements ensure everyone is on the same page so they can concentrate on being effective.

2. Clearly define roles and responsibilities

Along the same lines, the roles and responsibilities assigned to each member of the team must be clearly defined. “That’s not my job” is a convenient, valid excuse if something truly isn’t someone’s job, but when everyone on the team says it, a gap in expectations—and a gap in communication— obviously exists and will breed ineffectiveness. A collective shrug from your team may not seem like a big deal until the day a deal is lost or some other major consequence occurs because of inaction. Defining who is responsible for what relieves deadline pressure, improves accuracy, maintains regulatory compliance, and reinforces accountability.

3. Train and develop

Ongoing earned experience will improve your real estate team members, but that doesn’t mean you can’t supplement their effectiveness with training and development opportunities. The more your coworkers know, the better they will be at handling whatever comes their way and stepping into other roles as needed (say, when a team member is on vacation). Mentoring and developing your team members also increases their effectiveness—your knowledge becomes their knowledge, and their subsequent success becomes your success. Moreover, agents and other support staff look for businesses that offer such opportunities, thus giving you an edge over the competition when hiring to improve your real estate team.

4. Smart growth

Growing your real estate team can be a delicate balancing act. Grow too fast and you could end up with more team members than commissions to pay them. Grow too slow (provided you are planning on scaling) and your team may have too much work to reasonably handle. Either scenario can lead to turnover and diminished effectiveness. Support and improve your real estate team by designing a smart growth plan allows for robust yet realistic expansion. And when you do grow, be sure to update team agreements and roles to reflect the new changes.

5. Offer tools and technology

Making the workdays of your real estate team easier will naturally result in improvement and effectiveness. So much about this business is paperwork and compliance, which, in excess, can take time away from other skills that are more important and engaging—interacting with clients and closing deals. The technology and tools offered by the software of top-flight brokerages can help increase efficiency by streamlining marketing, paperwork review, transaction management, and more. Often, such software also includes marketing and other tools, thus delivering another instrument to your team’s growth. If your team members have the will to improve, the technology you provide will give them the means.

Remember, you will only be as effective as your team, and vice versa. Provide the tools, support, direction, and leadership, and you’ll increase the odds of you and your team achieving great things together.

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