real estate industry real estate business

The Number 1 Role You Need for a Successful Real Estate Team

By Todd Sumney on November 15, 2018
Todd Sumney

As you look to grow your real estate team, knowing what roles will best benefit your business immediately and in the long term can be tricky.

When just starting out, many team leads continue as the primary contributor to the team while taking on the added management responsibilities of the greater business. Although this may work in the short term, it’s not a scalable or sustainable real estate team model. To be successful, you must delineate roles and responsibilities and create a clear organizational structure.

Even small teams (2-5 people) require three basic roles in order to grow:

  1. Buyer’s agent(s)

  2. Marketing coordinator

  3. Operational assistant or transaction coordinator

From there, you might also inside sales associates, listing agents, more administrative help, and buyer’s assistants. So what’s the most important role, beyond, of course, yourself as team leader? The answer, based on you and the structure of your team, can vary.

Your Team, Your Focus

To determine the role you should hire to best enable growth, reflect on your own strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and time constraints. Are you currently spending the majority of your time dealing with basic operational and administrative functions? Is doing so taking your attention away from what you do best? Establishing a clear focus will help you determine what supporting role(s) you need to operate more effectively. Before recruiting new personnel, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the best use of my time and that of my agents?

  • What will I do with more agents?

  • What are the biggest inefficiencies or gaps in the existing process?

  • What is the biggest challenge my team consistently faces?

  • What roles and resources do I need to leverage to boost team productivity, drive efficiency, and increase transaction volume?

Buyer’s Agents Are Important; However ...

For many team leads, adding a buyer’s agent is logical early milestone, and with good reason—this job can free you to focus on managing the business and closing deals. As lead volume grows, your available time to interact with those leads and convert them into clients decreases, which is why buyer’s agents are such a valuable team asset. But beware: Adding more agents than you can effectively manage and compensate is a recipe for disaster.

A conservative approach to bringing on buyer’s agents is a better strategy for establishing a reliable operational process and a scalable team. Once lead volume increases and you have developed a solid process with a couple buyer’s agents, you can consider adding more. Scaling your business is always a valuable goal, but you might not see growth unless other key roles are filled.

Play to Your Strengths, Hire to Your Needs

What you bring to the table as a real estate agent should dictate which gaps you should fill when developing a team. If your expertise lies in lead generation, team management, and support, then personally focus on these areas and hire someone to serve as your assistant/transaction coordinator to address basic operational and administrative functions. In contrast, if you excel at managing the business side of things but can’t keep your team fed with new leads, hire a marketing coordinator who can manage your pipeline and ensure that your team has ample opportunities to excel.

Define Every Role

Defining clear roles and responsibilities is essential to evolving and operating the team. Writing out specific job descriptions and responsibilities will help prevent miscommunication, increase accountability, and make onboarding new employees quicker and easier. And as you hire new roles and reallocate responsibility among your staff, update formal job descriptions so that they remain current with your organizational structure.

Also, define the measures by which your team members and the overall business gauge success. Training, agent development, sales, and, of course, profitability goals should be clearly spelled out not only to provide benchmarks, but also to plan for growth.

Ultimately, the most important roles on your team may be shared by anyone and everyone contributing to its success. Providing leadership and the right infrastructure sets team members up to excel no matter which role they are filling.

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