In the first of our Power Broker Webinar Series, “Play to Win: Developing, Managing and Recruiting Today’s Agent Teams,” four leading brokers shared their substantiated methods for team building. The webinar was sponsored by Bank of America Home Loans and moderated by John Featherston, President and CEO of RISMedia, and Verl Workman, founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems.
The webinar can be viewed in full below.
Broker panelists were Rei Mesa, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty; Scott MacDonald, president of RE/MAX Gateway; Thaddeus Wong, co-founder of @properties; and Tracy Hutton, president of CENTURY 21 Scheetz. These industry leaders have embraced agent teams by implementing strategies in five key areas:
1. Contracts - While each panelist offered distinct insight regarding individual business models, the overarching message was clear: setting expectations is paramount. All brokers stressed the importance of establishing contracts that include separation agreements, effectively setting the standard for conflict management.
2. Recruitment standards – In an effort to dispel competition within the firm, internal recruitment should be avoided. Both Wong and MacDonald maintained that team growth must come from newly licensed agents or outside brokerages. Conversely, Wong will not recruit an individual agent looking to part ways with his or her team.
In terms of methodology, MacDonald orchestrates team summits for interested agents. Hutton leads a series on team building three times a year, discussing the ideal characteristics, talent and skills needed to form a successful team.
3. Growth – Though expansion can be a catalyst for profitability, it can also lead to a decrease in productivity. MacDonald realized this outcome early on, noting that rapid growth resulted in management headaches for team leaders. Rather than “letting teams get too big too quickly,” MacDonald now favors moderating team growth.
4. Support programs – According to Mesa and Hutton, the best kind of support comes from proactive measures. Both seek to create mutually beneficial opportunities for teams by pairing top producers nearing retirement with those seeking mentorship for growth of their businesses.
With in-house marketing, graphic design and IT departments, Wong provides teams with content and other creative services at no additional cost. He also offers training courses designed to strengthen problem-solving skills and boost confidence.
5. Compensation – In life and in real estate, what works for some may not work for others. Compensation guidelines, Mesa explained, cannot be universally upheld, citing the myriad of compensation packages used by teams at his firm.
Following the no-compete model, Wong prohibits team leaders from giving members commission splits higher than what they would receive as an individual agent with the company.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor and social butterfly.