For brokerages everywhere, agent teams are a driving force behind a successful real estate business. However, it’s not always an easy task attracting, developing and retaining these teams. With the right tools and strategies, you can create an ideal environment for top producing agents and overall business success.
In the latest RISMedia webinar—“How to Attract and Keep More Agent Teams”—panelists Jeff Roberston, district director for Fathom Realty; Sasha Tripp, principal broker/owner of Story House Real Estate; and Alex Milshteyn, president of Residential Real Estate Council and associate broker at Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, discussed how to attract more agents to your team, as well as what you need to do to maintain and retain them.
The webinar was sponsored by Residential Real Estate Council and moderated by Sherri Johnson, CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting.
Type of Teams
With so many different team models out there, from mega teams to groups to partner teams, it can be challenging to navigate the best ways to support your team.
“There are teams that work really well in regards to how they're built,” said Milshteyn. “Teams that have one team leader, rather than some that have multiple people wearing the hat of team leader, do much better and have a greater longevity than some of the other teams we’ve seen startup over the years.”
When it comes to a team, the rainmaker should be at the top. Even when two or three agents come together with the hopes of starting a team, it can become difficult to not only determine and plan out goals, but to maintain the work needed to reach those goals when there's more than one leader calling the shots. As a broker, it's important to have hard, honest conversations with agents who are looking to go in one direction with a team, but should go in another for longevity and success. Many brokers don’t like to have this conversation, because they don't feel equipped to have it.
Recognizing the Need to Create Team Solutions
When a broker finds themselves with no solutions, policies or rules for their team leaders and their agents, oftentimes, these teams will end up working very differently from one another, causing them to leave that brokerage. It is vital for team leaders and their agents to feel supported and equipped with solutions from their brokerage.
“It’s important to be on the forefront of it, to set up rules, procedures and policies around teams, versus backpedaling backwards,” said Milshteyn. “That is where your failure is going to be.”
Without a proper plan in place for your teams, agents and brokerage, mistakes will happen. This can cause agents and teams to leave your brokerage, whether they get recruited elsewhere or start their own brokerage.
“As a district director, broker or manager, if I’m not involved, the team members are only loyal to their team lead, and then the team lead doesn’t feel supported by me,” said Roberston. “I try to do a good job of letting the team members know that I’m here as a resource.”
If you're not supporting your team leads and their agents, you're not adding any value.
Supporting Agents Who Want to Start a Team
When agents decide they want to start their own team, brokers need to be there for support, whether this support starts with helping them develop a plan for recruitment and retention or having a conversation with them, no matter how tough, that this may not be the right path for them to take.
“Teams are the way of the future,” said Tripp. “It’s going to get harder and harder to be competitive as a solo agent. It’s going to become very difficult to stay relevant without a fair amount of people becoming teams in some capacity.”
The first conversation to have with your team-driven agents should be all about understanding and determining their goals. From retirement plans to higher income to weekend coverage, every person who's trying to create a team is working for something different.
Next, discuss whether or not they're the right fit for a team lead for your brokerage. It's important to put the right agents in place of becoming a team leader, rather than taking the time and putting in the effort for someone who you will need to make major changes to your procedures and structures in these positions.
Remember, conversations have to be had, and common goals and outcomes will lead to successful teams and an even more successful brokerage.
Internal Changes, Structures and Infrastructure
Teams require brokers to adapt. Before you adapt, however, it's important to understand the risks and benefits of making changes in order to have successful teams. From accounting systems to training and education, you need to be prepared.
“Technology in real estate is really antiquated,” said Milshteyn. “But all of it can work as long as you’re willing to put the time into it to make it work for your teams.”
Having proactive solutions that may be a headache on the front end will often work themselves out on the backend. Don’t give up on your systems, just find a way to make it work for your business. If they don’t work, take the time and effort to find new and efficient systems to keep your teams organized and supported.
Biggest Threats to Not Adopting Team Concept
If you're a broker owner, not having teams can do more damage than good for your business, especially when it comes to retention. Panelists offered their best advice to lean into the team concept and find success in your brokerage.
“If it hasn’t already landed on your doorstep, it will happen very soon.” said Milsteyn. “If you’re not on the forefront of it, it’s just going to be a loss for you and you’re going to have an issue with retention. Broker Solutions can help you with creating a retention plan that will help with agent retention, especially for agents looking to start a team. Being on the offensive and having training set up is the best thing you can do for your brokerage.”
“I really believe that the number of solo, freestanding agents in five years is going to be drastically lower than it is now, if not obsolete,” said Tripp. “If these teams are run right and given the best resources, they provide better service, they have better checklists and systems, and less things are falling through the cracks. You look at them first as a liability, but if you can rope them in from not being a liability and give them the best resources, I honestly think they will strengthen your brand, your company and your reputation.”
“If you haven’t already embraced it, you need to embrace it, because teams are the future,” said Robertson. “If you’re not embracing teams, you’re going to lose a lot of those people to other brokerages because they are looking for that additional structure and that additional accountability.”
Watch the full webinar below:
To view more webinars from RISMedia, subscribe to our YouTube playlist.