Top Mistakes Realtors Make When Building Teams


Making the leap from an individual agent to the leader of a team is a big deal, and an exciting step towards creating financial independence.  While the idea of building a real estate team is alluring, it also an endeavor wrought with challenges and roadblocks. Fortunately, many people have pursued this path already and we can all learn from their achievements and mistakes. Successful teams come in all shapes and sizes and I have, on several occasions, met top producing teams that took unconventional paths to success.  However, there are a few basic “Laws of Team Building” that all Realtors® should keep in mind as they embark on this adventure.

1. Hiring Buyer’s Agents before maximizing the talents of their administrative staff.

From the outside, hiring a Buyer’s Agent sounds really appealing.  You are able to delegate the pesky and time consuming task of consulting with and showing property to Buyers; while you enjoy taking listings and negotiating deals. However, the reality can be quite different from the fantasy.

In addition to taking anywhere from 25% - 50% of your commission, Buyer’s Agents have a well-earned reputation for sucking time and resources from their teams and few of them are as effective as the Lead Agent at converting leads and closing deals.  Why on earth would a Realtor® want to deal with that when they could hire a strong administrator and if necessary, a salaried showing assistant? If you want to retain a higher net income and have fewer headaches, bring on a carefully selected Buyer’s Agent only after you have fully maximized the abilities your administrative staff.

2. Failing to create written checklists and procedures.

I am always amazed when I speak to a ten year veteran Realtor® who is looking to hire his 4th assistant and he tells me that he doesn’t have a written Listing Checklist and/or Closing Checklist.  What were his assistants doing for the past ten years???

Starting with your very first hire, every Administrator in your organization should be required to document all of their systems, checklists, and recurring tasks.  These should be updated as procedures change and should be accessible by everyone on the team.  GoogleDrive and DropBox are ideal for this.

Not only do documented procedures ensure that your business is managed in a consistent way, it prevents you from being beholden to your employees and allows you to easily train new employees when people leave.

3. Not placing enough emphasis on hiring a strong Key Administrator.

It doesn’t matter if you call this person your Executive Assistant, Assistant Executive, Operations Manager, or Lead Administrative Manager; the most important person in your office is your key administrative hire.  They create the foundation for everything that you want to achieve in your business.  Hire the right person, and utilize them correctly, and you are on the right track to achieving your goals.  Make the wrong hire and you will find yourself treading water. (With your head barely above water.)

4. Believing that their first administrative hire will be their last hire for that role.

Everyone has a talent ceiling; some are just higher than others.  Even brilliant entrepreneurs rarely become CEOs of their own companies. This is simply because their skill set no longer matches the demands of the job as the company grows.  The same is true with your administrative talent, and possibly for you as well.  Your first administrative hire will only take you so far and then it will be time to re-evaluate your needs, and hire for the job that you need filled now. It is vitally important to have regular performance reviews with your staff to not only evaluate their performance, but to have an honest dialogue about their professional development needs and career ambitions. Are they in line with your organizational goals or is the writing on the wall that they have reached their talent ceiling? As difficult as it may be, being honest about your company’s needs and the state of your current talent, is crucial in order for you to push through plateaus and move towards achieving greater levels of success.

By learning from those who have come before you, and avoiding these 4 common mistakes, you will be well on your way to creating your All-Star Team and building your empire.

To your success!

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