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Putting the Team Together

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By Lesley Geary

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2008-It’s not always an easy decision to know when the best time is to add a new member to the team, but when it is, it’s important to have a set strategy in place for recruiting, training, getting their feet wet, and ultimately, retention. Here, meet the Bradley Lanzilli Team and discover the success strategies that keep their team growing professionally.bradleylanzilli.jpg

Sean Bradley and Diane Lanzilli
The Bradley Lanzilli Team
William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance
Number of team members
: 2
Region Served: Northern Fairfield and Lower Litchfield, Connecticut
Years in real estate: Bradley – 15; Lanzilli -15
I formed a team because…Lanzilli: “We both started as agents at a company at the same time in 1995. Then Sean took a vacation and I watched his business for him. Then I took a vacation and he watched my business for me. From then on we became a team. We were actually one of the first teams in the area.

What’s the best benefit of working as a team?
Lanzilli: We work very well together and we trust one another. So first of all we can take time off and not worry about our customers being serviced.
Bradley: And for our customers, they get two for the price of one.

How do you determine when it’s time to bring on a new team member?
Lanzilli: We have some people in mind who we have worked with in the past and we are talking to them. Most importantly though, we like to work with brand new agents so that they learn our methods and do not have any old ways of doing things.

How do you decide what role that team member will play?
Bradley: We are going to bring on buyer’s agents. Diane and I are both very strong listing agents but to take buyers around at this point in our careers is not the best use of our time.

How do you find prospective recruits?
Lanzilli: We are working with our office manager to find new prospects and we are watching for new agents who have just gotten licensed.

How do you get a new team member up to speed?
Bradley: We have corporate training that we will send them to and once they are ready for the field we will hand-hold them. We will take them to the town hall and show them how to do absolutely everything. There are a lot of resources within the company and we will use everything that is at our disposal.

What qualities/skills must this person have?
Bradley: They must be brand new to real estate and be teachable.

Success Strategies
Best competitive advantage
:
Bradley: We are both licensed Accredited Buyer’s Representatives, we are both grads of the Real Estate Institute and we are Certified New Home Sales Professionals. Besides all of our training we are pretty much all referral at this point. We used to advertise a lot in places like Harmon Homes and local newspapers. We have always farmed and now we are going back to basics.

Our team is different because:
Lanzilli: We are a team that decided to specialize in new homes and land. New construction has really taken off. We have represented builders and then re-sale. Bradley: People have a tough time differentiating whether it’s my business or Diane’s, which is great. When you hire us as a team, our work is seamless so where I leave off, Sean picks up and vice versa.

Preferred training:
Bradley: I have done Tom Hopkins and found it excellent. We constantly go to continuing education classes. We are also gearing up to get licensed in New York. Over the years, we have lost business to Salem and Brewster across the border. So once we are licensed in New York, we can sell both sides of the border, which should really help us grow.

Do you delegate?
Bradley: No I don’t and I need to let some of that go. We will probably end up getting an assistant so we can grow our business. We can’t continue to do it all and hope to grow. We want to do more volume. We have learned that we both like the control and we have learned that we need to let some of that go.

The one thing you can’t live without?
Bradley: My cell phone.
Lanzilli: Organization. We have a business plan.

Advice for other teams:
Bradley: Stay with it, be open, be honest and make sure that you are constantly on the same page with your partner.
Lanzilli: We talk several times a day. So we are always letting the other one know exactly what happened. Make sure you have really good record keeping.

Philosophy on life in real estate:
Lanzilli: Listen to your client’s needs. We want them to have the smoothest transactions possible and have fun at the same time. We are looking to make friends for life.

Lesley Geary

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