By Lesley Geary
RISMEDIA, March 13, 2008-There’s more to gaining recognition as a stellar team than simply selling homes as a team. So when it comes to promoting a team, there are necessary steps to run and generate a successful team business. One effective way is team branding. Here, Teresa Cooper of Team “TLC,” shares her unique approach to standing out in her marketplace.
Years in real estate: Since 2000
Team members: 5
Region Served: Jackson, Georgia and surrounding counties
I formed a team because…”I had been a flight attendant with Delta for 25 years and I loved the job. For quite a few of those years with Delta I was buying rental property as a hobby and so I got my license on a lark. I started to get a lot of listings and built the business up fairly quickly. After working for a year, I watched the show Survivor and I thought, “I have to do that.” I got very lucky and was on the 3rd series of Survivor. I had to leave the business for a month and a half and I didn’t want to lose everything that I had built up. So my sister and my office manager kept the business running. When Survivor aired it really helped catapult my business.
How do you brand your team?
I have two main ways of building my brand. First, I have a catchy team name that plays off of own my name. I am Teresa Lynne Cooper so our team name is Team “TLC.” Then I use that Survivor name recognition. The episode of Survivor that I was on took place in Africa, so whenever I have media exposure or something I play that up. For a recent magazine article, for instance, instead of just a standard picture, I had them photograph me with a snake wrapped around my neck. Then people associate me with Survivor and it helps build the brand and bring in business.
How do you promote the benefits of the team concept to your clients?
We have worked really hard and have a good reputation for putting our clients first. Everything that we do in the way of advertising and promotion has our team on it. That includes prospect packets, brochures, business cards and billboards.
What type of advertising works best for you?
Our best advertisement is via the Internet from our website and mass e-mails. We also advertise some in the South Side Market paper that is distributed in surrounding counties. But most of our business comes from referrals and word of mouth.
Are you spending more or less on advertising and marketing than last year?
At this time, we are spending about the same as last year.
How is the team structured?
I want my team members to stay so I make sure they get listings as well as buyers. I am the team leader and then I have an office manager and three buyer’s agents. My agents have rotating days and any listings that come in on whoever’s day it is, are co-listed with that agent.
How do you delegate? I am fortunate because I have a great office manager to run the office. I do delegate but once I delegate I don’t just let it go. I keep following up until I get the answer I want. I am the same way with listings. I think that’s part of our success. I don’t just let it go. I keep following up until I get the listing.
The one thing your team can’t live without:
Organization and structure. You are not in it alone. There’s always someone to ask and answer a question.
The key to profitability: Attitude. Hanging in there at rough times, like right now when we are just paying the bills. When the market turns around there will only be a handful of people still in it and we are going to be one of them.
Average number of hours each team member works: I have no idea. Unfortunately or fortunately I have a home office so it never goes away. When I put the kids to bed at night I never turn it off. My clients know they can always get a hold of me. The team members have my same work ethic. I know they work just as hard as I do.
Philosophy on life in real estate: Do it 100% and it’s going to pay off and that’s with whatever you are doing: raising children, running a marathon…whatever you do. Also this business is very stressful so you have to meditate or something. My meditation is working out.