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Setting up your team is a huge undertaking and requires a well thought-out plan and roadmap for short- and long-term success. Knowing exactly why you are starting a team partnership, or a team where you are the leader and have agents working under your umbrella, is key to the success and drives every action you take. Making sure you avoid the pitfalls will help you hire the right people and grow at the right pace, all while remaining productive and profitable.

  1. Don’t start a team without a plan. A lot of agents initially start a team without much planning or purpose. It will end up costing you time and money if you start a team without knowing what you want to accomplish, where you want to go and how you plan to get there. Avoid starting a team for the wrong reasons. Really weigh the pros and cons to starting your team, and know your motivation before you announce you’re a team or that you are in partnership with someone. Too often, agents will start the team because it seems like a great idea at the time—and don’t get me wrong, it may be a great idea. It’s just vitally important to start with the end in mind and know why and what you are launching into with a written plan.
  1. Don’t just hire the first people who want to join your team. It is easy to just start hiring people in your office or company because they are there and they are either not producing like they would like to be, or they see your opportunity as a way to leverage themselves. But, hire the right people for the job. Don’t choose people who you will make fit the role, but rather, hire the right people who can do the job. Adding people must make sense and should be intentional. And remember, there are benefits to recruiting and hiring new agents and teaching them your methods from the beginning.
  1. Don’t add people too soon. Adding people too soon can be a huge mistake and cost you time away from your business and become a huge distraction. Instead, make sure you have a number of consistent listings and/or leads coming in that you can hand off to team members. Hiring too fast can end up making team members frustrated, as they had higher expectations for the number of leads per month they would be receiving from you. This can be draining on you as the team leader, and damaging on the relationship with your team member, who has motivation but thinks they aren’t getting any leads. They lose momentum and enthusiasm fast.
  1. Don’t spend without ROI. Team leaders have a tendency to spend a lot of money and not look at the return on investment. It is critical that you are able to pay yourself first and be the most profitable. So many agents overspend for leads and unnecessary advertising—I know, I did it myself. The truth is, you want to know, did I make money on this expenditure, or did I run the ad or pay for something based on fear? Knowing the exact ROI on your spending will make you smarter, and make you more money. In fact, if it’s not going to make you three times the spend, you shouldn’t do it. It’s true you need to spend money to make money; however, you have to be smart for it to be a good investment.
  1. Don’t assume people know what to do. You are now the sales manager and leader of your team, and your team members need direction, training, guidance and coaching—and they expect it from you. You are now responsible for their success, and they need to know what to do, what to say it and when to act. Have meetings with your team to train and coach them into successful activities. Don’t assume they know what to do. You need to have weekly training sessions and sales meetings, as well as communicate to team members daily, to ensure they are actively working their pipelines and converting the leads you give them, and generating business on their own.
  1. Don’t expect results without setting expectations. Not having an organized plan and strategy when starting a team or adding people to your existing team can lead to people not knowing what they should be doing every week and every month. Creating the successful environment for your teammates means communicating the expectations daily and weekly, so they know what they need to be doing in order to achieve their own goals and meet or exceed the team goals they shared with you when you hired them. It’s easy to get caught up in your own daily business. Make time to clearly discuss goals for the week and year-to-date activity and sales, and ask how you can assist them in meeting their goals.

If you avoid these pitfalls in setting up your team, you will be creating a proactive and strategic plan to not only start your team on the right foundation, but also be able to grow your team at the right pace and speed, while remaining profitable and scaling your business.

For a free copy of my exclusive Questionnaire Template for Starting a Team, email Also check out our free webinar schedule at, or call 844-989-2600 for more information on Synergy Team Coaching.

Sherri_Johnson_60x60Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll free) or visit

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