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People Holding a Red TeamOne of the hottest topics of 2016 is how to build, manage and grow your real estate team. Teams are popping up everywhere, brokers are adjusting business models to accommodate teams, and leaders are emerging by allowing agents to focus on specialty areas of the business.

As you consider building or joining a team, here are a few things to ponder:

• Is there greater opportunity in your market than you alone can handle?

• Do you feel like you’re at capacity and can’t possibly do any more yourself?

• Can you generate leads and opportunities beyond your personal ability to follow up?

• Does working with others who have common goals and different skills interest you?

• Do you honestly believe that your clients will be better served if you delegated tasks and activities to specialists in each area of the transaction?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then a team might just be the right solution for you.

Building a team begins with establishing your core values and mission, and clearly identifying your goals. Once you have those things in place, you must utilize a hiring process to put the right people in the right seats on the bus. Some of the tools we use include the free DiSC profile test found on, an interview process that includes a final interview conducted by the team leader’s coach, and a discussion involving clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Each position should have an agreement with clearly spelled out responsibilities and expectations.

For example, buyer agents on teams we coach must agree to a minimum of two transactions per month, attend daily huddles, practice proven scripts and dialogues and complete the Buyer Agent Training program, BAM. A buyer agent’s primary responsibilities are simple: they must commit to prospect daily, show homes and negotiate contracts. Once a deal is under contract, the transaction is moved to a client-care coordinator, or transaction coordinator, who moves the transaction from contract to closing. The buyer agent stays involved if any negotiation is needed due to inspection or appraisal issues. By having buyer specialists, listing specialists and transaction specialists, the client is better served because each person in the transaction becomes an expert in their area of responsibility.

Building a team is the first step in removing limiting beliefs that keep us from serving a lot more families. As a single agent, you’re limited by the hours in a day. As your team grows, you remove limits and have the ability to serve more, make more, and help others become successful.

The mindset of the team leader changes from “Only I can do this task” to “How can I help others be successful with this task?” A simple shift in thinking brings massive results. As a leader on the team, your job becomes simplified to two primary responsibilities: business development and people development.

We hire to our core values and provide great training to each position on the team. Our goal in helping agents establish and grow teams is to create what I like to call operational excellence in every aspect of the business. Following are areas where operational excellence will make the most difference in success and failure as a team:

• Prospecting systems, including online lead generation, conversion strategies and daily tracking of the right activities that generate listings and buyers. There’s an abundance of leads and lead sources if you’re willing to put in the work and follow a proven system.

• Transaction management and deal processing. We don’t have people problems, we have process problems. If your team members aren’t performing at a level that you believe they’re capable of, ask yourself, “Where is our process failing us?” Then fix the process instead of attacking the people.

• Create real estate experts. Getting a license is a critical first step, but there’s no substitute for market knowledge. Train your buyer agents, listing partners and inside salespeople to know your market. Ongoing training and education beyond what’s required to stay licensed often separates the average from the exceptional.

• Create a sales-focused team.

• Hold meaningful team meetings and daily huddles with accountability. This shows your team that you care enough about their success to inspect what you expect.

• Work your sphere of influence. We spend so much time and money going after new business that we frequently fail to take care of the people who already know and trust us. You must automate your follow-up with a high-touch system so that you’re at the front of your client’s mind at the moment real estate comes up.

The best teams in the world follow proven systems for success. Each month, RISMedia’s Agent Webinar series highlights many of these team leaders as they share best practices for listing, marketing, farming and team dynamics.

Hiring an established coach who specializes in building teams can shorten the learning curve, save thousands of dollars in costly mistakes, and help you create millions of dollars in commissions. It’s not all about the money, but profitability is one clear measurement of success.

There can be amazing synergy in creating a team. The next generation of agents (millennials) love to work in groups, collaborate and share in success. The team concept is not new, but there’s a new movement in our industry to build a real business of value instead of simply creating a job for ourselves.

Building a team is not for everyone, and you must learn to give up control of certain aspects of the business if you want to be a successful team leader. When done correctly, your life—including your free time—will improve, your service will be better, and your income will grow while you help serve the members on your team, as well as your collective clients.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems.

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