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Having been around the industry for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of great people succeed—and a lot of great people burn out. The amount of pressure combined with straight commissions and the increasingly complicated nature of the transaction means it’s getting harder to do any significant number of transactions without getting some real help. When quality individuals begin to do real estate, they build their business based on a set of values and an intended level of service. As they grow, their service suffers, or their values are compromised. I believe that we’re not on this earth to sell houses, but rather, to make a difference in the lives of our families, and the people we touch in business, in that order. As we grow, both areas suffer.

The Problem
I recently interviewed an agent who is doing $10 million a year in sales. While this is a good business, she never sees her husband and misses all of her children’s games and important events. Success to her used to be measured by selling houses and being a great wife and mother. Today, she feels as though she’s failing at all three. This is the underlying motivator that drives people to consider building a team. As I consulted with her, my first assurance was to make sure she understood she wasn’t alone in her feelings of being able to grow her business, but unwilling to have her family suffer going forward.

The Solution
Step 1
: Look at company-provided tools and take advantage of the tools and resources available. These include marketing, transaction management, etc.

Step 2: Hire a Client Care Coordinator. This position can be full- or part-time, but should be filled from day one. I don’t believe you can get to the place in your business where you’re making $1,000 per hour if you spend 15 – 30 hours a week doing $15 – $20 per hour tasks. You must delegate and follow a proven process for hiring and training talent.

Step 3: Systematize everything. Automate your processes and systems to create operational excellence. This includes systems for before, during and after every transaction.

Step 4: Consider a buyer’s agent or showing assistant. We know through our tracking systems and research that every listing should generate 1.5 buyer-side transactions. If you focus on listings and allow someone else on your team to show and work with buyers, you can grow substantially.

Step 5: Cater to millennials. Millennials love working in groups and helping each other be successful. This team environment is very difficult to achieve as a group of agents. Team means something entirely different than group, and building a team makes work more enjoyable, and, more importantly, gives you the ability to have someone you like and trust handle your clients when you need time with your family.

Step 6: Change your focus from agent to leader. Your focus should be on business development and people development. As you help your team members become successful, have great income and balance in their lives, your income and life balance will improve.

Step 7: Don’t go it alone. Building a team is like climbing Mt. Everest; many set the goal to reach the summit, but very few do. Your business, life and team deserve expert advice and coaching to follow a proven route to success.

The bottom line is that agents want a life. They realize their lives will not be measured by GCI or number of total units sold. Life has so much more to offer, and building a successful team allows them to live life to its fullest.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams.

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