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Too often, brokers and managers tend to think of top producers and team leaders as self-sufficient and self-starters—which, let’s face it, they are, since they are so successful.

However, helping agents contemplating starting a team is a service that brokers should be providing, and unfortunately too many aren’t, which can lead to retention issues. Part of your value as a manager or broker is to help your agents determine if they want a team, and what type of model, or if they just need administrative help. Not assisting them in this process puts the agent out on an island, on which they may find another broker that is interested in helping them with their team’s goals. You can be a partner in starting or growing their team by helping them determine what is most important to them; then, they have a clear roadmap to launching a team or not.

Here are some great ideas for adding value to the process for agents considering starting or growing a team:

  1. Help them determine the type of team model they are trying to set up. Do they want to set up a team where they are the primary rainmaker and add buyer and listing agents to the team, or are they looking to set up a team model with a 50/50 partner arrangement, or are they looking to add an admin to their business to help leverage their time?
  2. Create a questionnaire. Create a list of questions to help your agents identify their motivation and reason behind starting a team. Ask questions about what they are trying to accomplish in adding team members. Are they looking to refer online and offline leads? Do they have enough leads to refer? Do they have enough listings currently to support a team? Where do they see themselves one, three and five years from now with a team?
  3. Help them with a plan for how to compensate. Ultimately, if they are adding team members that sell, they need help in deciding how to pay them. While that is a decision that is completely the agent’s to make, you can help them in coming to the formula. Ask them questions about how they want to incentivize agents based on performance. Do they pay different pay outs for listings versus buyers, or are they paid a slightly higher payout on agent-procured business, which would help them want to generate more business on their own? Also, figure out ahead of time what expenses are the team leader’s versus the team members’.
  4. Guide them to put team member arrangements in writing. Make sure that whatever they decide to offer their team members that they have some written documentation that clearly delineates the agreed terms. Even suggest they run it past their attorney for their review. Too many agents don’t have a clearly defined exit clause, and this can cause lots of non-selling time in cases that don’t end well. Covering as many cases as possible can save lots of time later.
  5. Help your team leaders establish ways to incentivize their team members. Offer bonuses for team members who exceed monthly listings or sales goals. This can be a flat $250-$500 bonus for each deal over the goal, or a scaling compensation that goes up to a higher percentage payout the more the team member makes throughout the year, rewarding their performance.
  1. Include their team in your sales meetings, events and office culture. Be sure to include your teams and all their members in your weekly sales meetings, office events and trainings. Encourage them to attend your coaching or workshops to make sure the team is using all the brokerage-supplied marketing and taking advantage of the training and coaching you are doing for the whole office.

Sherri 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 Homes.com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. For more information, please contact coaching@sherrijohnson.com or 844-989-2600 (toll-free) or visit www.sherrijohnson.com.

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