Have you ever considered starting your own real estate team?
Real estate teams are continuing to become more and more popular as, according to NAR, 19 percent of Realtors® are now members of a team.
But just because something is growing in popularity doesn’t mean you should automatically jump on the bandwagon and start formulating how you’re going to start your own team.
Creating your own team is just like anything else — you need to do the research, run the numbers and self-evaluate before deciding whether it’s the right choice for you.
Here are six questions you should consider before embarking on becoming the leader of your own real estate team.
1. Have I experienced sustained success?
The biggest reason agents consider starting their own team is because their business is growing too quickly for them to handle everything on their own. Any part of their real estate business can be the tipping point for why Realtors first contemplate beginning a team, whether it’s difficult for them to keep up with administrative tasks, having too many listings or dealing with several prospective buyers at once.
There are several options for agents to consider before jumping immediately to the possibility of creating a team, however, such as hiring a personal assistant, appointment service or even cutting back.
But if building a continually growing your business is your goal, slowing down isn’t an option.
Chances are, your business has been steadily increasing year over year, you project similar growth in the future and you’ve finally gotten to the point where it’s too much to handle on your own. But make sure that’s the case as, perhaps, this year is just a spike in activity.
And ask yourself if you want your business to keep growing, or if you’re content with where you are now and would rather keep doing everything on your own
There are no wrong answers, and everyone’s different, but only after an honest assessment of yourself as a person, your business model and your goals as an agent should you consider beginning a team of your own.
2. Is my client base well established and marketing well executed?
Referrals remain the biggest source of leads in the real estate business, so that funnel of leads will follow wherever you go. But it goes without saying that the more experience you have and the more happy clients you’ve served, the easier it will be to start off your new endeavor with a solid base of leads.
The same goes for marketing. If you’re a marketing whiz who built your personal brand from the ground up, you’ll be ready to do the same for your team. If marketing isn’t one of your strong suits, that should be an area you look to enhance while putting together your team, which we’ll get to later on.
3. Do I have the business acumen?
If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re considering beginning a team, chances are you’ve proven yourself to be an adept communicator, marketer and businessperson.
And while running your own team as a single agent is a feather in your cap, even adding a few people to the fold — under your leadership — can make things more difficult.
From managing commissions and work schedules to hiring and firing — not to mention maintaining or even upping or rebranding your marketing — you’ll have more on your plate as a team leader.
Running a team of agents is different business-wise than doing your own thing as a single agent. You might be ready for the challenge, but are you prepared? Make sure to come up with a detailed business plan about what your team stands for and who is responsible for what.
4. Am I well-versed in all aspects of the industry?
Have you been a successful listing agent throughout your career, but have spent less time as a buyer’s agent? Were you fortunate enough to get into a large brokerage early in your career, where you never had to spend a day at the front desk taking calls?
There’s more to the real estate industry than connecting with people, marketing listings and selling homes. As with any industry, there are many facets that go into creating a successful real estate business.
It’s not imperative for team leaders to understand every nuance of every part of the business and what goes on every minute of every day, but it is critical to have a top-level understanding of everything.
5. Who do I hire?
Once you decide to start a team, choosing the right people is critical.
So where should you begin? Probably not where you first assume.
The first instinct of a new team leader often is to go out and hire listing agent after listing agent. Selling listings is how you make money, right?
But who’s managing those listings, fielding showing request calls and scheduling? It’s the administrative staff, which is the backbone of any business. Start with your administrative staff, then hire various agents — listing, showing, sales, etc. — to ensure no lead falls through the cracks.
Hiring based on skill and experience is just half the battle, however. You also have to hire a team that works well together, will take direction, offer ideas and grow together as the business does.
Do your due diligence by asking acquaintances and former colleagues about agents before offering them a spot on your team.
6. Am I fit and ready to lead?
Not everyone is a natural-born leader. Some enjoy being out in front and the center of attention; others prefer to sit in the background.
If you’re considering starting your own team, chances are you’re closer to a natural-born leader than a follower. A good leader knows how to relate to people, set goals and make sure everyone feels like they’re contributing.
Here’s more on forming a successful real estate team.
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