Ok, so the image of a real estate team may not recall the same sense of awe as one featuring an assemblage of superheroes. Still, we think that the most successful real estate teams can learn a lot from their caped counterparts. According to NAR’s 2018 Teams Survey there’s no better time to team up: more than a quarter of respondents were part of a team and almost 40 percent of solo respondents said that they have either considered or strongly considered joining a team.
To help you get started on building and developing a truly formidable team of your own, we sifted through some team-building tips that you don’t need to be superhuman to follow.
Have a Plan
It’s so obvious that it may seem redundant, but it bears emphasizing: A team is only as successful as the plan it follows. It’s sadly not uncommon to hear about eager agents coming together to form a team, enticed by all the benefits they’ve heard about, only for the team to fail before it began because it lacked a strong foundation for success. To improve your chances of success, follow the example of every great superhero team and implement a strong plan of attack.
To begin formulating your plan, you’ll have to ask a lot of questions. Here are a few we came across in our research on teams:
- How much money do you want (and expect) to make?
- What will your responsibilities be and what do you expect from your teammate(s)?
- How will team members be recognized for their successes – and supported when they need more development?
It’s vital that you ask these kinds of questions now, before your team is assembled and distracted by business demands.
Set Clear Expectations for Success
There are few things more frustrating than a job where there exists a disconnect between a team member’s understanding of what success looks like compared to that of their supervisor. In fact, this is something most of us have learned in our working relationships. As Nick Fury gives The Avengers actionable goals and the methods to reach them, so too should you create clear pathways to realistic, mutually understood measures of success. Many management books suggest this, too.
A superhero team is most successful when each member is assigned a task that plays to his or her strengths, and that’s just as true for a real estate team. Beyond just appealing to each member’s skill set, a key benefit of a team is being able to have clients served around the clock by team members who adhere to different, complementary work schedules. Therein lies the true strength of a team: each member brings something needed to the table, for the benefit for everyone – clients included.
But to master delegation, experts say you must do more than just be able to identify the strengths of team members – you also must be willing to let go of the reins and let others take over. For some, that’s a tall order to fill. If that happens to describe your approach, you can increase your tolerance for letting go by explaining your expectations thoroughly and holding teammates accountable based on the results (or lack thereof) that they achieved.
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Choose the Right Tools
Even the strongest superheroes sometimes must rely on tools to save the day (Wonder Woman had her Lasso of Truth, after all). Follow their lead and invest in technology that your team can use to more effectively communicate and collaborate. A tool like Slack can make team communication effortless, while any real estate CRM worth its salt can greatly simplify tracking teammate progress.
Even ShowingTime’s showing management solution, the ShowingTime Appointment Center, is designed with teams in mind! Each member of the team can access each listing, making coordination a breeze. Administrator access is also included, allowing admins to generate valuable progress reports which can be used to help coach team members.
Foster a Supportive Team Environment
Working as a team player doesn’t necessarily come naturally for some people, and even those who have an aptitude for working well with others can sometimes find that they’ve lost a bit of their taste for collaboration over time. Yet even a brooding loner like Batman can rise to the occasion when given access to a true team environment that gives members continuous access to resources they need to thrive and regular recognition of their successes.
To build an environment that encourages team development and cohesion, our research suggested to start by thinking about the average day in the office and how typical tasks can be reconfigured to be more team-friendly. For example, a regularly occurring meeting can be made more engaging for teams when each member is assigned a role in leading a portion of it. Likewise, individual member performance reviews can incorporate goals that are based on team-centered attributes and metrics.
When given the right support and access to the necessary tools, a team can function like a well-oiled machine, and that’s just as true whether you’re trying to save the world or help a client sell their home. There are plenty of additional resources out there for new and developing teams — regardless of how far along you are in building your team, we hope these tips will get you headed in the right direction!
Did you know that the industry-leading ShowingTime Appointment Center is designed to help your team work more efficiently? Reach out to our sales team to learn about the features that top real estate teams are using to grow their businesses.