No doubt about it: when you set out to complete your goals, you will need a functional team to support you. Think back to your goals. Are you going to be able to handle that kind of volume and all the paperwork and follow up that goes with it? Probably not. Chances are, you will need a team of assistants and buyer agents to help support you as your business begins to grow. Team members may wear many hats, and you will need to structure your organization to facilitate your desired outcomes.
A visual representation is a great place to start. Physically draw out the team. Who is/are the lead agent(s)? Who leads the listing team? The buyer agents? Who is in charge of managing the office? Marketing? Technology? (If the answer to all of these is ME: rethink your business plan and reread THE E-MYTH REVISITED by Michael E. Gerber.) A key question when planning is: do I need to hire more people? In addition, seeing which person wears which hat, and who reports to whom, is extremely useful in tracking the success—or lack thereof–of the business.
One of the best books to use as a resource when you are planning your team is THE MILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE AGENT, by Gary Keller. Although he has newer book SHIFT, most of my clients are seeing another shift in the market and are once again working on building and strengthen their teams.
Understanding the difference between a group and a team is critical. (And you may want to be mindful of how you name your business accordingly: “The Jones Group,” for example.) In brief, a team centers around a common goal to which all members commit. Job descriptions are unambiguous and stated in writing. There is buy-in to the success of the team, not just an individual. Team members are accountable to one another. A team celebrates successes and problem solves together. A group, on the other hand, is loosely (if at all) structured and adheres to no clearly defined goals. A group is about daily work and outcomes, (vs. vision and goals) and one person is usually “in charge” to reap the success or to feel responsible for failure. Whereas a group can serve a single purpose, a team creates a business dynamic that enables success and growth.
Teams require management. Be prepared to facilitate team needs. Be prepared to mentor and nurture as the team develops. Plan for meetings carefully. Build in accountability to goals and review them weekly. Be consistent in leadership. Your team members, and your sanity, will appreciate the effort.
Remember that teams grow and change. When writing a business plan and when hiring on team members, you need to keep in mind that the job description of today might be entirely different a year from now. (Sound familiar? How many of us were foreclosure experts until recently?) A team member who demonstrates the capacity and willingness to learn beyond the immediate landscape is a great asset to your business. Real Estate is dynamic. A good team not only plans for change, but embraces it.