1. Definition of a Real Estate Team
2. Google’s Take on What Makes the Most Successful Teams
3. The Orchestra Team Model
4. Who to Hire and When
5. Your First Team Member: The Assistant
6. How to Hire Team Members
7. How to Pay Your New Employees
8. Leading through Expansion
The conductor of an orchestra didn’t arrive in the position through lack of time, effort, direction, or knowledge. Rather through experience, hard work, and team building do they reach the epitome of their position.
Real estate teams, much like an orchestra, need to be planned well and structured accordingly. But how?
Working with thousands of real estate professionals over the years, and recording the stories of many of these folks has awarded BoomTown the pleasure of observing team model after team model.
And after much research and observation, the most successful real estate team model, as determined by team member satisfaction and production, is the orchestra model.
Yes, the orchestra model.
But first, let’s dive into what a real estate team actually is.
Definition of a Real Estate Team
“There is no ‘I’ in team.”
“There is no ‘I’ in team.”
“There is no ‘I’ in team.”
Due to varying compensation models in real estate, the definition of a real estate team is skewed. The legality of using the word team, but paying members as contractors has come under question in many states.
But aside from the logistical standpoint, the loose definition of a real estate team can be anyone beyond a one person show.
Once you make the decision to begin hiring, lower your stress levels, and dive into the depths of real estate assistantship, then you have begun navigating towards building a team.
When Google researchers set off to figure out what makes the perfect team in their effort dubbed Project Aristotle, it was to their surprise that it is not as easy as you would think to nail it down.
Google’s efforts did land on the fact that the most successful teams could not be defined by the members, but rather behaviors and characteristics shared by the team and their functions as a whole.
The most successful real estate team model, and real estate team, is not a specific structure, but using the right logistical building blocks, combined with successful group behaviors.
The Google researchers studied hundreds of actual Google groups, they were able to define two behaviors of the more successful and happy teams.
- Everyone on the teams spoke around the same amount as their counterparts at one point during the day. As the New York Times put it, “in each case, by the end of the day, everyone had spoken roughly the same amount.”
- The second was that each member of the highly regarded teams had “average social sensitivity.” This refers to how members could sense if another team member is upset, happy, etc. Their ability to be more sensitive to what’s going on with fellow team members translated directly into higher team success.
At the end of the day, your real estate team model is going to be the bones of the operation. But the success will come from these behaviors and others you add in order to make it your team.
Now the behaviors have been established, on to the logistics.
The Orchestra Real Estate Team Model
A conductor cannot make music without the orchestra. They need the woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. Now consider each of these elements as a part of your own job. When you have a real estate operation and are the sole provider you are doing it all.
But the music happens when you step back and begin to conduct all of the moving parts through support roles.
The orchestra real estate team model is a combination of most of the real estate models out there. Because in the end, there are so many hybrid models that each team usually ends up making them their own anyhow.
The basis of this team building approach is to start with a strong leader and go out from there, radiating supporting team members around you.
Following the most natural steps of hiring and adding team members go as follows:
- Hire an Assistant or Admin.
- Next step, buyer specialist.
- Next step, listing specialist.
- Filter in support staff as needed (ISA, Marketing Admin., etc.).
- Allow employees to hire their own support staff if needed.
- Begin your own “exit plan” whenever you’re ready!
This section specifically takes inspiration from Ben Kinney’s Real Estate Team of the Future. It is a simple and no frills plan to add to your team in a lead based succession.
The orchestra model is based upon building your team one instrument at a time, only when it is needed and your pre-existing team is prepared to incorporate “new noise.”
Each addition is considered only after a certain amount of leads is achieved. The ranges above are suggested because only you can determine in your market the point to which you can afford and thrive with a new member.
Kinney’s “team of the future” video was published in 2012. This serves to prove elements of each real estate team model, if structured well and with the right people, outlast organizational trends.
If you have ever witnessed a flawless orchestral performance let us know! Chances are it’s never happened. The key to the orchestra model is that each member of the team picks up where another leaves off, picking up the slack, and moving the entire thing forward together.
No matter when you see yourself stepping away from the business, this model helps you work towards a lifetime of income and the ability to sit back and relax after building a business which either A. earns you passive income, or B. sale-able.
In other words, it equips you to begin with an exit plan before you’ve even hired your first employee.
Don’t Overcomplicate Real Estate Team Building
Keeping with the orchestra model, how do you decide which team member to add to your growing organization next?
If you’re at your wits end and spending the majority of time on activities an administrator could complete, then by all means stick to hiring an assistant.
This is the first natural step in expansion and the easiest to prove in terms of ROI.
Consider your day in percentages. What percentage of time do you spend on the following right now?
- Lead generation
- Administration duties
- Property visits
- Client facing time
- Answering correspondence
For example, if 50 percent or more of your day is spent on any of the above duties, then you aren’t leaving a lot of time to work with the actual clients.
This is an easier fix than you think. Even if you aren’t ready to take the leap and hire a part of full-time assistant, consider a digital assistant.
Hire a digital assistant today and do away with busy work. Our references here.
And here lies one of the best parts of the orchestra model: Simply through hiring an assistant, you are beginning the transition to “conductor” through instituting support roles.
Use the percentage route moving forward for each team addition. With each addition you should be first thinking what percentage they will assume and how it will achieve the greater goal of your business.
The Logistics of the Orchestra Real Estate Team Model
Hiring and paying your new employees is the highest point of stress or questions for the majority of real estate professionals waiting to take the leap and hire their first employee.
The good news? This model adapts to most compensation types.
Whether you are choosing to work with salaried employees, commission based, or a mixture of both, they all integrate well with the orchestra model.
The link above will take you to a detailed breakdown of real estate compensation models coupled with a few real life examples putting them to practice.
When it comes to hiring your first employees or your last, don’t forget the Google study’s findings. Focus on adding to the overall team, not necessarily adding all-stars who aren’t team players.
Need help writing the job listings? Check out our templates here.
Leadership Routines to Make it All Last
Without solid leadership, this and any other team model will not work in the long run. Take a cue from those who have come before you and are still thriving in the market.
The #1 challenge leaders face when building a team is backing away from the action and relinquishing control.
Consider this for a moment: When is the last time you had a back seat driver situation? How frustrating was it?
Now imagine if that backseat driver would take things into their own hands and try to take the wheel. They could possibly wreck the car.
Don’t wreck your business in the same way by micromanaging and not trusting your employees. If they aren’t meant for the job you can always re-hire, but it is harder to live through a reputation in the industry that keeps good employees wary of joining your team.
Another pro tip for real estate team leaders is keeping to a routine. With so many things changing, a routine is vital for success.
No matter if you need to change it often, the important part is that your team knows what you are working on as well.
Because as much as you need to depend on employees, they too, need to depend on you as a leader.
The final leader tip that will keep the well oiled wheels of the orchestra real estate team model running is training.
Training for your technology, and for real estate practices in general will do more for your business than you could ever imagine.
You need to train your real estate team on:
- Your expectations.
- Your brand.
- The technologies used on a daily basis.
- Real estate best practices (often perceived through coaching).
When it comes to building out larger teams, working with a technology partner who has extensive training is more than a perk, it’s a must-have.
For more information about how BoomTown can coach your team to success with our training, platform, and people, let us know or click the link below: