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Real Estate Agents: How Forming a Team Can Improve Your Business

Originally posted on RISMedia.com

The rapid pace of real estate over the past few years has enticed more people than ever to become agents. Most agents have never been in what is considered a “normal” market and most mortgage lenders have never dealt with a time where refinancing was not the first option.

What is a ‘Normal’ Market?
In a normal market, buyers have time to consider a purchase. Although they may have to bid against another potential buyer, there are not multiple bidders for every home. They also may have more freedom to ask for seller concessions or for home inspections to be conducted.

Sellers, in a normal market, may see their house on the market for a longer time instead of going under contract almost immediately. They may get multiple bids, but prices will be more in line with their sale price. They may have to spruce up their home more and/or make improvements before they list it. In a normal market, home prices are stable and not continually escalating.

A High Demand Continues
Real estate inventory is still at a historic low, but there is still high demand. Prices have fallen but they are nowhere near the precipitous drops that occurred after the housing bubble burst in 2008.

How can agents not only survive but thrive despite the market shifts? One answer is for the agent to join a team and you to serve as the experienced pro to lead them.

An Unparalleled Opportunity for Growth
Teams have become the fastest growing segment of the industry over the past decade. When created right, they provide a way to scale your business, handle surplus leads, improve your top and bottom lines and leverage your time and resources. In this uncertain market, team leaders can also offer mentorship and training opportunities to attract new agents or those who have not worked in a normal market. It’s a great way to bring in new members and build your business with quality, motivated agents who perhaps just need additional training, structure and support.

Creating a Team
Before you start a team, establish what your mission and goals are. Think about your strengths and areas that need improvement. A practical strengths-based tool such as Buffini & Company’s REALStrengths® Assessment can be helpful. You can also use that when you are interviewing people to potentially join your team, either as agents or administrative support.

It’s important to remember that bigger is not always better when it comes to your team. In fact, most current teams are only two to five people. What is important is the chemistry and complementary functionality of the team’s members.

What Model is Best for You?
There are five basic team models.

  1. Referral Agent. The agent is an independent agent but works on behalf of the team. The team shares the lead with the agent and then they share the compensation. The buyer/seller stays in the team’s database.
  2. Partnership. Two people who work as equals, sharing in all aspects of responsibilities and income generation.
  3. Standard Team. This team has multiple people on it including administrative support.
  4. Group. This is a full-service operation for your customer base. Agents are typically focused only on lead generation and selling.
  5. Mega Group. The team operates like a profitable brokerage. Agents are typically focused only on lead generation and selling.

Important Fundamentals for Retaining a Successful Team
No matter what size the team is, there are fundamentals that should be prioritized.

  • Commitment to lead generation.
  • Commitment to creating and implementing systems and a profitable business model.
  • Commitment to training.
  • The ability to recruit and retain successful members.

There will always be buyers and there will always be sellers, no matter what the market is doing. What will change is only those agents who commit to a desire for prioritizing fundamentals and continuous training will succeed. Buffini & Company has a stellar Leadership Coaching program, designed to help agents create successful winning teams. To learn more, visit www.buffini.com/leadership-coaching.

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