One of the most prized milestones in a real estate career is establishing a lucrative real estate team structure and growing your team. When you start in real estate you create a plan with set goals. This real estate plan creates checkpoints that help keep your business on track and measure your success. Starting your own team with others is a completed goal in that plan that shows you are achieving what you set out to do. You have made it to a point in your business that you need the support of other individuals in order to continue your trajectory.

There are several key points to follow to consider in building a real estate team.

Understand That You Can’t Advance Your Business Alone

Before you explore how to build a real estate team, you should consider if it’s an appropriate time to grow at all. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do you have enough volume to support multiple agents or additional supporting roles? 
    • If you do, consider if it is enough to support a full person. Consider the implications it will have on your finances when you are suddenly divvying out leads and potential clients to others instead of closing them yourself.
  • Is your volume consistent enough to support additional people? 
    • Oftentimes, real estate follows a rollercoaster flow in lead generation. Are there just a few months when you could utilize a team? Is there a consistent need that is compelling you to expand your team?

How you build your team, and in what order you add employees, can determine your business’ success. There are steps you can take prior to bringing on additional agents. You might consider bringing on a part-time admin or assistant to schedule appointments and take calls for you. Doing this essentially amplifies your ability to handle more clients.

Your goal at the end of the day is financial productivity. Being able to handle more clients yourself thanks to the help of an assistant might be the right move to make.

Rather than Starting a Team, Consider Joining One

If you are a new agent or just reaching the peak of success on your own, consider joining a team rather than building a real estate team on your own. Without a lot of industry experience, you may find it rewarding to branch out from an existing, established team. Many brokerages reward recruiting efforts by allowing you to share in the future commissions of new agents you bring to the office and mentor. As a result, recruiting for an existing team can become fairly lucrative.

Oftentimes, managing people can be a difficult task that can distract from your goal of selling properties. There are times when the best decision to make is to join an existing real estate team structure. Doing so allows you to focus on what you’re good at, rather than taking on the task of directing a team around you.

Master Your Policies and Procedures

If you decide that looking into how to build a team in real estate is the path for you, start with writing down common activities in your role and how you complete them. These written instructions will become your policies and procedures that will direct future new hires. Your policies and procedures should be consistent across the board to ensure all newly added members adhere to the same set of rules and expectations.

The systems you should identify include:

  • Your real estate business plan. This includes what your goals are and any corresponding dates to keep you on track. As you expand your team, expect increased results that compensate for the added labor costs.
  • Your own personal branding is even more important when you are bringing additional people onboard. These people should address your brand with the same values that you hold in high regard. For example, if integrity is paramount, you should instill that into your team when they’re brought on board.
  • Your social media and internet presence is absolutely crucial. There should be a posting calendar that is regularly maintained and a designated person to upkeep your platforms.
  • Your website subscriptions and software should be vetted and established. When your team grows, new hires should be instructed how to use these same subscriptions and programs.
  • Your commission splits and salaries should be written down and consistent across the board. That way, as you are interviewing and talking to prospective additions to your team, you can discuss salary expectations and earning potential.

Hiring the Right Role for Your Real Estate Team

Administrative Assistant

Industry experts consider the administrative assistant the first essential member when building a real estate team. The logic behind the assistant is sound, here’s why;

  • You can bring in an assistant well before the time that you need an agent. They can generally work flexible hours and grow with your business.
  • An assistant can help you with your paperwork, freeing your time up (and eventually that of your team), so that you can spend more time with clients.
  • Remember how important systems were in developing your ongoing team? An assistant can help document your policies and procedures, making sure that everyone completes tasks consistently and efficiently.
  • You can look at hiring virtual assistants, which are generally more affordable than having someone in person. 
  • Assistants are generally far more affordable than other potential members of your team, and as such, can be a great starting point in determining if you are truly ready to begin creating a real estate team structure.

Buyer’s Agent

In direct response to having an assistant, you’re able to maximize your ability to meet with clients and develop relationships that generate leads. The next process of building a real estate team involves bringing on a buyer’s agent.

One of the easy benefits is that they are commission-based. That means that if they don’t perform, they don’t get paid. As a result, it is incredibly easy to add one of these agents to their team. However, if your lead generation source isn’t where it should be, you likely won’t be able to keep them long.

There are several details to consider when searching for an appropriate agent. Do you decide to go with an experienced and successful agent who can hit the ground running? Or do you go with a new agent that is open to a lower commission split in exchange for the mentorship and experience?

Inside Sales Agent

You’ve added an assistant and a buyer’s agent — what’s next in building a real estate team? An inside sales agent would be a logical next step towards achieving your goals. An inside sales agent could;

  • Contact and vet potential leads.
  • Create a process for reaching out to expired listings.
  • Work on creating relationships with potential For Sale by Owner (FSBO) properties.
  • Contact previous clients that have worked with your team to try and grow more business.
  • Nurture potential leads, like renters, who might be ready to look at homeownership at a later time.

Listing Agent

As your team becomes busier, you may struggle with finding the time and energy to focus on your growing seller’s business. A listing agent is a wise next hire in developing your real estate team structure. While you have other agents working within your team, having a specialized expert in getting your client’s the best value when they list their property with your team.

This agent can also help with conducting open houses and reaching out to establish rapport with real estate leads who will eventually be ready to sell their property. And if you’re in a region impacted by the pandemic, check out our virtual open house guide.

Industry Specialists

As your team gets larger, you should eventually look at filling some niche industry specialist positions that fit well with your brand and real estate plan. Some potential positions include;

  • Showing assistants. These individuals are ready on a moment’s notice to go and show properties to existing and potential clients. As the market is incredibly competitive, having early and quick access to properties can help your client’s offer be even more competitive.
  • Rental agents. These individuals focus exclusively on showing rental properties. Of course, the catch here is that the renters should eventually return as buyers when the timing is more appropriate.
  • Social media and digital marketing manager. Over 90% of real estate transactions occur as a result of the buyer/seller doing research online. Most, if not all, successful real estate teams invest in a strong online presence to be relevant in today’s market. A social media marketing manager ensures digital advertisements and social media content yield the most potential leads possible. They can also help with creating assets that can be used in direct marketing campaigns.

What Is Your Next Step?

If you’re looking to join an existing team or start your own, there are many questions to answer in preparing your real estate plan for this critical next step in crafting your real estate team structure. If you find yourself at a dead-end or are unsure if you’re ready to take the plunge, an experienced coach could be a great resource in evaluating your business and goals.

Tom Ferry offers free real estate coaching consultations designed to assess your business and help you evaluate your expansion strategy. Determining whether or not your business is ready for growth can be easily determined through extensive experience in the industry. That’s where our coaches come in.

The dream of financial freedom is a goal that leads many people to the real estate industry. Through hard work, paired with experienced success, you can fulfill your original goals and not have to worry about the financial burden of taking time off to spend with your family and friends, travel and see the world, and so much more.