Team Building 102 How to Grow Your Real Estate Team Beyond Your First Hire

Team Building 102  How to Grow Your Real Estate Team Beyond Your First Hire

– [Vanessa] Hello, everyone. Welcome, thank you for joining me today for Team Building 102, Growing Your Team Beyond Your First Hire. My name is Vanessa Rosenblum and for the last 15 years,
I’ve worked with real estate agents and teams to help
them grow their businesses through strategic hiring decisions. My company, Pro REA
Staffing, is a nation-wide search and placement firm
and over the last 10 years, we have placed over 800 candidates with real estate agents and teams across the United States and Canada. And I have placed about 1,000 candidates. Maybe a little bit more over
the course of my entire career. My purpose behind creating today’s webinar is to share what I’ve
learned about growing thriving, highly productive
real estate teams over the course of those
1,000-plus placements. So, if your goal is to build a team that generates more net income
and gives you more freedom and flexibility for as
little stress and headache as possible then this webinar is for you. Today’s agenda is broken into four parts. I’m going to assume that
you have the fundamentals of hiring down, I mean, this
is Team Building 102 after all. So, I’m not going to touch on
the ins and outs of hiring. But we will talk about
building the foundation of your business first. And then we’ll talk about how to develop your administrative support staff so that they can support
your sales growth. Then we’ll talk about adding
sales agents to your team. We’ll talk about how to
prepare sales agents, how to prepare your team for sales agents. And then also, several of the
pitfalls I see agents fall into when they start adding
sales agents to their team. And then finally, we’re
going to talk about you and your professional development
as you grow from being a sales agent into a team
leader/CEO of your business. But before we get started,
I want to get a feel for where everyone is in their business. I’m going to put up a poll. And I want to know how many admins do you currently have on your team? I’m launching the poll right now. So, go ahead and enter how many admins do you currently have on your team? And while you’re doing that,
I want to encourage you to interact today, I’m going
to ask you a lot of questions as we move through this workshop. So, I want you to find the chat box. I’m going to put a hello
in there right now. And I want you to find it,
I want you to ask questions. I want you to comment, let’s make this lively and
interactive, sound good? Hello, hello, alright, so, I’m
going to close out the poll. And let’s see the results. Alright, so, 50% of people have one. And 50% of people on the
call have two to four. Fantastic, okay. So, let’s get back. Here, okay, perfect. So, nothing else we
talk about today matters if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals of running a real estate sales business. The resiliency of your foundation is going to determine how
fast and how far you grow. So I just want you to take a minute and think about your
systems, your checklists, and your customer relationship
management system. If your volume grew by 40% this year, would you and your team be able to provide the same level of service? And would you be able to
continue to lead generate at your current rate? If not, this is something
you need to focus on first. Also, are you happy with your branding? Is it up to date? Do you have the right templates? Do you have a marketing plan? Do you have a past
client follow up process? And then finally, are you
working a lead gen strategy that is predictable and scalable? I want you to find that chat box and put a yes in the box if you feel like you have a solid
foundation in your business. Now, after laying your foundation, the first step to building
a wildly productive team is hiring a massively talented lead admin. Your lead administrator is
the keystone for your team. A weak player in this role
can undermine everything else you try to do, they are the
caretaker of your foundation. And if they don’t do their job, your foundation will start to crumble. And when that happens, you
remain stuck in the weeds with them instead of focusing on growth. And also, your lead admin will oversee all other admins in the office. So, no matter how you structure your team, they sit just below you on the org chart. They protect you and they
execute tasks for you. So, put an oh yeah in the chat box if you feel like you have a lead admin who is ready to help you grow your team. And if you’re not sure,
what’s your hesitation? It might be that you feel like
you have a pretty good admin but you’re unsure if
they have the capacity to help you grow your business. And it’s really, that’s a valid concern. Not every admin has what
it takes to make the leap from administrator to team manager. So, ask yourself, is your
lead admin ready to lead? In my experience, there are
three questions you can ask to help you answer this question. The first is, do they push you? Do they push you and projects
and other people forward? Or do you feel like you’re
dragging them along with you? Next, do you trust them? Do you trust them to be honest with you? Do you trust them that
when you give them a task, it’s going to get handled. When they’re interacting
with your clients, you trust that your clients
are getting the level of service you want,
and then finally, again, we’re going to keep
harping on your systems. Do they own your systems? Do they care that people
do things the same way, the right way, every single time? This matters because when you
start to bring sales agents into your business, who may
or may not want to follow all of your systems, if
you don’t have someone with a backbone in this world, making sure that things
are done the right way, things will start to fall apart. Now, today I’m going to
try bust two myths for you. And the first one is this. There’s this concept out
there that your first hire should be your last, that
you should hire the person who has the ability and desire to grow into a leadership
role in your team and stay with you forever. And I mean, I love this sentiment and I certainly do know agents who have been lucky to find
someone who has stayed with them but this is the exception to the rule. And if you try to hire
with this as your end goal, you could miss some amazing opportunities. Because here’s the reality,
if you keep an admin for two years, you did really well. The turnover rate for
real estate assistants in our industry is 50%. 50% turnover, I mean that’s insane. A healthy company should have
about a 10% turnover rate. And I mean, hopefully you
have a better retention rate than the average agent but even if you do, trying to find a director of operations when you really just need a strong admin is like trying to learn
how to drive in a Ferrari. So, what I want to encourage you to do is to hire for the next
two to three years. Find the person who can
execute what you need right now and has the talent and capacity to get you to one stage higher. And hopefully they’ll
continue to grow with you but don’t worry if this
talented, energetic person sitting across from you
says that in five years they want to start their
own investing business or they want to go back to grad school. Who cares? If in the next two to three years they get you where you want
to be in two to three years then they were a great hire. So, what does this path look like from one assistant to a mega team? So, what I want to do
next is walk you through what I would consider to
be an ideal growth path. Now, everyone’s path is going
to look a little different. And this is just an illustration but I think it illustrates
some of the best practices I’ve seen teams use to grow strategically with an eye on adding,
expanding the net profit for the lead agent and
providing greater freedom and flexibility for the lead agent. So, as when you start off,
we all know how this works. One sales agent, one executive assistant, that’s pretty simple. Now at this point, the executive assistant is focusing on shoring up that foundation, implementing systems and procedures and focusing on helping the
agent generate more sales. And at some point, the executive assistant is going to get maxed
out and it will be time to add a second assistant. Now this is really key. Notice that the executive
assistant manages the next assistant, you’re
not managing two people. And you want to make your second hire somebody who complements your lead admin. And this gives your lead
admin an opportunity to start to flex their
management and leadership skills. From there, you may need to hire an addition admin. And when you get to this point, you’re probably feeling pretty stressed. This is where you start to get maxed out. Your lead executive assistant
is most likely helping you with showings and open houses, and this is that tipping point when it’s time to start
with hiring sales people. And this is where things get fun. So, now you’re a team leader
and you have a team manager. But notice, even though you
have six people on your team, only two of them directly report to you. You want to keep focusing
on moving up and out, up and out, as your team grows. You do not want a flat
organizational structure where you have five
people who report to you. With every hire, you should
be getting more leverage. And then we may eventually
get to this point where your team manager now becomes your director of operations. Or this my be a time when you
need to level up your talent because at this point, you
are freeing yourself up from the day-to-day interaction with both your sales team
and your administrative team. You’re on your way to what
Keller Williams would call a seventh level agent, where
you’re no longer in production. So, your ability to build a team that leverages you and generates income without your day-to-day involvement depends in large part on
your lead admin’s ability to make this transition
from executive assistant to team manager, and in my experience, there are six factors that
impact their success story in this transition. The first simply is buy-in. Do they share your excitement
about growing a team? Do they want to do this too? A common reason real estate assistants contact Pro REA Staffing
to look for a new job is simply that their agent
went in a new direction and didn’t bother to discus it with them. So, make sure that the person
sitting by your right side, here to execute with you, wants to go on this journey with you. And then next, make sure
that they are actively participating in the hiring
process with every single hire. Do not surprise your lead admin (laughing) with a buyer’s agent. Trust me, they hate that. (laughs) I get calls about it. (laughs) What you need to realize
is that every hire either strengthens or
weakens your company culture. And you’ll bounce back
faster from a bad hire if the rest of your team was
engaged in the hiring process. We have a client who is the manager of a few total banker offices in Florida. And his policy is that every hire must interact with everybody on the team. And they must click with them. Otherwise, they’re not hired. He wants to make sure that
there are no personality conflicts in any of his offices. And as a result of this
and some other policies he has in place, he has
some very low turnover. And then going along with that, you must have clearly defined roles. Every time you add someone to the team, your role, your lead admin roles, other peoples roles, are going to change. And so you need to slow down. And make a transition plan. So that your onboarding process is as minimally destructive as possible. One of the big pitfalls I see teams make is rushing the process and
either hiring more sales people or more administrators than
they’re really ready for. Or without fully thinking out the process. I had a top, top agent who’s
number one or number two with his company nation-wide,
call me a few years ago sort of in a panic, he
had four assistants, one of them gave notice
and he needed another admin as soon as possible, and I said, yeah. I’ve heard that you have a lot of turnover in your office, he was
kind of infamous for this. And I said, what’s going on over there? He said, oh, I don’t know, I don’t know. I can’t find anyone who’s talented and no one will stick, can you fix this? And I said, well, I can
find you a talented admin but I can’t promise they’ll stay. Can I speak to your other admins and just find out what’s
happening your office? And he said yes. So, basically what happened
was as he grew so quickly, he hired more people and just
threw people at the problem but never slowed down to
clearly delineate their roles. And then to add to that,
every time he called into the office or every time
he saw one of his admins, he would give them tasks
but not necessarily the task that they should
be responsible for. And then sometimes he’d give the same task to two people, and so, I
mean, it was madness in there. So, no wonder he had turnover. So, the solution to
this was pretty simple. We gave everybody a job description. And we assigned a lead admin
who was the only person who was allowed to speak to the agent. He was only allowed to give
tasks to this one person. He was not allowed to
speak to the other agents, (laughs) or the other assistants. And by doing this, we
streamlined the workflow, we freed up the other admin’s time and the stress level in the
office dropped considerably. Now, I’m sure that nobody on this call has that kind of chaos
happening in their office but I tell the story
to just prove the point that if you’re not strategic
in your hiring process and you don’t slow down and
clarify roles with every hire, the process can get away
from you before you know it. Next, you need to make
sure that your lead admin, they know that they have your endorsement. And that everybody in the office knows that what they say goes,
they must have authority. If you disagree with them, you
disagree with them in private and do not undermine their decisions. Again, when you do this,
when you limit their power, and their authority,
you just bring yourself right back into the weeds and
the goals here is to move up and out with every hire. And then of course we
couldn’t finish this section without talking about compensation. I get calls from top
assistants far too often saying that their role
has evolved considerably, the company’s doing so much more business. And yet their compensation
plan has not kept up. And so, I want to encourage
you to pay attention to this. If you go, there’s a handout
that you should have, you should see it, I’m looking here to see if I have it as well. I can’t find it here but I will make sure it’s emailed to you if you don’t see it in your dashboard but I have
included two handouts for you and one of them is a resource guide. One of the resources on
there is our salary guide. We put this out every six months. And it’s a breakdown of
all of our placements and what their starting salaries
and bonus structures were. So, if you aren’t sure if you’re
paying a competitive rate, I highly recommend that
you download that resource. Okay, so, I want to hear from you. Find that chat box, everybody. What are some of the skills that you think an EA needs to master as
they make this transition from an administrator into a team manager? What do you think they need to master in order to succeed in their new role? So, in my opinion, these are the big, rock issues that come
up as an administrator makes this transition. It’s important to keep in
mind that executive assistants got where they are today
because they were really good at getting things done themselves. They’re not used to delegating. The buck stops with them
and now when they are given the opportunity to delegate
tasks to somebody else, they may be afraid to let go. Now this might familiar to some of you, when you hired your first assistant this was probably a challenge
that you had to overcome as well and so it’s important
that you pay attention to this and that you provide some coaching and guidance if you see
that your lead admin is having a hard time letting go of tasks that should no longer be on their plate. It’s also important to keep in mind that in general, administrators tend to be less confrontational
than real estate agents and therefore, holding
other people accountable, and having difficult conversations might be very uncomfortable for them. So, what I want to encourage you to do is if you see that your lead admin needs to have an
accountability conversation, or a difficult conversation
with someone else on the team, don’t step in and do it for them. But maybe role play the
situation with them. Let them practice what
they’re going to say so that they can get better
at having those conversations and they won’t need you in the future. And then, finally, again, the personality of an executive assistant is generally to have a careful, systematic,
decision-making style. And when you’re a manager
and you need to make lots of decisions quickly, they
may not make them fast enough. And so, this is another
area to pay attention to and to provide coaching and guidance. So now that your lead admin
and your admin team are working well, you can start to think
about hiring sales staff. And really one of the
biggest pitfalls I see with real estate teams is that
they hire agents too soon, or they hire too many too fast. So, I want to put up another poll. Let’s see, how do I do this? Let’s see, I’m going to put up a poll. How many sales agents do you
currently have on your team? How many sales agents are on your team? I want to encourage you to hire people with the same caution and strategy that you hire your administrative staff. And keep in mind that
if you want to attract quality sales agents, you need to prepare an environment for them
and offer them value. Alright, has everybody
entered their numbers? I’m going to close up the poll. Alright. And share the results. Awesome, alright, cool. And I said I was going
to bust two myths today and this is the second for those of you who have multiple sales agents, this will not come as a
surprise to you. (laughs) But buyers agents do not equal easy money. I talked to lots of agents
who have one assistant and they feel like they
have too many leads. And they’re ready to hire a buyers agent. And they seem to have this impression that they’ll just bring on a
commissioned-only sales agent, give them these buyer leads
that they don’t really want to deal with and make 50%,
it’ll be easy, no problem. And look, I don’t want to sound
like I’m putting buyers agents down, they definitely
have a valuable place within a real estate team
however they are not a cheap and easy way to pad your income. You need to expect to spend time, energy, and money into developing your sales team. These same agents who later
on hire a buyers agent call me surprised when their buyers agent isn’t as effective at
following up with leads, or converting leads at the
same rate that they do. And my response to them is, well, if they could do that, they
wouldn’t be working for you. They would be running their own team. So, again, your sales team
will require training, coaching, and accountability. And what you need to ask yourself
is are you ready for that? Do you want to spend
your time and resources developing other agents? And it’s a very valuable thing to do. I’m not suggesting that you not do it. I just ask that you go into it with a full awareness of what
your new responsibilities are. And again, this is why
maximizing your foundation first is so important, you can’t
teach what you haven’t mastered. And you can handle more
volume with fewer people if you’ve laid a strong foundation. So, the next thing, if you’ve decided, yes, of course, I do want buyers agents. The next thing you need to
consider is how much control do you want to have over your sales team? Do you want to control when,
where, and how they work? Do you want to insist that
they attend trainings? If so, you may not be able to pay them as an independent contractor,
you may be treating them as an employee, so if
you want the most control then one of your options is
to hire them as an employee. And either call them as
salaried showing assistant, or salaried buyers agent. I have agents who do this
and they tend to fall in one of two extremes. They’ll either hire their buyers agents at $15 an hour and have a
commission on top of that. Or they’ll pay them a very good salary, 50, 60, $70,000 a year, and
a small split on top of that. The way you structure your
buyers agent compensation if you’re going to pay them as an employee really depends on what your
goal is with that role. And if that’s something
you want to explore, we can definitely have a
conversation about that. But if paying your buyers agents on salary just doesn’t work for you, another option which still gives you a little control is simply to hire a new licensed agent, maybe start them off as
an inside sales agent, and then let them grow into
an independent contractor, commissioned-only sales agent. Under this scenario, you get
to train them and guide them, and that way they’ll do things
the way you want them done. And then of course there’s
the traditional method of just hiring a sales agent and paying them a split on commission. If you do this, you just need to be aware that you have very limited control over when, where, and how they work. This is becoming a bigger issue. There was a lawsuit, it was called Bararsani
v. Coldwell Banker. It was settled in January of 2018. This was in California and Coldwell Banker ended up paying $4.5 million
to settle this lawsuit. And basically, this lawsuit alleged that Coldwell Banker
exerted so much control over their agents that they
should have been classified as employees and not
independent contractors. And so, just be aware
that your active directing other agents could be
seen as you treating them as employees, not independent contractors. And the more control you exert, the more liability you expose yourself to. So I just want to encourage you to speak to an employment
attorney in your state, talk about your setup, and make sure that you’re not exposing yourself
to unnecessary liability. But even though we, this is a challenging issue to navigate. And you may not ever want
to hire your buyers agents (laughs) on salary, I completely get that. But you can use it as part
of your value proposition. Which is the next thing
we need to talk about which is why would an agent
want to work with you? And providing a financial stability could be part of your value proposition along with providing leads,
coaching and accountability, your brand, these are
all valuable components of your value proposition. However, I would argue
that there is something that is even more important
than anything listed here. And that simply is your culture. Your culture, the way you show up with your team and your clients matters. And the better job you do at
cultivating a strong culture, the more likely you are to
attract like-minded people and establish a sense of
community and identity that then helps you
maintain your standards. So, at this point, earlier in the webinar I said
that there was nothing else that was more important than
building a strong foundation. However, there is one
other piece to this puzzle that I think significantly impacts your ability to grow into
a top producing team. And this is simply your ability to grow from a sales agent into a team leader. And I hear often, often from clients, they’ll tell me, I’m
just not a good manager. I don’t want to manage,
can you find me somebody who could manage themselves because I don’t want to
do any of that stuff. And my feeling about this
is that that’s a cop-out. When you started in real estate, you practiced scripts and dialogs. You role played objections,
you mastered your listing presentation and today you
have significantly more skills than you did when you
started in the business. And now you’re at a new
phase of your career, with a new set of skills
that you need to master. So, I want you to think about it. What are the skills
that you need to master to grow from being a sales agent into an effective team leader? For me, these are the things
that I see some agents struggle with, that cause
strife and issue in their teams. And for the teams that
really are effective, these are the things that the
team leaders have mastered. So, they’re teachers, or
coaches, they’re mentors. They’re effective delegators,
they make decisions. And they are culture keepers. So, are these responsibilities, are these skills that you want to master? And what challenges do you
think you’re going to face as you’re forced to flex these new skills? The teams I see with massive turnover, with strife, and stress, are the ones where the team leader hasn’t
accepted responsibility for their new role as the teacher, coach, and mentor for their team. And so, I want you to think about where are you going to get
the training and support that you need in order
to master these skills so that you can reach your
full potential with your team. Alright, so we’ve covered
a lot of ground today. And I’m curious, where
do you think you are on this growth pyramid? Share in the comments,
do you feel like you need to work on your foundation? Are you working on your admin support? Your sales support or
your leadership skills? Where are you in your business today? And finally, I just
want to thank everybody for joining me today and participating. Pro REA Staffing helps
real estate teams grow from their very first hire all the way up to mega-team status. I’ve included our flyer
in the handout section. And I want to invite you to
schedule a free consultation with me or my business
development manager, Sara. To discus your growth strategy in 2019. Our mission and the
thing that we love to do more than anything else
is to take an agent, walk them, hold them by the hand, and walk them through this hiring process so that they can reach their goals and do it with as little stress and a little less headache as possible. We’re here to support you at
every phase of your growth and we really look forward
to working with you when you’re ready to make your next hire. So, thank you, everybody. I’ll open it up for questions and again, please reach out if we can
help you with your next hire.

One thought on “Team Building 102 How to Grow Your Real Estate Team Beyond Your First Hire

  1. Keep Up The Great Content. I Liked It & Hope The Video (Your Message) Keeps Growing.

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