6 Questions Agents Can Ask Themselves Before Starting a Team
Have you considered starting your own real estate team?
Real estate teams are continuing to become more and more popular, as more than a quarter of agents1 are now members of a team.
But just because something is growing in popularity doesn’t mean you should automatically jump on the bandwagon and start formulating how you’re going to start your own team.
Creating your own team is just like anything else — it’s important to do some research, run the numbers and self-evaluate before deciding whether it’s the right choice for you.
Here are six questions to consider before embarking on becoming the leader of your own real estate team.
1. Have I experienced sustained success?
One of the many reasons agents might consider starting their own team is because their business is growing quickly, making it challenging to handle everything on their own.
Any task in their real estate business that must be done, but is hard to get to, could lead them to contemplate forming a team. It could be the overload of administrative tasks, juggling several listings at once or working with multiple prospective buyers at the same time.
There are several options agents can consider before creating a team: hiring a personal assistant, finding the right software or service that can help build efficiencies, or even cutting back.
But if building a growing business is your goal, slowing down likely isn’t an option.
If your business has steadily increased year over year and you project similar growth in the future, you may have already concluded it’s too much to handle. But you may want to make sure that’s the case as you look ahead.
It also makes sense to pinpoint exactly what you want as a real estate professional, whether that’s to keep growing or to realize you’re content with where you are and would rather keep doing everything on your own.
There are no wrong answers and everyone’s different, but with an honest assessment of your goals and your current business model, you’ll likely be better prepared to consider starting a team.
2. Is my client base well established and my marketing well executed?
Referrals remain the biggest source of leads in the real estate business, with 63% of sellers2 saying they found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative, or used an agent they had worked with previously. It makes sense that your previous clients may follow you whatever you do, including forming your own real estate team. The more happy clients you’ve served, the easier it will likely be to start off on your new endeavor with a solid base of business.
The same goes for marketing. You may be a marketing whiz who built your personal brand from the ground up, which means you’ll likely be ready to do the same for your team. If marketing isn’t one of your strong suits, that may be an area you want to enhance when considering team members.
3. Do I have the business acumen?
If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re considering beginning a team, chances are you’ve proven yourself to be an adept communicator, marketer and businessperson.
And while running your own team may bea feather in your cap, adding a few people to the fold — under your leadership — can also bring new challenges in your role as team lead.
From managing commission splits and work schedules to hiring and firing — not to mention maintaining or even upping or rebranding your marketing — you’ll likely have more on your plate as a team leader.
Running a team is obviously a little bit different business-wise than doing your own thing as a single agent. You might feel energized by the challenge, but are you prepared? Creating a detailed business plan can help you define the composition of your team and who is responsible for what.
4. Am I well-versed in all aspects of the industry?
It could help with your decision to consider where you’ve been the most successful in your career as an agent – has it been mostly as a buyer’s agent or as a listing agent? Did you spend time at a large brokerage being mentored and learning the ropes?
There’s more to a real estate agent’s job than the important goals of connecting with people, marketing listings and selling homes. As with any job in any industry, there are many factors that go into creating sustained success.
It may not be imperative for team leaders to understand every nuance of every part of the business and what goes on every minute of every day – especially with tasks that aren’t your top priority – but it is likely important to have a high-level understanding of the work going on.
5. Who do I hire?
Once you decide to start a team, it goes without saying that choosing the right people to join your team and giving thought to the team structure is critical.
So where might you begin? It may not be where you first assume.
The first instinct of a new team leader may be to go out and hire listing agents. Getting and selling listings is how you make money, right?
But consider who’s managing your team’s listings, fielding showing request calls, scheduling appointments and handling transaction paperwork. It might be an administrator, which can be a very important hire. It might make sense to start your hiring by finding a fit for that role, then bringing on agents. Finding the right mix can help you ensure that new leads don’t fall through the cracks.
Hiring based on skills and experience is just the start; you also may have to hire a team that works well together, will take direction, can offer ideas and is interested in growing together as the business grows.
Your due diligence could include asking colleagues for referrals on administrative staff, along with referrals on agents they know who might be looking to join a team.
6. Am I fit and ready to lead?
Not all of us are natural-born leaders. Some may enjoy being out in front and the center of attention; others may prefer to do their work more in the background.
For agents considering starting their own team, chances are they’ve identified the leadership skills they already have, and the skills they want to further develop. Many of us have observed good leaders, and understand that leaders know how to relate to people, set goals and make sure everyone is empowered and contributing.
If you’re looking for tools that can help your real estate team succeed, consider the broad mix of ShowingTime+ products and services that may help ease your workload, save you time and enhance your business.
1 26% of respondents to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® indicated they are members of a team.
2 National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers