The Beatles, Batman and Robin, Penn and Teller — when teams form with perfect synergy, they’re able to succeed well beyond the sum of their parts. In real estate, the right team can help dramatically grow your business. With his team, Nick Libert, Broker/Owner of EXIT Realty Strategy with offices in Chicago, Illinois, Hammond, Indiana and New Buffalo, Michigan, has excelled in growing his business, while freeing up his time to travel and engage in charitable work. Here, he shares his advice on the art of team building.

When is the right time to start a team?

The question you must ask yourself is whether time is the only limiting factor holding back your business. Starting a team is going to cost you money, so the decision needs to be driven by necessity. If you were to buckle down, refine your work ethic, and really give it 100%, could you do two hours of lead generation on top of everything else that needs to be done in the day? If the answer’s no because you’re already maxed out, it may be time to consider forming a team.

With whom should you work?

Avoid duplicating yourself, instead, analyze where you fall short and find someone whose strengths supplement your weaknesses. Next, establish the appropriate team dynamic based on your situation. There are two different team dynamics: a partnership and a rainmaker. In a partnership you have two people of similar calibre contributing equally to the business. Partnerships can be effective for two people who are part-time or otherwise need support. A team led by a rainmaker, on the other hand, is asymmetrical where one person is the dominant force for generating leads but doesn’t have the time to service everyone. If you’re the rainmaker, you’ll have to decide whether you want to work with someone licensed or not. The advantage of having a licensed teammate is that they can assist with activities such as showing properties, writing and negotiating contracts, holding open houses and attending closings. In addition, typically a licensed team member is paid commission on the transaction rather than receiving a salary, so there’s zero overhead for you between closings compared to a salaried, unlicensed assistant.

Put everything in writing

It’s imperative that you do this from the start. Clearly define responsibilities, expectations, pay structure, the division of marketing expenses and what happens in the event someone wants to leave the team. You should also be upfront with the branding for your team, whether it’s personality centered with one partner’s face upfront, or business centered with a professional team name. Being transparent in writing helps mitigate against uncertainty and misinterpretations.  As with any branding, ensure you adhere to your rules and regulations of your licensing authority.

Communicate regularly

Your teammates should never be kept in the dark. Schedule weekly meetings to review numbers, transactions, leads, and issues so that everyone’s informed and accountable. It helps to create a shared inbox and calendar so that everyone can tightly coordinate their efforts. Beyond internal communications, it’s also critical that you’re engaging regularly with clients as a team, especially as the team leader. Introduce your teammates immediately, and regularly engage in three-way calls and group emails so that the client is aware of the dynamic. It can be tempting to be the absentee team leader as you get busy, however doing so can give clients the impression that you’ve handed them off to someone else and can ultimately cost you business.

By strategically leveraging systems and people, you can accelerate your business and accomplish everything you need to without 80-hour workweeks. When teams form with the right combination of aptitude and expertise, there can be no stopping them.



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