There’s a reason that superheroes tend to team up to fight the villains: It’s easier and more effective to take on big goals together than to go at it alone. If you have a real estate business and are starting to find yourself overrun with leads and administrative tasks, it’s time to bring people aboard.
Of course, hiring your own real estate team requires more than simply picking people off the street and sending them out to close deals. You have to be smart about how you build out your business.
These are the five simple steps you need to take to surround yourself with a quality, qualified, prepared, and poised team:
1Assess Your Business’s Needs
Going it alone does have its benefits. For one, you don’t have to split the resulting profits with anyone else. Hiring a team only becomes necessary, and profitable, when you have more work than you can handle.
Once you start taking on employees, your pie will need to get bigger as more people start taking slices. In addition, your administrative needs and backend issues will skyrocket. Employees cost way more than their own salary.
So, make sure you understand where your business is and where you want it to go. Create revenue goals and benchmarks, and then figure out how many people you’ll need to bring on to reach them. Make sure you include needed upgrades and investments in order to keep pace with your new workflow.
Oftentimes this means writing an all-new business plan.
Pertinent team systems in the real estate space include: CRMs; marketing and advertising tools; database and referral systems; listing and farming systems, social media marketing, and financial and productivity forecasts.
2Create the Administrative Base First
As you may know, hiring employees isn’t like picking up hitchhikers. You need to onboard them properly and ensure you have smooth operations in place, so they can seamlessly join the fray.
It’s why we recommend hiring administrative assistants first. They can help you get your work organized and build out the onboarding process for future agents. If you want to take a slower step, you can invest in virtual staffing, which can be a more affordable option. Or you can arm yourself (or your hired help) with tools like online payroll providers and communications platforms to ease the load.
3Decide on Your Compensation Model
The structure of your team should have been decided back in Step 1, but it bears repeating that agents will want to understand your compensation model before they sign on.
If you want your agents to work specific hours, follow your directives, attend meetings at certain times, or have other requirements, you likely need to have an employee model, which involves withholding taxes and IRS reporting.
If you’re okay with letting your agents work however they want, you can make them independent contractors. Just be aware of how this will affect your “team” mindset and ethos.
4Identify Who You Need to Hire and When
As discussed above, you need to build out your administrative base before you start hiring people. Once you do that, quality teams are usually built in this order:
The first hire should be a transaction coordinator, who can handle all of the busy work like verifying signatures, filling out forms, and following up with the escrow company.
Next is a buyer’s agent. As setting up listings gets easier and easier, the bulk of your lifting will be done by a buyer’s agent, who spends hours researching and showing properties.
A licensed assistant is next: They should be a licensed agent who takes most of your day-to-day operations off your plate. This is also called an inside sales agent.
Finally, find a quality listing specialist who understands digital marketing and how to best generate leads.
5Understand Your New Role
If you’ve done all these steps correctly and taken the steps needed to hire a quality team, you’ll be stepping into a new role as the leader of a real estate team. Your responsibilities will be markedly different at this point, and you’ll have to decide how to move forward.
Will you be a “gopher” type of leader (“go for this, go for that”) or a delegator who trusts your new hires? Will you invest in your own communication and empathy skills to get the most out of your team? Will you be able to have important, in-person meetings when necessary, or lean heavily on digital platforms?
You hired a real estate team because you understand the business and want to bring your operations to the next level. That requires not only hiring people to do what you’ve been doing, but learning your own place in this new hierarchy.
This post was written by David Waring, co-founder and publisher of Fit Small Business, a rapidly growing website that reaches over 800,000 small business readers a month.
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