13 posts categorized "Real Estate Team Building " Feed

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How to Build a Profitable Real Estate Team

Building a successful and profitable team is truly an art as well as a science. 

The first two agent team building principles are hiring talented individuals for your key staff positions and implementing effective business and real estate systems.

WBNL Coaching TeamBuildingjpg


Team Building Principle #1: Hire Talented People to Key Positions

Your first key player is a solid administrative assistant/transaction coordinator.  Hiring an assistant is actually first priority if you don’t already have one.  A general rule of thumb is that you are ready for an assistant when you are consistently closing 2-3 transactions each month.

Here are some documents to get you started in the process of hiring an assistant:

Team Manager – A Critical Factor

The key to building a successful, productive and enduring team is having an effective Team Manager.  The Team Leader who recognizes this basic concept will enjoy the benefits of more time, more income, less stress and the creation of a business asset that incorporates an exit strategy (the brokerage within the brokerage model).

The duties and responsibilities of the Team Manager include:

  • Set up and implementation of all team building systems that generate additional leads and income for the team
  • Recruiting team associates
  • Training and retaining team associates
  • Holding the team associates accountable to goals and production standards

Don’t hire team associates (buyers agents) until you are ready! 

And ready means (1) you have an administrative assistant or transaction coordinator and ideally also a Team Manager and (2) you have your established systems in place.  You must have your house in order before hiring agents to join your team!

Team Building Principle #2:  Implement Effective Systems

The following business and real estate systems are essential to creating a productive, profitable and successful team:

  • Business Basics, Incorporating and Financial Essentials
  • Team Vision, Mission and Core Values
  • Team Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
  • Team Organizational Chart
  • Team Business Plan & Goal Setting
  • Team Building Basics
  • Team SOI/Referral System
  • Team Listing System
  • Team Farming System
  • Lead Generation & Follow-up Systems
  • Recruiting / Affiliation System
  • Exit Strategy

Systems + Staff = Success & Sanity!

Recommended Reading:


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Create a Powerful Referral System with these 7 Action Steps

SOI/ Past Client Referral System

There are 3 basic reasons why many agents fail to conquer the most important real estate system to implement – your Sphere of Influence (SOI) and Past Client Referral System.

  1. They never decide on a contact management or software solution.
  2. If they have a solution, they don’t enter the contacts, sort and categorize them.
  3. They over-analyze or never decide what to do or send out each month – thus, ultimately doing nothing for months on end.

So, let’s break it down step-by-step, get this critical system in place and generating business and referrals immediately.  The key to implementing this system is to commit to the process and set a deadline to complete each action step, one at a time. 


Action Step 1 - Create your list of past clients and sphere of influence.  If you have started a list or have it scattered in 2 or 3 places (MLS client, Outlook, other email program, scraps of paper, transaction folders, etc) get it all together in one place.  Make sure you have all the vital information on your contacts – names, address, emails, phone numbers, social media.  

Set deadline for completion: __________

Action Step 2 - Decide on a contact management /real estate transaction system.  You can choose a program like Outlook to get started and always upgrade to a more comprehensive, real estate-specific program.  The important thing is to choose something and just get started!  When researching and deciding on the right Customer Relationship Management software for you… consider these features to compare…

  • Accessibility (Mobile access, cloud-based, desktop)
  • Ease of use
  • Price (One time cost vs. monthly subscription)
  • Import/Export capability
  • Auto drip email campaigns
  • Action plans
  • Transaction management
  • Listing management
  • Contact/Client management 

REST – Real Estate Success Tracker  (www.GetRESTnow.com )  ($399 for single user license)

Highly recommended. Easy to use, more intuitive, not as complicated as many programs. 
Single and multi-user options available.  You install REST on your desktop/laptop but you can also remotely access from your PDA or another computer.

REST_Assured, hosted option for $34.98/mth

Top Producer, http://www/topproducer.com ($ 39.95/mth). Top Producer is a comprehensive cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and real estate transaction management system.  Multiple related products integrate with the CRM module (MArket Snapshot, Websites, IDX, Connector for MLS)

Realty Juggler  http://www.realtyjuggler.com   ($99/yr   Free 90 day trial) Cloud-based CRM, mobile access, real estate flyers, activity/task plans, print labels, letters, drip emails, track production, team support 

Wise Agent http://wiseagent.com  ($24.95/mth  Free  30 day Trial ) Cloud-based CRM with contact manager, transaction manager, doc storage, email drip campaigns, flyers, newsletter, letters, property lists, to do lists, text and email alerts

Other CRM solutions

Real Estate Website – Your Back Office of your real estate website solution may have a CRM component

Email newsletters and email list management options:

 Research the solutions and make a decision.  Set deadline for purchase, installation and familiarization/training: _____________


Action Step 3 - Input all contact information into selected program.  Set aside a few hours and get this task done!  If you aren’t going to get to this task any time soon - hire someone to get this job done for you.  Computer-savvy people (teenagers, family members, your colleagues’ family members, agents in your office, local high school or community college students) are everywhere – find someone and hire them for this project. 

Set your deadline: ________________


Action Step 4 - Sort and categorize your database.  Optimally, complete this step simultaneously with the data entry of Step 3.  I recommend using the technique taught by Brian Buffini to sort your database:

  • A+ Multiple transactions or multiple referrals
  • A Referred at least one client
  • B Haven’t referred yet – probably will when you remind them/show them how
  • C You know them/just met them – haven’t sold them a home yet
  • D Delete - Not going to mail to them

You can also group your database by other specific categories or contact types (sellers, buyers, farm, past clients, newsletter, prospects, vendors, investors, short sale prospects, etc).


Action Step 5 - Create an Introduction or Reconnect letter with a deadline to mail out.

  • The letter should outline what the recipient can expect from this point forward; what services you provide; your client appreciation program; local market updates; annual market analysis of their property; business-to-business resources to name some possibilities.
  • If you are a New Agent, ask your broker for an endorsement letter from your Broker – company.  The concept here is the SOI member knows that the agent is new and may not have a high level of confidence in their ability or experience yet.   The letter reassures the potential client that not only do you get the agent but a team of professionals and support staff.
  • For those of you who have not done a great job staying in regular contact with your database, write a “reconnect” letter. 

Bonus Action Step:

Make a follow-up phone call after you send the letter or email. This one extra step will help you immediately sort your database and the major side benefit…you will more than likely generate business either directly or by referral from the activity of all the calls you make.

Make sure to cover these points on the call:

  • Ask them how they prefer to be contacted and updated (email, mail, texting, call)
  • Verify you have their preferred email and accurate contact info (use the Client Information Form)
  • Always ask for a referral!  “Who is the next person you know (or.. Who do you know…)  who is interested in investing in real estate?  Considering selling their home or buying anew home?

Set deadline for completion: __________


Action Step 6 - Decide on what you are going to mail or email each month.  This is the step many agents get stuck on.  They can’t decide on what to send or procrastinate about it or waste time creating their own newsletter or mailout.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.  Just pick one and do it.  You can always modify and refine later.

We recommend 30-40 connections annually.  A connection could be a call, email, mailer, text or face-to-face meeting.  Here is a sample connection plan:12 monthly newsletters

  • 12 monthly newsletters
  • 4 phone calls (call A+, A, and B contacts at least quarterly)
  • 4 personal notes (After these phone calls for sure.  And any other opportunity like when you receive a referral.)
  • 4 success mailers (quarterly just listed/just sold mailer)
  • 8 Holiday postcards, emails or flyers
  • 6-8 Seasonal postcards, emails or flyers (Time change, home maintenance, market reports)
  • Four Key Connects to include:
    • Settlement Statement (send first week of January for all closings from previous year)
    • Anniversary card, email, or call
    • Birthday card, email ,call or text
    • Annual Market Analysis
  • Current Market Data
    • Local or State REALTOR Association
      GLVAR has a Consumer Newsletter
      CAR has Client Direct – online newsletter
    • Most local Title Companies provide excellent market condition reports.  This is the information people are most interested in – what is happening in your local market.  Be the provider of that information!
    • Altos Research  http://www.altosresearch.com
    • Market Snapshot  http://www.topproducer.com/products/market-snapshot.aspx


Action Step 7Systemize it!  This is the final step and a key to the overall success of the system.  It simply means deciding on a day or week of the month that you will actually prepare and send out your monthly mailer or email.  Schedule it.  Place it on a visible calendar and make it happen.  Hire someone to get this task complete for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.


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Creating a Saleable Asset & Designing Your Real Estate Career Exit Strategy

The primary focus of much of the coaching I conduct with real estate agents is how to set-up, operate and ultimately exit from their successful real estate business.  In this multi-part series I want to discuss some of the key points and strategies for making that happen.  In my experience as a broker-manager and coach for the last 16 years, it amazes me how many top-producing agents are unbelievable rainmakers and not always the best at managing their finances or their team, setting up and utilizing effective systems and running the business like a business.

As an industry, training is primarily focused on basic sales skills, prospecting and how to generate and convert those leads or build referral business.  Of course, all these skills are critical to a successful real estate career.  In my opinion, what's missing is effective training and coaching on the basic and advanced business and financial structure and systems that any successful business uses on a daily basis. 

Here are the main areas of consideration for designing your exit strategy:

  • Determining the value of your real estate business
  • The Essential Real Estate Business Systems
  • Real Estate Team Building Systems - an overview
  • Establishing metrics to measure your business health
  • Exit Strategy - from training your replacement to buyout considerations

In this article, let's cover the factors in determining the value of your real estate business.

Without a strategic action plan and clear exit strategy, an agent desiring to leave the real estate business generally has this as an option:  Find another agent to takeover their client database and give them a referral on any business generated.  Some agents have negotiated a "purchase price" for their database.  But here's the issue - how do you determine the value of your database?  Does the agent who's "taking over your business" have the rapport and relationship with your database?  Later in this series I'll share some ideas for finding and training your replacement as an exit strategy which if leveraged with other strategies can result in a much higher purchase price or residual income agreement.

Here are some considerations to help determine the value of your real estate business:

  • The quality and size of your database. 

    What kind of historical data do you have on your clients?  Is it more than just their names, addresses, phone numbers and email? 

    Do you know....
  • Favorite Restaurants?
  • Favorite free time activities?
  • Children's favorite activities?
  • Children's schools/grade levels/ages?
  • Where did they move from?
  • Do they have plans to relocate to another city in the future?
  • Place of worship?
  • Favorite charities?
  • Investment wants?
  • On-going information requests?
  • Where they like to shop for clothes and food?
  • Their passions? Hobbies?
  • Where they vacation?
  • Marital status?
  • Place of employment?
  • What software program do you use to maintain your database?

    A better question may be...Do you use a system to maintain your database?  And if the answer is no, then this is a critical first step to handle ASAP.  Stop procrastinating already!  Make a decision on the software and/or system and hire someone to get all the contact data loaded.

    Read my post:  7 Action Steps to Creating Your SOI/Past Client Referral System for some guidance and suggestions on software programs and implementing your SOI system.
  • Have you categorized and sorted your client database? 
    I recommend the Brian Buffini system for maintaining and building referrals.  This is the category description from Buffini:

    A+    Have given you multiple referrals and you love working with them
    A      Have given you a referral and you want to receive more referrals from them
    B      People who would refer you, if they were asked and shown how
    C      People who might refer to you in the future
    D      People to be deleted from your database

  • Do you have lead generation systems in place that can easily be transferred and taught to a replacement?
  • Have you implemented effective and duplicatable real estate systems?  Listings, Buyers, Escrows, Lead Generation & tracking, Business Plan, Personal Branding & Promotion, Advertising & Marketing, Referrals

  • Do you know your numbers? Can you clearly show your track record for production currently and in the past to include income, expenses, sources of transactions, return on various marketing venues and target markets? 

  •  Do you have a real estate team in place? Do you know what the team members contribute to your bottom line?Do you have accountability systems and production tracking set-up?

How to Design Your Exit Strategy

On my Active Rain Blog, I started a series of posts on how to Create a Saleable Asset and Design Your Exit Strategy. 

Here's what I will be covering in this series:

  • Determining the value of your real estate business
  • The Essential Real Estate Business Systems
  • Real Estate Team Building Systems - an overview
  • Establishing metrics to measure your business health
  • Exit Strategy - from training your replacement to buyout considerations

Visit this first post for some ideas on how to determine the value of your real estate business.


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Your basic, FREE membership includes:

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Review of Group Coaching Sessions 1 & 2

Here's an update on Our Group Coaching Session & Discussion Forum series.  In our first session, we covered Keys to Success in Team Building, the components of a successful business, and business & financial basics.  Outlined below are the key points on business & financial basics.  See the specific blog posts for details on team building theory and components of a successful business.  I am currently editing the audio of the second session on Real Estate Systems and starting a series of blog posts this week to cover each system individually.

  • The five successful components of any business
    1. Know Your Desired Outcome
    2. Measure & Track Your Results 
    3. Take Action
    4. Operate from a Physiology and Psychology of Excellence
    5. Ask for Help
  • Business & Financial Essentials
    • Establish yourself as a corporate entity (including your license)
    • Begin establishing routine financials (Profit & Loss; Balance Sheet)
    • Utilize a recognized software package (Quickbooks, Peachtree, etc.)
    • Utilize a financial consultant (CPA preferred)
    • Establish a separate business banking account and credit card
    • Create a dashboard of metrics measuring your operations health

In the second group coaching held on April 23rd, we had an excellent small group breakout session on 4 of the key systems:  SOI/Past Clients; Farming; Listings; Buyers.  Download GroupNotes4_23_07.doc  for the best ideas from the discussion groups.

Team Building Systems Overview

Over the next several weeks, I will be completing a series of posts on how to establish effective team building and real estate systems.  The focus will be on how to first implement the system for your personal business. This information will benefit all real estate agents whether you are or plan on building a team.  I will also discuss how to create a team version of each system.  One of the keys to success in building a team is to have easily, duplicatable real estate systems that your team associates can simply plug in to - plug 'n' play - don't reinvent the wheel. 

Here are the major systems we will be focusing on (one by one) over the next several weeks:

  1. Business Systems Assessment & Financial Essentials
  2. Team Vision, Mission, Values & UVP
  3. Team Branding, Marketing & Promotion
  4. Team Organizational Chart 
  5. Team Building Admin Basics
  6. Team SOI/Referral System
  7. Team Listing System
  8. Team Buyer & Escrow System
  9. Team Farming System
  10. Team Business Plan & Goal Setting
  11. Lead Generation & Follow-up Systems
  12. Recruiting/Affiliation System

Top 10 Real Estate Team Leader Best Practices

  1. Mindset Adjustment – You Are Your Team!
  2. Hire and retain a compatible, qualified Team Manager (TM) or be prepared to be the TM
  3. Hire talented office support staff and delegate effectively
  4. Use clear, concise Team Associate & Manager Contracts
    * Commission structure
    * Separation policy
    * Expectations
  5. Implement team policies and procedures (create a written operations manual for your team)
  6. Implement effective team building systems
  7. Communicate regularly with your team members (Scheduled team meetings)
  8. Attend office sales meetings to stay up-to-date with office, company policies, events and market conditions
  9. Review all contracts and paperwork for sales and listings
  10. Continually Educate Yourself and Your Team
    * Office and company training programs
    * Team training
    * Leadership training
    * Broker Training Courses
    * Obtain the Risk Reduction Graduate (RRG) designation

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The 5 C's of Team Success (RISMedia article review)

I enjoyed this article by Paul Rutter from RISMedia today entitled, "The 5 C's of Team Success.".  The article adresses teamwork from the perspective of a company and how the management team can build a winning team using the 5 C's.  Of course, these principles apply to building success with your team - your own brokerage within a brokerage.

  1. Build COMMUNITY - This starts with the leadership team always.  A new member to the team/company must feel welcomed and feel a part of the group immediately.  Do you have a system of welcoming and acknowledging a new team member?  Some ideas:  a welcome card mailed to their home: get their bio and background and publish it in your next meeting agenda: introduce them at a sales meeting.  Assign a transition buddy to help with questions and orientation to the office.  Conduct a formal branch/team orientation.
  2. Encourage COOPERATION - Do you have common goals for the team/office and is everyone aware of them?  Do you encourage participation in meetings?  How about asking a team member to run the next team meeting or conduct a training class?  Do you have a feedback mechanism in place - suggestion box, advisory board, forum?
  3. Support COORDINATION - Ensure everyone is clear about expectations, job performance and specific roles and responsibilities.  What are your methods of communication?  Team/sales meetings, email, website/blog/intranet, written documents?
  4. Promote COMMUNICATION - Clear, open, two-way communication is vital to any realtionship and organization.
  5. Offer continuous COACHING - Everyone benefits from ongoing coaching and training.  It's more than accountability - it's a way to relate to your team members and show how much you care about and support their individual success.

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Revised dates for “Building Your Own Brokerage” Group Coaching

Adjustments to the schedule for April and May.  Please note:

Monday, 16 April 2007 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm (How to Implement Effective Team Systems) has been rescheduled to Monday, 23 April 2007 at Equity Title from 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Monday, 14 May 2007 (Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining the Right Team Members) has been rescheduled to Monday, 7 May 2007 at Equity Title from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

“Building Your Own Brokerage”
Group Coaching, Training and Networking Sessions
for Team Leaders and Team Managers

Coach/Facilitator: Jan O’Brien

Location: Equity Title Training Center
(4035 S. Tenaya Way - 2nd driveway north of Flamingo, behind Equity’s main building)
www.JanOBrien.com (Real Estate Coach Blog)

Register online www.CareerRealty.com or
RSVP to Strategic Growth Division at 318-4043 to reserve your seat.