If you are a real estate agent who has been in business for a while, you may be contemplating hiring a team or growing your agency.
Although it’s hard to give up control of your business, hiring other team members is beneficial.
Not only can you share leads, but it allows you to collaborate on complex situations and each team member can specialize in their area of expertise.
You can better serve clients, and get more done.
So the big question is, where do you begin building a real estate team?
Forming your real estate team structure
Before you hire any team members, you’ll want to ask yourself some key questions:
- What are my goals?
- How will it benefit me?
- What do I hope to accomplish?
- Who do I need to hire?
- What is my budget?
- How will I manage my team?
Here are a few tips to start building a successful real estate team and take your solo operation to a larger business.
1. Setting goals
The first step is to determine your expectations and goals.
This will help you form your overall objectives and a purpose for your new team. Plus, formulating clear goals will help create an easy structure for paying your new team members.
Ask yourself what your business has to gain by adding more team members, and what you hope to achieve through hiring.
Remember to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.)
Some SMART goals might be:
- To increase referrals by 10 percent by the fourth quarter of this year
- Close 20 percent more transactions each month of this year
- Build marketing efforts by sharing four blog articles monthly via social media
Your goals might also address your current challenges, which real estate agents can face once they get too busy. These goals might be:
- Respond to listing emails with 2-3 hours
- Schedule showings within 48 hours of initial outreach
- Add 2 new clients each month
2. Determining who to hire
After you formulate your goals, the next step is deciding on the real estate team roles you’ll need to fill. Specifically:
- How many people do you need in order to meet your goals?
- Who should you hire first?
Here is a list of eight roles to consider, along with a suggested order for hiring.
A personal assistant or virtual assistant
The first person to hire when building a real estate team should be an admin. This person can take the administrative duties off your plate so you can focus on client relations and selling.
This person could work from home, in your office, or remotely as a virtual assistant. What can they help with?
- Responding to emails and phone calls
- Scheduling showings and booking meetings
- Preparing documents
- Ordering supplies
- Updating listings
As you can see, the value of an assistant is huge for building your real estate team. Think of all the time you can free up for getting coffee with clients or showing houses when these tasks are off your plate.
Since buyers generally need more hands-on support than sellers, you should consider a buyer specialist when forming a real estate team.
This person can handle duties such as:
- Setting up a lender
- Managing negotiations
- Hosting walkthrough
Manage real estate teams and VAs
Time tracking, GPS location, and much more
Similar to a buyer specialist, this team member can generate leads, manage existing leads, attend listing presentations, and track listing progress.
A transaction coordinator can be another valuable addition when building a real estate team because they manage all tasks and paperwork involved in a transaction.
It’s time-consuming to prepare documents, process these documents, and load these into a multiple listing service (MLS), so an additional set of hands can only benefit you.
Marketing is vital to get your name out to new prospects and a marketing director can help you do this.
This person can oversee all communications like social media posting, running your blog, and reaching out to media on your behalf.
With how competitive markets can be, there’s never been a more crucial time to have a marketing presence as a real estate agency.
Another important real estate team role is a listing coordinator.
This person will work alongside the listing specialist to load listings into the MLS, promote listings, handle paperwork, and more. This person might take on more responsibilities than the listing specialist.
While it’s great to build client relationships and drive new business, you can not be at all listings at once.
Hiring a showing assistant who can be present at these showings besides you is crucial.
Make sure this person has trained with you so they know your preferred style and how you treat clients.
The larger your team becomes, the harder it may be to manage everything.
One of the ways to alleviate this issue is by hiring a sales manager when forming a real estate team. This person can oversee the productivity of the entire team, and make sure your goals are being carried out successfully.
Unlike other roles, this person doesn’t need to have real estate-specific experience. You may find someone who has worked as an office or sales manager in another industry, widening your options for hiring.
Easily pay your real estate team
Automated payments based on hours worked
3. Establish your real estate team compensation strategy
After you’ve determined who to hire, you’ll want to know how much of your budget will go toward these employee salaries.
In order to figure this out, you need to look at two real estate team models. These include the employee model and the independent contractor model.
If you want your new hires to work set hours, follow your direction for the team, attend recurring meetings at set times, and hold open houses, then they are considered your employees.
As a result, you must withhold income tax, state taxes, social security, and report all earnings to the IRS. There may be additional responsibilities like healthcare, auto insurance, and providing office space.
Independent contractors work when they want to work. Plus, they provide their own equipment and workspace. If you are structuring for contractors, you may pay them hourly or on a monthly retainer versus a yearly salary.
Some roles are better suited for contractors or employees, so be sure to consider what your requirements are before posting your job listning.
For more information on real estate salaries, go to Glassdoor, type in the title you are hiring, and click to see estimated annual salaries.
This should give you a good starting point for compensation.
Managing your real estate team
Once your team is in place, you’ll need to manage your new hires to optimize your success.
There are two great ways to do this: time tracking software and GPS tracking.
1. Time management software
Time tracking software is a great way to manage your real estate team compensation. Using software like Hubstaff, you can have each employee log in and track their time for the day. Then, you can set up payments so that each employee or contractor gets paid accurately and directly.
2. GPS tracking
A GPS tracking app is another tool that lets you track the movements of your team. You can see what houses they are showing and when. Plus, if you use the independent contractor model, this will show you how often and when your team members are working. This will better determine their compensation.
Don’t wait to start growing your team
Building a real estate team can be a great way to show more houses in less time.
Plus, it can benefit your clients with more one-on-one attention.
If you’re feeling the pressure to work more just to meet client demands, now is a great time to invest in a team. It will be money well spent if you want to take your business to the next level.