Is the Goal is to Have a Big Team?

“My goal is to have a big team”. I actually had a Realtor say exactly that to me. Why? Is there some special reason someone, who wasn’t deranged, would have the goal of having a big overhead and loads of people to manage and be responsible for and to? Is it possible that a sane and rational person would ever have such a goal? The answer is, yes, if they are stupid enough. He was, too. One of the lowest responsibility, most intellectually lazy people I’ve ever known. He later, as part of his program to build a large team opened his own office and after being open for business about 90 days sent me an email asking the name of a good book on how to recruit agents. He discovered that agents weren’t lining up to come to work for his little shoestring operation and then thought he might want to learn a little about that. If it wasn’t too much trouble, of course. He never did. He then shut that down and went back to being an agent with someone to help him with buyers. He is still working on “having a big team”.

Please understand I am not against someone (say for example, me) having a large team. No no. It is just that isn’t the goal. No good reason for anyone to have that for a goal.

The goal is (or at least should be) something along the lines of I want more money after all expenses and I want more free time. Having a team (other personal) teamworkcan help to make that possible. Most real estate “teams” are
not teams at all. More a group of people all sort of working together in the same building. They may have a helpful attitude towards each other and be quite happy when they see each other but that doesn’t make them a team. I get asked often by other agents who “have a team if my buyer agents are allowed to list property (no, never) or if my listers are allowed to work a buyer (almost never). They are usually surprised, as their “team members” do everything. Some even have administrative people who also “sell a little”. In sports, each of the team members has a specific position they play. If they are a good team they aren’t all just “out there on the field together”. Each one is doing an exact thing. Even when in business, a workable definition for team would be something like, “People working together in a committed way to achieve a common goal or mission. The work is interdependent and team members share responsibility and hold themselves accountable for attaining the results.”

If you are good at lead generation, really really good – you will want to learn the steps necessary to build a team. There is quite a bit to learn but it is totally worth it, as you can give those customers to other people to handle (who are quite good at handling a customer, just not that good at getting them). If you are not good at lead generation you have no business whatsoever even seriously thinking of bringing others into your current failure operation. Dirk Zeller thinks teams started in the early 90’s. It was much earlier than that. Much. The first brokers who were rainmakers and could hire agents (the old 50-50 split shops) that they could route customers to were the first to “build teams” in real estate. It requires certain management skills (that nobody is born with) and a bit of leadership (which can also be learned). Other than that relatively minor quibble, it is otherwise a well thought out article. The two best books on the subject (for Realtors) that I know of are The E-Myth and The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

The key is lead generation. Period.

But if you are good at lead generation then there is no good reason (other than you simply want less) to spend your time on anything but that dollar productive activity. THE most dollar productive activity in residential real estate sales is lead generation. All of the other activities (yes, all) can be hired for a LOT less going out than the amount coming in from the lead generation. It makes little difference how this is scaled. The agent who simply hires an administrative assistant is applying this principle. The agent who then adds a buyer specialist is applying this principle. The agent who winds up needing several listers and several buyer agents and a crew of admin people is applying this principle. Every assistant we have ever hired makes us money or allows us leisure time or both or they do not belong there. Assistants do not “cost money” they “make money”. If you can produce customers for your business what do you think you time is really worth per hour? A hell of a lot more than you are making is the answer.