Realty “teams” used to mean something very different just a few years ago. In the olden days they would have been called “boiler rooms”. (Boiler Room; old timey phrase for where telemarketers made calls all day) A rich and experienced agent would pay the poor and inexperienced a nominal fee to make calls all day. Uncover rocks. If any of those rocks close, the caller gets thrown a bone. Hire 10 people to make calls all day, and guess what; your team sell houses. Yeah team!
“While there is something to be said for picking up the phone and dialing, be aware there is a science to it”, adds Phil Karp of Modern South Properties. “At the heart of a good team is a structured sales approach. One of the first things an agent should ask when inquiring about joining a team is their approach to lead management. Today, you have to use technology for efficiency”.
“The Call Center approach had its day. But, Internet buyers really get turned off if your approach is too “salesy”. At MSP, we use targeted drip campaigns and behavioral messaging to determine when the appropriate time to personally reach out is. Automated texting allows us to check the warmth of the lead much easier and efficiently than sitting and calling for hours per day. Once the lead starts to engage, we shift to a personal touch basis. This not only helps mature the lead but also allows the team time to focus on more clients at a time”.
“Another thing agents need to look out for when evaluating a team is how the team is branded. Many teams still promote the team lead as a strategy? This totally defeats the purpose of a team. The agent gets lost, and they can’t capitalize on their own wins. Agents should look for teams that promote the agent”.
This mindset may be at the heart of the new real estate era. Study successful corporate ladder climbers; the C-level types. Without exception they’re all great coaches. Forever deflecting praise and always shinning the light on others. If the team is great, the Coach must be as well. (For Atlanta sport fans, ever hear Bobby Cox take credit for anything?)
Traditionally, real estate has never been about a team. I, I, I, me, me, me. I sold this, I know that, I am the best, hire me. The team approach is different. Adds Karp, “We want agents who not only boost our brand but also their own book of business by making sure they have good reviews and can promote themselves and the team at the same time”.
What about money? “Each team is going be a little different, notes Karp. Strong teams will have non-predatory comp plans aimed at keeping agents as opposed to bleeding them dry and turning them over.”
When evaluating teams, checking out the team lead will be critical. It’s universal; everyone thinks they can teach. In fact, very few can. Agents need to evaluate a team lead for their ability to teach, mentor and provide a steady hand. Real estate transactions can become very emotional, team leads can’t. And much like Brokers, team leads must also be willing to take on incoming. Take blame, play the bad guy or whatever role needed to save a situation. Strong team leads, like good corporate managers can be hard to find.
Sobering thought. As the franchise movement continues its fade, look for the number of teams to explode. Literally tens of thousands of area franchise agents would benefit from a team approach. In that event, we would need hundreds of teams to replace those old franchise workhorses. Do we have hundreds of team leads that could fit the bill? Do we have 100s of Bobby Cox-like types to lead in a new era?
From Wynd Realty’s inception, we have always been about the agent brand. That is why we only advertise to agents. We do not think of ourselves as a consumer brand. We were the first brokerage to promote agent DBAs. This Switzerland-like neutrality makes Wynd Realty the ideal brokerage for team development.
Think of every team as having both a front and back office. The front, consumer office, is led by the team lead. The back office detail is handled by a brokerage service provider. Wynd Realty is Atlanta’s largest independent brokerage provider specializing real estate.
*Special thanks to Phil Karp and the team at Modern South Properties for helping us create this blog over the last two weeks. Anyone interested in learning more about Modern South, please contact: