Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. In addition to writing print and online articles, Erica oversees the magazine's Broker to Broker content, co-manages the 30 Under 30 program, and manages the YPN Lounge. Connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing Teams to Your Office
Prepare your company for the team business model by checking these three steps off your to-do list.
December 8, 2015
If you’re a boutique brokerage owner looking to grow your business, allowing agents to form teams might sound like an intriguing model. But it’s a step that must be handled with care.
“A team can be the best thing to happen to an office environment, or it can be the worst,” says real estate coach Pam Ermen, CRS, GRI, president of Real Estate Guidance Inc. “You have to be intentional about your policies and procedures so you don’t end up with the agent making the rules.”
Ermen says healthy teams help retain agents and earn more money for the company. But specific team rules must be in place in order to mitigate conflicts, develop useful systems for both the broker and the team, and set the tone for communication with a team leader or members.
Here are three tips for establishing healthy teams that Ermen shared during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego last month.
1. Create team policies and procedures. Any agent who’s considering the team business model must meet with you, the broker, or your office managers to review guidelines and qualifications for becoming a team leader. A broker should set qualifications related to production levels, years of experience, and other relevant factors for your market area.
2. Ensure team members have the right temperament. Brokers can require that team leaders administer DISC assessments to all potential team members. As a broker, you can provide access to assessment products via online distributors such as discprofile.com. DISC is a personality test that helps identify an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and predominant traits. Brokers can then require a review of assessment results before an agent is hired onto a team.
3. Have systems in place to support teams. Consider your office space and plan accordingly for team growth. If you don’t want to increase square footage, you should make sure appropriate virtual and paperless systems are in place. Look for transaction management platforms that can be customized for teams, with features such as agent management, financial management, and mobile-friendly access. “You want the situation to be a win-win for both you and the team leader,” Ermen says.