You’re standing there at the proverbial fork in the road.
Do you keep things small and play comfortably at your current level of production or do you expand and build a business that can take care of you and your family forever?
It’s a big decision and one that leads to even more questions to be asked and decisions to be made.
Do you hire an administrative assistant first or do you hire an ISA?
Or, should you hire a couple of buyer agents and try to reap the financial rewards from the efforts of other people’s labor?
These are all big decisions that, made incorrectly, could send your business into a financial tailspin if you make the wrong ones.
Fortunately, I’ve done this road before and made some of the more painful and financially ruinous hiring decisions so you don’t have to.
What I’ve learned from them is this: there is a proper structure for a real estate team that can provide you with the foundation you need to build it as deep and wide as you’d like.
It’s a simple strategy and easy to follow. Most importantly, any smart agent like yourself should be able to structure an amazing team themselves if they do what I suggest.
How to Structure a Successful Real Estate Team
Here’s a look at whom you should hire and when:
My guess is that you wouldn’t be miserable if you never had to process another transaction or put one more listing on the MLS.
Honestly, wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.
The fact of the matter is that in addition to not wanting to do these and other administrative jobs, you’re overqualified and under compensated for doing them as part of running your business.
Conventional wisdom in the real estate industry says that once you get busy, you should run out and hire a buyer agent or two. The thought is by doing this, you’ll have more time to yourself and make more money because you’re not running around showing houses to buyers.
This belief, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now, before you give me that puzzled, “Scooby Doo” look, consider this...
Not only does hiring a buyer agent first not free up the your time (you end up spending more time working with and training buyer agents than you would working them yourself), but also you now make $.50 of every dollar that comes from them in for the same effort he was putting in selling homes himself.
It’s a huge double whammy and it can put your real estate team in serious jeopardy because your personal production may take a huge hit.
By hiring this person first, you take all the non-dollar productive activities off your plate so you can focus on doing the things that make more money.
As well, you can put someone in that position for a fraction of the hourly rate you’re worth when you’re doing sales-related activities.
If you can’t change the outcome, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
Plus, you now have someone who is likely more patient, more detail oriented and most importantly, more suited to doing the activities associated with these jobs.
Lastly, you have an individual you can count on to help you systematize and formalize all the processes that are required to make your company work like a well-oiled machine.
Inside Sales Agent
You read that right...Inside Sales Agent comes next.
The buyer agents can still wait...“Why?”, you ask.
Well, it’s the same reason you hire an administrative assistant: get more time and free yourself up to do more dollar-productive activities.
Plus, let’s be honest, the only thing you hate more than doing paperwork is prospecting, right?
Kidding aside, it really is the next best hire.
With an administrative assistant in place, your time is now freed up to hire and train a killer ISA who can both set listing appointments for you and continue to foster relationships with prospects as they build you a consistent pipeline of solid listing appointments.
Next to sales, inside sales is one of the most important activities for a successful sales organization.
That said, it’s roughly $30 to $40 an hour work.
Selling at the kitchen table and negotiating listings is $100 an hour - and more - work.
Knowing this, it doesn’t make sense for you to keep prospecting when you can hire a skilled sales person to do the job just as well as you can.
You guessed it…
Hiring a buyer agent is the next best hire for when structuring a successful real estate team.
You could make an argument that hiring another administrative assistant is the next best hire and a solid case could be made for it.
If your business is humming along nicely and you’re crushing it in the listing department, it might make sense to do that at this point.
However, you wouldn’t be wrong or put yourself or your business in harm’s way if you hired a buyer agent next.
You see, at this point, all of the paperwork and customer service is being handled properly and your production is strong because you’ve got a rock star Inside Sales Agent filling your pipeline with qualified seller leads and appointments.
As a result of that, you have the time and cushion you need to hire a buyer agent to build some additional leverage and income in your business.
Ideally, if you’re hiring buyer agents for the first time, you should hire two.
The reason is it takes the same amount of time to train two as it does one and, if one of the buyer agents doesn’t work out, you still have another one you can work with and build upon.
When you hire the right buyer agents, you’ll have people who can work buyer leads so you can continue to build your listing business.
As well, having good buyer agents allows you to take time out of your business to spend time with your family and do the things you love to do without worrying whether or not leads and clients will get the attention they need.
Once you have this core group of people in place and business is moving along nicely, you can add other team members to the mix:
- A courier who can relieve your administrative assistant, buyer agents and even you from running around town to get things picked up and delivered.
- Another administrative assistant so you can have a full-time closing coordinator and a full-time listing manager.
- A listing partner who can help expand your listing business or take over for you if you don’t want to list homes any more.
- An office manager who can run the office so you can focus on being a rainmaker to grow sales and the team.
As you can see, there is a right order in which you should bring people onto your team. It’s that you always look at your resources of time, energy and money as your structuring your team so you make the best decision for yourself and the person you’re bringing on board.
If you follow this approach as I’ve laid it out, you can build an incredible team that will change your life and the lives of those you join you.