It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have dozens of deals under your belt. Every real estate professional will come to a point in their business where they hit a ceiling they can’t seem to crack. What do you do when you reach this point? How have other successful brokers and team leaders overcome this plateau to continue achieving higher numbers?
We interviewed a few of our best clients for their experience on breaking the limits on performance and productivity to become the top performers in their market. Continue reading for their tips and strategies to overcome any ruts in the road.
Grow Your Team
Generating more leads is typically the first step to increasing your real estate sales. However, once your incoming lead flow becomes too much for your current team to handle, the next step is to grow your team in order to increase bandwidth.
Back in 2013, Doug Edrington of The Edrington Team in Chattanooga, TN felt that he had reached a plateau. For four straight years, he and his team had continued to hit 100 transactions, but seemed unable to break past that number.
Doug took a step back to evaluate his business, and decided to restructure some of his finances in order to hire an admin to delegate some of their smaller tasks. He moved one of his agents into an Operations Manager role, and hired his first admin who initially took on the responsibilities of an ISA, listing manager, and contract coordinator (he has since separated the roles).
The very next year, they were finally able to break 100 and close 227 transactions. Doug has continually grown his team since. His team currently consists of 16 agents, 4 ISAs, an Operations Manager, and several support staff, and they are on track to close over 500 deals this year.
Hire and Motivate the Right Way
When we asked Chris Lyons of Lyons Realty how he was able to accelerate his business into big growth, he answered:
I think it’s about treating people right. Your agents are important, and sometimes companies forget that. Without our agents, we would be nothing but a name, so we try to bring on the right people. It’s not about numbers for us. We want to hire enough agents where we can support them and have grow and succeed.
It’s important to take your time when recruiting agents to ensure that you hire the right people to your team. Hiring the wrong person can be extremely costly to your business. Someone with the wrong attitude or who falls below company standards affects the entire team and wastes valuable time and resources.
So how do you hire the right people? Doug Edrington believes that there is only so much that a broker or leader can do to “motivate” agents. You can’t force someone to be motivated. They have to want it themselves.
“Leaders should simply hold their agents accountable to their own goals, and ‘motivate’ them by exposing them to new ideas, thoughts, processes, and experiences through coaching, training, and events.”
— Doug Edrington
Doug includes goal-setting as part of his interview process. He asks his candidates for 3 sets of financial goals–the ideal amount they wish to make, their realistic “dream amount”, and the minimum amount they need to survive. Doug then breaks down these numbers to tell them what it would take to reach these financial goals. For example, he might say, “In order to reach your survival goal, you must have 6 conversations a day. To reach your ideal goal, you must have 12 conversations a day. To reach your dream goal, you must have 24 conversations a day.”
“If they see the requirements and get turned off, they’re not the right person,” says Doug. “You can’t motivate a person who doesn’t want to be motivated. If they seem excited and on board with the duties, bring them on and keep them accountable to these goals.”
A System That Keeps The Team Accountable
It’s not enough just to hire great agents to your team. Even the best agents should have some form of accountability to continue meeting their goals. There are many methods to keeping your team accountable.
One popular strategy is to “gamify” the system by giving recognition to team members when they achieve something. Products like Hoopla can announce when an agent makes an action, like closing a deal. Doug’s team incorporates Slack, which channels set up announce certain actions, like when an agent sets an appointment or gets a listing.
Doug also uses BoomTown’s Accountability Dashboard and reporting tools to track agents’ activities, such as response times, how many leads have yet to be contacted, number of active leads, etc.
“It’s really created a whole new level of accountability. We can check on our team members and make sure they are handling the customers the best they can. If we see room for improvement, it gives us an opportunity to train and educate the agents so they can build better rapport with the customers.”
With BoomTown’s accountability tools, Doug was able to eliminate some of the more tedious aspects of managing agents so he could focus on fine-tuning skills and providing more advanced training.
For Doug’s team, it was crucial to have an operator or support type role act as a “BoomTown manager”. This person is responsible for routinely checking the numbers and dashboards in BoomTown to hold everyone on the team accountable. They are also responsible for training the team on the system, share best practices, and conduct audits and discover any mistakes.