Updated: Jul 12
I love the leadership side of business. I find it fascinating and exciting, and overall it’s both the most significant challenge and it’s also the most impactful opportunity for growth.
This isn’t for everyone.
Many amazing realtors got into business to serve people, create a better life for themselves, and to contribute where they saw a need. That is foundationally where our business came from and it’s the “salt of the earth” mindset which our industry is built on.
Here is the trick though, even if you don’t want to build a big team, you still need to grow your leadership skills and embrace the idea that you actually do have a team… of some sort.
A Small Team Is Still A Team
Selling a house is kind of like building a house. Imagine you had to build 2 homes.
The first home you decided to build on your own.
Lay foundation, learn how to drywall, do the framing, electrical, HVAC, plumbing and so on. You would most likely finish that house eventually, but you'd be exhausted and building that second house would seem like a monumental task. Logically, you'd decide to get help for the second build wouldn't you?
👉🏻Which house would be finished in less time?
👉🏻Which one would likely be finished to a higher quality?
👉🏻I bet the second house would cost less too, because you wouldn’t be making mistakes.
In reality, there are probably about 200 plus things you'd have to be stellar at in order to make it all work for you, the odds are slim that that kind of individual even exists, no one can be amazing at all of those things after all.
Your time is far better spent on the things you LOVE doing and that also make you the most money...delegating the small, but important tasks to someone who loves them just makes sense.
Being open to hiring people who can have a big impact on your business is the name of the game here. You simply can't do it all, so starting off with that kind of mindset is what will set you apart from everyone who is still burning the candle at both ends and making no real headway in their business.
We all love different things, finding the people who love doing the stuff you don't is simply a smart business decision!
Creative Ways To Add Team Players
1: Contract or fee for service.
You don’t have to bring in a full time employee to get help that you need. You can have a handful of people who work for you either a few hours a week OR on an as needed basis.
Transaction Co-ordinators will close your deals for a fee.
Graphic design can be done as a one off using services like Fiverr or Upwork.
Agents in your office will show your buyers when you can’t make it work for an hourly rate.
2: Part time or split assistant
Share an assistant with other agents in your office. The individual will likely be someone who enjoys the challenge and variety of working with a couple different people!
3: Hire someone for a project
Need a project completed like a database transfer, flier delivery or website overhaul? Bring in a person or a company to tackle the project and pay them a flat fee for satisfactory completion. This can also be a great way for you to audition people who you might want a more formal committed partnership with at a later time.
Choosing The Right Partners
Regardless of who you choose to work with, take your time in the selection process, that isn't to say you should overthink it, but don't rush either.
The right team member can catapult your business to that next level, but choosing too quickly can have a negative impact on your business, so choose wisely.
Adding the wrong team members can have serious consequences & it's not just about losing a few hours or maybe a couple hundred bucks. This can ripple out and cost you a fortune.
Bad photos might hinder the listings sale. Poor communication could cause a delay which kills a deal. A poor experience could make your clients question the deal. Don’t try to save on key roles, think of it as an investment in the outcome.
✅Lost Clients and Referrals
People are a lot more likely to leave a bad review than a good one. If your painter shows up late, the cleaner damages something or the photographer lets the cat out it could be enough to strip your client's trust of you. Remember, your partners are a reflection of YOU.
Going further than clients and referrals you also have the opportunity to lose your reputation. You might have built some good momentum on a street or in a group you are tied into, but if you drop the ball on a key player in that group it can remove you from the trusted status with its members.
✅Lost Time and Energy
So far we have lost the opportunity to earn money and grow our business… But what about your time? What about your mindset when you’re dealing with all the crap that comes with dissatisfaction and cleaning up messes… Knocking yourself out of productivity is a high cost. Don’t underestimate it!
So we know we need the RIGHT people, how do we find them?
Okay I get it. I know I’m laying out a lot of challenges which lie ahead. Here is the deal, not everyone is perfect, but if you take time to put some thought into who you can work well with it's actually pretty easy to connect the dots.
Here is what you look for:
I know you would have expected something like quality or punctuality but I prefer to look for values because it’s something which gives you bearings on how they’ll manage everything else to come. Think about it like this: There will ALWAYS be little problems which pop up. If you work with people with the right values, these will dictate how they respond.
Someone with the right values would likely:
Set clear expectations of what is and is not covered
Call to apologize and let people know if they are running late
Fix things when something goes wrong
You don’t need them to send you an outline of everything that could happen in writing. Working with people who have the right values just means you can trust they will do the right thing.
Cheap, Fast Or Good. Choose 2
Nobody gets all three. If they are cheap and fast the results likely won’t be good. If they are fast and good… well, they likely aren’t cheap! Choose where you align yourself and make sure your vendors share your alignment. There is no wrong answer here, it’s just a perspective to be aware of.
Can You Grow Your Business Symbiotically With Theirs?
If you are sending them business, is there a way for them to return the favour? Could you partner on lead generation programs or create additional value for the clients you serve by collaborating on services and materials?
Finding ways to stimulate each other's growth not only makes it a bigger opportunity for both of you, but it also ties you to your vendors at a higher level which builds retention and loyalty. It’s a win-win-win. Get creative and embrace it!
Quality partnerships are worth the effort. Make the most of them!
Overall it takes time, effort and commitment to create a winning partnership like this.
So, I hope you will make the investment!
Take the time up front to consider your options, meet with potential partners, set expectations and get the relationship moving. It's worth it, I promise you! Take the time to connect and learn about them like you would with your clients. Make it a priority that you care for them at the same level they care for you and your business will thrive as a result.
Your clients deserve nothing but the best, don’t you as well?