This past Wednesday, LEOPARD hosted its second panel of Top Teams of Arizona. Joining us were Becky Garcia, Nate Martinez, and Elise Fay. Read some key takeaways from the event as the panelists share some of their secrets for building a successful team.
How did you know when to hire your first person? What support do you have for your team?
Beth: Hired an admin first and then a sales associate. Her admin helped handle transactions from start to finish. She initially had a transaction coordinator that worked by transaction, then they were part time, and then transitioned to full-time within a year. She knew it was time to hire because she was working 24/7.
“I know a lot of times agents will say they can’t afford a transaction coordinator. In reality, you can’t afford NOT to. What’s the worst that will happen? If you don’t think you can afford it, have 6 months of salary in reserve. You’ll see it will have a huge increase on your business by having that help.”
Elise: Elise hired her first staff member after she consistently had three transactions a month. Once you have at least three transactions a month, there are going to be things that get dropped as you just can’t do it all. You might think you can, but having that other person will ultimately bring you more business and more money.
“Always hire your support staff first. Sometimes in business you have to take a hit financially in order to move up to the next level.”
Nate: He started off with a part-time staff member (10-20 hours a week) who was able to do everything. That person went full time and stayed with Nate for about 20 years.
“It’s important from day one to get an assistant.”
Nate’s strategy was to find and hire someone different from him and who complimented his weaknesses.
“Put people around you who have better skill sets than you do.”
Nate also went on to say “be a master delegator”. When you start to delegate, it doesn’t have to be in the real estate realm. Look at other areas you can delegate such as mowing the lawn, cleaning your house, doing your laundry. Look at it as saving time. Figure out what you’re worth per hour and delegate anything that’s less than that.
What keeps a team member on your team? Why do people stay on your team?
Elise: Leads attract agents to a team, but leverage keeps them there. If people only come for the leads or are fixated on the dollar amount (splits), they don’t stay. They have to see the value and what that’s going to do to propel them to the next level.
“We all basically have the same tools, what’s going to separate you from the crowd? That’s the information you need to get across to your team to keep them around.”
Becky: You can be a producer but hate the paperwork and administrative side so being on a team can give you the additional support that you’d otherwise have to pay for elsewhere. Becky has other team members that are there for the culture and camaraderie.
Nate: Nate offers a lot of coaching which he finds agents are drawn to.
How are you talking to your agents about what the market is currently doing so that they have success long term?
Becky: Stay up to date with stats such as those from the Cromford Report. She also shadows agents in the field to see how they’re interacting with clients at appointments (both buyer and seller appointments).
“It’s really important to work on skill levels whether it’s with an agent that’s been with you a really long time or a brand new agent.”
How do you communicate with your clients so they won’t be scared from the impending headlines that we all expect?
Nate: Nate makes sure to have knowledge and know the data on what’s happening in the market and make sure it’s communicated not just within the team, but to clients as well.
“Don’t ever abandon your past clients.” Nate goes on to say they pay attention. Call or send them a birthday card. Do something to stay in front of them and be consistent with it.
How do you defend your commission?
Elise: Explain to your client it’s more than what you’re going to do for them.
Nate: When a client asks if he’ll do it for less, his first response is “NO”. Who speaks next loses so he doesn’t start defending anything, he simply says no. Most everyone is okay with that but for those that dig deeper, that’s when Nate goes into more details to defend his commission.
“When it comes to the buyer side of the transaction, if you’re not using buyer-broker agreements today, you’d better. There may not be co-broke’s in the future so you need to get your client to sign a buyer-broker contract with you and have an agreement for compensation.”
A BIG thank you to Becky, Nate, and Elise for sharing your trade secrets on growing a real estate team!
If you’re a Real Estate agent in the Phoenix Metro area, we invite you to attend our final panel discussion on August 4th in Biltmore. Learn more here.
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