On Wednesday, LEOPARD hosted a Top Teams of Arizona panel with top producers from around the Valley. Joining us were Carol Royse, Nate Martinez, Shannon Cunningham, and Jeff Sibbach. Read some key takeaways from the event as the panelists share some of their secrets for building a successful team.
For people thinking about building a team, where were you when you thought today is the day I need my first team member?
Nate: Formed his first team in 1990 when he needed help with administrative tasks. Shortly afterward he brought on a buyer agent as he had so many leads that were slipping through the cracks.
Carol: It was her first year in real estate. She realized she could spend all weekend with one buyer so she thought immediately if she could find someone to work with her buyers, she could spend more time with sellers. Carol had 3 buyer agents before she hired an admin.
Shannon: They made the mistake of calling themselves a team before they really were a team. She learned pretty quickly (after her growing pains) that an admin was someone they needed to hire first. They were getting burnt out with all of the paperwork and realized they’d operate much more effectively.
Jeff: Jeff’s first team member was an admin (around 2005) but didn’t think of himself as a team until 2011 when he brought on a newer agent who only had one sale.
How do you get agents up to your business standards? How do you train/coach them?
Nate: Communication. They have an hour-long team meeting on Mondays to start the week followed by an accountability meeting on Wednesdays. Nate is also always in the know and learning so that he can always keep his team informed on what’s happening in the industry.
Shannon: They are very systematized and have a training schedule in place. Her team also has a required 9 am Monday meeting where they review stats, trends, and what’s coming soon on the market. They also do script practice on Wednesdays to ensure they’re up on the latest and greatest so they can keep their clients informed.
Carol: Carol works with two business coaches so she follows their advice very stringently. She has a leadership team that’s taught by the coaches who then coach the agents on the team. She has a weekly Tuesday team meeting as well as an in-person meeting. Everything she does is scripted, it’s the same process across the board for everything (such as listing presentations).
Jeff: A strong Tuesday team meeting that’s only taught by Jeff or Phil Sexton as well as OTT (on their time) training where agents can access training on their time. They try to create training that’s focused but also very specific to the needs of the agents.
What do you do when you have agents experiencing burnout?
Shannon: Their culture is a big part of the team. They have fun together and focus on the things they enjoy as a team. They also have business standards, stating her favorite quote is “my heart is forgiving but my standards are not.“
Carol: Carol makes it very clear to her team who she is and her work style. She’s setting expectations before the agent officially starts with her team, and not just for her, but how each person on her team operates.
Jeff: He takes a friendly approach but is very vision-driven. He also makes calendar time available to agents who need to talk strategy or simply get something off their chest.
How can we establish an elevated brand from your leadership positions?
Nate: They focus on their past clients (and top 50 clients) as most of their business is from repeat business. He went on to say, when they assign a lead to an agent, that agent keeps the lead. Meaning, if the agent left his team the agent still gets to keep the lead. That agent has an established relationship with the lead so it doesn’t make sense to take the lead back. He’s not going to go after the leads he generated with the agent. His splits are the same whether it’s an agent’s own lead or a lead provided by his team.
Carol: If you’re on Carol’s team, and you bring in a personal lead, your splits are going to be lower because they want to encourage agents to bring in their own business.
Jeff: Jeff’s team runs a brokerage-style team model where they have leads they provide and agents have their own leads (AOL business). The team supports the agent and offers resources to work their lead. If it’s a Sibbach lead, the team does all the transaction management, the listing, and marketing which is a different split than AOL’s. His team offers different splits so he can teach the agent how to grow their individual business. Jeff is trying to create a model where agents can stay forever as they grow their team through our continued support.
A BIG thank you to Carol, Nate, Shannon, and Jeff 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 one of two upcoming panel discussions. Learn more here.
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