Avoid These Mistakes When Building a Real Estate Team

building a real estate team
building a real estate team

Avoid These Mistakes When Building a Real Estate Team

Being a real estate agent is tough. But building a real estate team can be even more difficult. Assuming your team grows out of your solo real estate business, it means you’ve gotten to the point where your network and large circle of influence in the real estate industry is so solid that you are going to have more leads coming in than you can handle. Essentially, it means that your volume of business has reached the point that you can’t handle it all on your own, except if you hire people.

Once you reach that point, before you can even start building your team, you have to develop a solid foundation. That means you have to have a game plan. For example, it’s critical that you develop revenue goals and work backward to determine how many leads and team members you’ll need in order to meet them. Furthermore, you have to make sure your lead generating and nurturing systems are in solid shape—ready for the influx of leads that your new team will be bringing in.

Once the foundation is shored up and ready to go, it’s time to make your hires. Typically, the first hire for your real estate team would be an admin. This way, you can have someone to help you with your subsequent hires. Next, you’ll want to go after a solid buyer’s agent to take your lead generation systems and put them into action. Then hire a powerhouse real estate inside sales agent to generate new leads while you and your agent work with your existing clients.

From there it’s just a matter of growing your business and hiring new agents and ISAs as your sales volume demands it.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid while building your real estate team.

A Bad Training Program

A mistake that many real estate agents fall into while building their real estate team is training on an ad hoc basis. As they hire new people, they conduct the training case by case instead of developing a set, standard, and consistent curriculum. Although developing this standardized training program can take time, in the long run it will make your business far better off.

The problem with hiring agents or ISAs for your real estate business is that it can often take a significant amount of time before they begin closing deals and consistently producing. This makes hiring an even more significant up-front investment for you. Having a standardized training system will allow you to train new hires faster (instead of recreating training methods for each person) and get them on the path towards a productive team member more quickly.

Not Setting Clear Expectations

Many real estate team leaders make the mistake of not setting goals and benchmarks for their agents and ISAs or, conversely, not holding new hires accountable to those goals. Open and clear lines of communication is always the best and most productive route to go. That way, your ISAs and agents know what is expected of them and you know where to expect them to be at different points in their training.   

For ISAs, I like to set out a series of 30/60/90 day expectations for the new hire in their role. That way, if they turn out not to be right for the job you will know MUCH sooner than waiting the 6 months it typically takes for a real estate ISA to ramp up. This means tracking things like number of dials made, number of contacts made, contact to appointment ratio, number of appointments set vs. appointments converted—and having benchmarks for where the ISA should be with each of them at each time mark.

Not Tracking Key Metrics

As your real estate team starts to grow and have success, taking the time to track and analyze key metrics can often go by the wayside. Times are good, deals are being closed, money is coming in—so what does it matter if you are keeping track of everything?

This type of thinking will land you in trouble in the long term. A well-organized CRM can help you avoid this problem. When you have an intelligent CRM that works with your website, you can eliminate the guesswork on tracking every metric in your business and your real estate team’s performance from a single centralized reporting function. This means you can see what’s working and when it’s time to change course, and you can make better decisions, faster.

Expect Too Much Success Too Soon

You should always aim high and celebrate every win as they happen. But also always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Training your team takes time. Getting them to produce consistently like rock stars takes time. New marketing techniques take time. New strategies and ideas can take time. It’s important to not get discouraged or demoralized if things aren’t happening as quickly as you feel they should.

Try new things, put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but don’t forget that it is not the end of the world if those mistakes happen.

Not Creating a Coherent, Positive Culture

In order to create a feeling of opportunity and self-responsibility on your team, you have to tie together them creating value for the company and creating value for themselves. One of the main things that can sap motivation of your employees and cause their confidence and numbers to drop is the feeling that they are working for the benefit of someone else and not themselves.

By building a culture that emphasizes that when your employees are creating value for the company, they are also creating value and opportunity in their own lives, your team will be much more inspired and productive.

Conclusion

Building a real estate team takes time and effort. Once you develop a solid foundation as a solo agent and make your first couple essential hires, your business is going to start growing exponentially. After that growth takes off, keep it going by avoiding these common mistakes.

What Real Estate Agents Should Do During Slow Months

real estate in winter
real estate in winter

What Real Estate Agents Should Do During Slow Months

Real estate sales often slow in the winter months. This is especially true if you live in a region with a colder climate. But just because you might have fewer sales does not mean that you put your real estate business to rest and wake it up when spring comes. Slow periods can provide you with significant opportunities to improve your marketability, expand your client base, and grow as a real estate salesperson. In other words, use the slow periods to prepare for the peak periods.

Can Real Estate Agents Sell in Winter?

Let’s get one thing straight, the winter is not a total dead period when it comes to real estate sales. There are people who are moving throughout all the seasons and so there are people who are buying and selling houses all year long.

Although the notion that spring is the best time to sell is pretty much a ubiquitous idea in the real estate world, there are opportunities for business in the winter. We wrote an article a while back discussing how to deal with leads whose objection is “I want to wait until spring to sell my home.” We talked about how to convince them to sell during the winter instead, if it makes sense for their situation.

Without going too deeply into that other article, the punchline is that there are some clear advantages to selling in winter like less competition, highly motivated buyers who need a house fast, and the ability to highlight the winter side of your home (e.g. fireplaces, hot tubs, easy to shovel driveway, etc.). But ultimately, it all comes down to you getting at the buyer’s or seller’s motivation and understanding their perspective, process, and desired outcome.

And for plenty of people it makes sense for them to buy or sell during the winter months. So you shouldn’t automatically think of the winter as a time when you are unable to make real estate sales.  

What to Do if Sales Are Slow in Winter

With all that said, however, overall it is likely that most winters will be slower than the spring and summer months. If that’s the case, then the key is to look at this time as an opportunity rather than a dead loss. As a real estate agent, you are out selling houses on a daily basis. Going to showings, setting up open houses, speaking back and forth with your clients and other agents—basically in the field doing what you do best, buying and selling homes.

The problem that can arise, however, is that you can get so caught up in working in your business day after day that there isn’t much time left over to work on your business. By that I mean exploring new marketing options, improving your existing lead generation and sales funnel systems, making sure your team members have the resources they need or are using those resources to be as efficient as possible, and the list goes on.

Slow times (hopefully) aren’t coming around too often, so when they do come around use them to your advantage.

Network and Marketing

When times are slow is when you should be doubling down on your real estate networking and marketing efforts. You want to get as many clients and leads into your pipeline so when springtime comes, you are ready to start having homes fly off the shelves. Consider attending community events and business luncheons. Search for volunteer opportunities in the area where you could meet new people. Whatever you do, be sure to follow up with any new contacts you meet.

When it comes to targeted advertising and marketing, the slower season is actually when a lot of agents choose to beef up their efforts. This is because the majority of people who are looking to buy and sell their homes in the spring are thinking about it and preparing for it during the winter months. Once the craziness of the holidays are over, people who are planning to move in the spring will most likely start to get serious about developing their plan.

This means continuing your social ads targeting new potential buyers and sellers, keep sending emails to your database, and, in general, keep investing dollars into your advertising efforts. One of the biggest mistakes real estate agents make is to cut their marketing when they have fewer dollars rolling in. Remember, marketing is an investment, not an expense. This is true no matter what time of the year it is.

Educate Yourself

The slow season is also the prime time to sharpen your overall skills. This means taking advantage of training and coaching resources, improving your phone skills, working on your sales conversations, and learning new marketing techniques (like how to effectively utilize social media for real estate). We live in a time when excellent resources are never more than a few clicks away. The problem, like with most things, is finding the time to sit down and utilize them.

And risking a shameless plug here, my Conversion University course is one of those resources. I teach how you can massively increase your real estate sales by learning techniques for having real, productive conversations that convert. Learn more about that CU here [link].

Learn More about Your Real Estate Market or a New Niche

Another great way to utilize your free time during the real estate off season is by both conducting research of real estate trends in your market and by branching out into new fields or niches. Because the real estate industry has the reputation for being fiercely competitive, real estate professionals often feel like they must learn more, be more, and do more in order to succeed.

However, this story can be somewhat misleading. Better is often to be selective in identifying your target market. When agents market themselves as experts in a certain niche of the industry, it not only helps the agent, but the client as well. Use this slow time to better understand your market and to find any possible niches or angles that may exist to help you improve your real estate business.

Conclusion

Just because times may be slow for your real estate business doesn’t mean that you should be taking a couple months off. First off, there are ample opportunities to sell in the winter if you know how to find the right leads show them that it is in their best interest to do so (if it in fact is). Secondly, this is a time to work on your business. Work on your marketing, find the customers who are going to be selling come spring, educate yourself (with Conversion University 🙂 ), and learn more about your market.

New Trends in the Real Estate Industry

real estate trends
real estate trends

New Trends in the Real Estate Industry

We’ve written our past few articles about the changing nature of sales and the real estate industry, and how those changes relate to the actual agents and real estate inside sales agents on the ground. Contact rates for phone calls are lower and lower and lead and prospect skepticism levels are higher than they ever have been. However, both of these development are coupled with the fact that agents and ISAs also have more marketing tools at their disposal than ever before in the real estate industry.

The combination of these factors mean that the real estate sales world is in the midst of a transition. There’s a lot of room for error but also for massive opportunity as we navigate this new and exciting world. In keeping with this trend of looking towards the future, in today’s article we will discuss some of the new trends in the real estate industry.

Facebook Ads – According to Placester’s 2018 Real Estate Marketing Strategy Survey Report, Facebook is the dominant social network for real estate agents’ online marketing. In fact, 84.6% of agents surveyed said that they prefer using Facebook for their real estate marketing rather than Twitter, Instagram, or other channels. Facebook has the largest user database of any social platform and its targeting and audience capabilities make an unmatched source for collecting qualified real estate leads. Not to mention the fact that Facebook allows you to track and precisely measure all of your marketing efforts, which is the key to successfully spending your ad dollars.

Marketing Automation – Although email marketing has been around since the beginning of email (which, in its modern form, has only been since 1995), CRMs along with automated lead generation software, automated email campaigns, and automated follow ups have really come into their own in the past few years. According to Hubspot, real estate businesses that use marketing automation to nurture leads experienced a whopping 451% increase in qualified leads. A big part of that number is the fact that automation saves time. While agents are out there selling houses, marketing automation tools are doing the work of building lists, sending personalized messages, and moving leads through your sales funnel.

Predictive Analytics – Consumer information has been along for a long time, but never before in history have we had so much data at our fingertips—from consumer demographics to housing trends to property pricing history. Predictive analytics is how real estate agents and businesses use that data to give themselves an edge in this competitive industry. The way most agents use predictive analytics is to target the right clients for their marketing efforts to find the right types of buyers for specific listings. This lets you focus on your strengths: negotiation and fostering relationships.

For example, real estate businesses can pull data from the U.S. Census to track the life cycle of sellers based on public records, such as divorces, deaths, and marriages. From there, algorithms can predict a certain percentage of homeowners who are most likely to sell their homes, so agents can call them to gauge their timing and seriousness.

Virtual Reality – In today’s fast paced real estate world, clients often like to visit multiple properties before making a decision to buy. This is nothing new. However, this can require a lot of time and things can get complicated if a property is far from where a client lives. In this case, visiting a property is not only time consuming but can also be expensive. 

According to Realtor Magazine, more homebuyers show interest in working with real estate agents who provide virtual reality marketing, enabling them to have an immersive experience in a digital home tour without the need to visit a ton of faraway properties.

Conclusion

Like in many sales related industries, the real estate world is changing rapidly. There are many more developments than are listed above, but these four are fundamentally changing the nature of real estate lead generation, lead nurturing, and converting leads into sales. The key to the future is being able to adapt. And the key to being able to adapt is keeping yourself informed so you can stay ahead of the curve, and the competition.

The real estate industry is changing. Take advantage of the opportunities and your business will flourish.