Because of the increase in required disclosures,
inspections, and documents, it is becoming more difficult for an agent to do all the
functions of real estate on his own. The need to create a team of specialists is becoming
more necessary for success in the real estate field. The three main reasons to create a
team are better quality service for your clients, increase in production, and increase in
quality of life.
There are still a few agents who advertise that they do not have
assistants. They promote that they provide better personal service than agents who have
them. Giving better service is a commitment that you make to your client, whether you work
alone or have assistants. I have seen both agents with large staffs and single agents who
give good or poor service to their clients. The service you render is based on your
service commitment and your definition of customer service.
Probably having a well run staff of assistants can provide more service to clients than
working alone. Based on the sheer volume of man hours that are expanded on administrative
functions, freeing up the highly skilled agent to spend more time finding the home for the
buyer or looking for the buyer to fit his listings or finding new listings will provide
better service. This increased time doing only "selling" functions will have a
dramatic impact on their income. If we try their method of using the time freed by having
an assistant to do more "selling" functions, we also can increase our income, by
as much as 100%.
Most agents spend less than 25% of their time in "selling" functions. My
definition of "selling" functions are prospecting, lead follow-up, going on
listing appointments, and showing property. These activities directly relate to income
earned on the bottom line. Agents have a tendency to spend far too little of their day in
these functions. Even a 5% to 10% increase in time spent in these areas can equate to huge
gains in commission earned. For example, assume you earn $100,000 using only 25% of your
time in "selling" functions. Currently, for every 5% of your time you spend in
"selling" functions you are earning $20,000. The more you increase your selling
function time the higher your income will go. An increase of only 10% of your time will
create for you an additional $40,000 or more. I believe the better you get at the
"selling" functions, the more income you will make. The more you participate in
the "selling" functions the more skilled you become at selling. When your skills
increase you will need less time to achieve the same result. You may see a $60,000 to
$75,000 return on your 10% increase in time in "selling" functions.
A good staff can create more time off for you. If you structure your staff properly you
can create more time off with your family. I usually had a staff member "on
call" daily, so I was able to enjoy time with my family without interruption. I could
focus on my family completely without the distractions of deals, pages, buyers, sellers,
and other agents. My family time was sacred and my clients were also serviced at a high
Once you have decided to enter the world of assistants you must decide your team
structure. By structure, I mean what tasks you are going to delegate, who will do them,
how many people, and who reports to whom. You also must look long term in this area. What
you need today may change in the future. You must spend enough time reviewing this area.
You do not want to have to reinvent your whole team a few years down the road. The more
time you invest in this planning stage the less frustrated you and your team will be later
on down the road. Take the time to determine your desired production and schedule for the
next few years with your team.
All the people and job functions you should consider:
Listing coordinator: This person manages all the files from the generation of
the listing lead through the time an offer is written. These functions include
correspondence to potential and current listings, preparation of pre-listing packages and
CMAs, follow-up will sellers and agents who show the property, preparation of all
ads and flyers, and any tasks that fall between the generation of the listing lead until
the time of a sales agreement.
Escrow coordinator: This person takes the file from the listing coordinator at
the time the offer is made. This person handles all inspections, earnest money agreements,
disclosures, lender issues, and title and escrow issues. This person is responsible for
everything from time of contract through close of escrow.
Field coordinator or runner: This person reports to both the listing coordinator
and escrow coordinator. The runner handles all signs (putting up and removing), lock
boxes, flyers, and delivery of documents and pre-list packages. This person does all the
important activities in the field that we all hate to take the time to do.
Buyers agent: This person handles all buyers. He strictly shows property
and prospects for new buyers. Once he gets a contract accepted he hands the transaction
off to the escrow coordinator and looks for another transaction. He should be constantly
looking for the next deal.
Prospecting agent: His job is to prospect daily to find new listings. He should
be on the phone or face to face with someone six hours a day. His whole goal is to set the
appointment for the lead agent to go on. He needs to generate leads, but most importantly
The above structure would be for a highly specialized office, which your business may
not be ready for at first. When you decide to hire your first team member, choose one to
combine both the listing and escrow positions. You should be able to close 50 to 75
transactions with a highly efficient person in the combined positions. This person does
not necessarily need to be a licensed real estate agent.
I would recommend even getting a part-time runner, such as a high school, college
student, retired person, or someone who wants to work a few days a week in the afternoon
to earn extra income. This person will free up a tremendous amount of either your time or
your other assistants' time.
Your ability to select the proper structure for your team and then to select the proper
team will ultimately determine your success or failure. Studies have shown that 95% of
success is determined by the initial selection of the team members. It is difficult to
build a strong team around the wrong person. If you try to do that you will eventually
need to replace that person. Take your time to make the selection right the first time.
Creating a good team can be valuable to your clients and yourself. Make sure to create
the frame work for success. If you need some help in creating a team, coaching your team,
or hiring, give us a call or click on our web-site. We have a few services and products
that will help you and your team achieve more success.