High-Performance Teams Know When to Expand
Many realtors sit now at their desk wishing they could create a team or grow their team, understanding its value but not knowing how to bring a team together. Certainly, any decision to do with one’s business should be carefully calculated, yet there comes a time when steps must be taken for something good to happen. When is that? When should you add another member to your team, whether you have one, two, or twenty team members already? How can real estate teams determine whether there’s “too many cooks in the kitchen” or “many hands make light work?” High-performance teams get over this conundrum, determining how many people on make sense for the team. Any extra and there is excess that is wasting at least one person’s time and money; too few and opportunities are being missed. Team leadership should take determine personnel needs based on available business, needed support, and leadership needs to calculate the optimal number of hard-working team members.
Good teams bring on team members without the business to support them so that the team can benefit from the business that new team members bring with them or create. This isn’t a bad idea, and can be useful in some situations but new team members are supporting, rather than being supported, a critical difference. High-performance teams often have leads that motivated, successful team members can use to reap success early and often. Getting the ball rolling for one individual continues to benefit the team, as individual success builds the overall bottom line for the team. Now, it’s not easy for a team to get these leads, to have business opportunities ready-made for capable new agents. The foundation has to be laid, but once it has been, then it makes sense to allow others to turn that potential into success. Other team members won’t feel like additional agents are cutting into their business if they have a full pipeline for their business that they need to work hard to take care of.
Team members who realize that leadership will only bring on additional team members when it makes sense for everyone will be willing to help bring in top-caliber agents that they know. Does this limit the potential for rapid growth? If the business opportunities aren’t plentiful enough for new members, then yes, but the growing isn’t just for the growing. Possibly an example can be made between crab fishing and building high-performance real estate teams, as odd as that may sound. Anyone who’s watched The Deadliest Catch knows that ship captains and fishermen are careful in determining how many fisherman to bring on board for the fishing season. Bring too many team members and everyone’s take is cut, there isn’t enough work to be go around, and the extras aren’t helping the boat bring in more catch. Bring too few people and more fish could have been caught if more baited pots got into the water and back into the boat. Experience has taught them to carefully select the optimal number of team members and the same could certainly be said for thoughtful high-performance real estate teams.
There comes a point where a real estate agent can’t keep up with all that they have going: the prospects to keep happy with information, clients to show homes, sellers’ homes to market, and offers to write. This is great, and high-performance teams see this happening frequently. However, many agents are content to feel satisfied with their full schedule, instead of thinking of what makes most sense, as far as support goes, to make room in their schedule for the things that matter most to selling homes. Some may have a hard time passing off initial, important steps--phone calls to those looking to buy--to someone else. However, high-performance means efficiency not just from each individual agent, but also by team leadership for the whole group. One-man shows may work for a small team--having a team leader do h.r., website maintenance, accountancy, and more--but as a team grows they may need an assist from administrative assistants or hiring personnel. High-performance team leaders and agents find ways to use support, and bringing in part-time or full-time assistants as it makes sense makes their business better. High-performance teams grow, that’s what they do.
Carefully measured growth, a complex task, brings just the right amount of team members and support into the picture so that high-performance teams are always performing smarter. These are just a few variables which can affect when teams grow or pause, we’ll explore other ideas and conditions in subsequent articles.