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10 Ways to Use Video in Your Real Estate Business

Jan 16, 2019 by

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD), with assistance from Lauren Hampton and the Podfly editorial team, and is a recap of the Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast Episode 22. 

In Episode 22 of the Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast, host Monica Neubauer’s guest is Jeremias “JMan” Maneiro of Rochester, N.Y. Maneiro is a full-time REALTOR®, speaker, trainer, prolific video creator, founder of the immensely popular Video Bootcamp and an athlete who participated in NBC’s Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge.

Maneiro joins Neubauer on the show to discuss the different ways to use video in your business, as well as what equipment to use. All of the different types of videos described below can help you improve and strengthen your connections with your current and future clients, and with your real estate colleagues.

As we enter 2019, it’s a great time for video in our own industry and many others. Video brings a personal touch to the digital experience. “It humanizes the experience, so people get to like, know, and trust us,” says Maneiro. “We’re REALTORS®, but we’re people first. That’s why people are going to do business with us.”

Because people are now used to seeing videos online, it can jump-start a relationship. Once people see a video of yours, they will feel like they already know you, and you become like a “warm lead” to them.

  1. Introductions or “About Us”
    You can use video to easily introduce your team to clients and other real estate professionals. One thing Maneiro has is a quick introduction video for his team. He has a small team, but a short introduction video (embedded on email) allows clients or even other agents he may be working with to “put a name with a face” so they can get to know the whole team, rather than just him. They can feel like they are connected with the team at all points in the transaction.

Send these videos to agents, clients and every audience you work with. Sometimes you never even meet the other agent face-to-face during the transaction, so this is a great way to develop rapport. If you eventually do meet, you’ll know immediately who everyone is. Alternatively, high-production videos of this type might be good for your website or for more formal and long-term uses.

  1. Listing Video or “Coming Soon”
    An even easier place to start may be with listing videos. You already have all the content right there in front of you, and it could be a great way to do property marketing. Maneiro does “Coming Soon” videos for upcoming listings where he does a live walk-through of the home and shares it on his Facebppl business page. Everyone has equal access to the video, and the clients can see those who leave comments, which boosts the quality of engagement and feedback about the property.

The content is yours, so fold it into your web and social media marketing strategy. If you position it to both buyers and fellow REALTORS®, you can make sure to provide access to everyone fairly. Post or share to your business and personal Facebook pages strategically, keeping in mind their terms of service so as not to break any rules for those sites. Also, watch for owner privacy issues by depersonalizing the property and putting away items the owner may not wish to be on camera. Focus on the differentiating elements of each property, such as the beach view rather than its not-so-standout features.

  1. In-Person Video or Virtual Open Houses
    Some of the most popular videos these days are recorded open houses using tools like BeLive.tv. These allow you to take interested buyers or agents on a virtual or remote tour of the house. You could ask viewers of these to provide feedback or questions via some sort of online form, so buyers and real estate colleagues can react to the video they just saw and give you further insight.

Another type of “video” that technically isn’t a true video is something you can do through Matterport 3D equipment, which is an enhanced imaging software that yields 360 views like Google Street. The cost for the camera alone is $ 4,000, so it may be in your best interest to hire someone for this. This camera does a high-res scan of every room in the house and creates a virtual, immersive, 3D experience.

One way or another, using video technology for open houses can help potential buyers maximize their time, especially if they have a lot going on or have conflicting or back-to-back appointments.

  1. Facebook Live or Live-Streaming of Events
    Just like with open houses, you do have to be careful when you do Facebook Live videos. Be strategic about how you are “conducting business” in this medium, which isn’t editable. You have to respect your clients’ privacy here, as well. It’s the same as when you’re staging for photographs—you want to make sure only things that should be on display are on display in the home. No identifiable photos, medications and valuables should be visible.

One key benefit of live-streaming is that it addresses FOMO (“fear of missing out”) to help people feel like they are there with you at any event and not missing out on any fun. You can garner more attention by using the location or hashtag of the event you’re attending, if it’s public. Live-streaming can even help you become a local celebrity or impromptu newscaster by helping you be discovered by local media.

  1. Instagram, Snapchat or YouTube Stories
    Nearly all social media platforms now have the “Story” feature. These are a great way to get started with video, especially if you have a fear of being on camera. These are short clips, and also typically only stick around for 24 hours, so there’s a little bit less pressure. Story videos encourage you to keep your message to-the-point, as well as help you get frequent practice with minimal effort. The best way to get good at video is to keep creating more video content, so these platforms are a great way to hone your skills.

Remember, it’s better to have actual “viewers” than a lot of comments and shares— eyeballs are what matter. You can take a look at who’s watching by check the “Insights” feature of each of platform, and create custom audiences with custom content based on who’s watching and how much.

These channels are especially good ways to express your unique personality and the fun or personal aspects of your life and business.

  1. Community or Local Business Highlights and Reviews
    Community videos are also a great place to start. That’s because as a local expert, your own community is what you’re most familiar with and what you know most about. Who has the best pizza in town? What’s the Chamber of Commerce up to? When and where is the next music fest? What are the things that make people want to live in your market? You won’t have to do a ton of research, and this content is evergreen.

This is also another way for people to find you online. They may be looking to learn about your community before moving there, and then they find you and decide to work with you because of your passion, knowledge and online presence. Featuring local business owners is also a smart strategy because you’re breathing life into the local economy, generating long-term referrals and getting out there as the face of real estate in your area. Providing questions ahead-of-time eases the nervousness of your business owner interviewees and ensures an authentic conversation in the video.

  1. Drone Video Marketing
    More recently, drone videos have entered video real estate marketing strategy. Drones have the ability to take videos from the sky and can pan out to create stunning aerial views. There are so many different things and so much more the drone allows you to see, such as acreage, land, multi-structure complexes and geographical topography.

Although they can provide some really awesome shots, it may be a tool for which you want to hire a professional, because you don’t want to crash a drone or damage property if you’re not skilled with drones. Good drone equipment is expensive and sophisticated—and operating drones is, in many jurisdictions, governed by technical rules and government regulation—so this is an area where you definitely want to secure the services of a qualified professional.

  1. Educational Videos
    If you’re finding that you have to reexplain the same advice to different clients, one solution might be to create educational videos to teach or instruct in a more efficient and reusable way. These videos could include anything from staging advice to an overview of the different steps and processes your client will experience in a real estate transaction. In this way, you’ll pass on knowledge or instructions ahead of time, and then be able to elaborate or customize the advice in-person for your client’s specific situation. Clients will arrive at a meeting with you with a little more knowledge, or with some of the routine or preliminary tasks already accomplished, making your job easier and the relationship more positive.
  1. Testimonials
    Today’s consumers—especially younger consumers—find incredible value in “social proof,” which is a fancy way of saying that they are very interested in the recommendations and reviews of others. Just look at websites like Amazon, Yelp, eBay and TripAdvisor to see the large number of reviews there and how these reviews can help drive business. Many people give more weight to business websites that have testimonials from other people who have used the same service, so don’t skimp on the opportunity to showcase your happy clients using video. This accomplishes two things: it attracts new clients; and builds loyalty with existing clients who are thrilled that you’re interested in their opinions and in sharing them. They’re more likely to come back or offer referrals because you have proven that you take good service seriously.
  1. Market Updates
    One last way to use video in your business is to offer local and national market updates. On the one hand, you can use research and statistics from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to create engaging videos that explain to your colleagues and clients what’s going on in the real estate and mortgage industries at the national level. Then, as a local expert, you can create great videos explaining what you see happening in your local market. Are there subdivisions that are “hot” right now or where values are increasing? Are there new subdivisions or new construction on the horizon that your market should know about and through which you can plant seeds for future business? Are you seeing trends or patterns in how long properties are on the market and why, or new lending options that were not available before? Why not share your knowledge in a video and use this content marketing to further position yourself as a local real estate leader and influencer?

Now that you know some benefits and different avenues for video, how can you incorporate it into your business? One thing to expect is that you won’t be happy with every (or maybe any!) of the videos you record. It takes time to get used to how you look and sound on video. One thing Neubauer recommends is to give herself one take and go with it, even when it’s not live. Maneiro encourages us all to “get over ourselves” and just do it, and that even he is still a little nervous to this day. Like any other skill, video is a work in progress. The goal is improvement, not perfection. Each video is a learning opportunity, so as you get started, you can learn as you keep producing more videos. One of the beauties of video in our culture is that it does allow for you to be authentic and gives room for your human mistakes.

The episode goes into much more detail about specific equipment recommendations and the detailed how-tos of making videos, so definitely give it a listen. If you’re ready to get started on video, just remember to be you, be authentic, and focus on building relationships.

The Center for REALTOR® Development’s monthly podcast focuses on education in the real estate industry. It addresses formal education programs (such as those from NAR) and informal sources of industry knowledge (such as peers and mentors). Its intended audiences include REALTORS®, real estate professionals, allied professions, educators, education providers, and consumers. To listen or subscribe, visit www.crdpodcast.com. 

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

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The New Gold Standard: CENTURY 21 Canada to Launch the Largest Custom Real Estate Platform Build in Modern History

Jan 6, 2019 by

(L to R) Jack Miller, CTO, CENTURY 21 Canada, President & CTO, T3 Sixty; Morgan Carey, Founder & CEO, Real Estate Webmasters; Brian Rushton, EVP, CENTURY 21 Canada

Editor’s Note: This is the cover story in the January issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. Subscribe today. 

How do you follow up on the success of a bold, ambitious rebrand? With the largest custom technology build in modern real estate history, of course. CENTURY 21 Canada is stepping it up in a big, big way. Why is this storied company making such massive investments? It’s simple: so their agents can compete and win.

The Backstory
Nearing the launch of their new technology platform, CENTURY 21 Canada (C21) finds itself in a familiar place once again: on the leading edge. After all, it was a little over a decade ago when C21 first became the market leader in real estate technology after investing heavily in their first online platform.

Working closely with a small vendor, C21 had spent nearly half a decade creating and perfecting its vision before launching it in mid-2007. While five years of development sounds like an eternity today, that was the norm for web development back then, regardless of sector. The pace of technological progress had yet to hit its stride. Not only were online platform builds far more expensive than they are today, there was also a commonly held view that a platform would endure for a significant period of time.

Yet, as C21 discovered, this would not be the case. The platform was not agile enough to accommodate new innovations. And neither was the vendor-client partnership, for that matter. C21 quickly learned the expensive downside of being the sole client of a small firm: They were also the sole source of R&D funding. With the C21 contract in hand, the vendor had no real incentive to innovate, which only further added to the sensation of C21 falling behind.

In 2015, C21 brought in renowned real estate consultancy T3 Sixty to complete a major review of the system. Around the same time, C21’s original technology vendor was acquired. Following a comprehensive review, the only logical recommendation was for C21 to make a change—and fast.

Impressed by T3 Sixty’s engagement, C21 not only decided to follow the firm’s recommendation, they also made a strategic decision to appoint T3 Sixty CTO and President Jack Miller to act as C21 CTO to manage the project.

“We were looking for an outside perspective on how to evolve the company into the future. T3 Sixty has an excellent reputation in the industry, and after meeting with CEO Stefan Swanepoel and Jack Miller, we knew this new perspective would be a good fit,” says Martin Charlwood, vice chairman and CEO, CENTURY 21 Canada.

(L to R) Carey, Rushton and Miller

As president and CTO, T3 Sixty’s Miller had spent nearly two decades in the real estate industry. More notably, he had led technology teams at several influential brokerages and franchises. It just made sense for C21 to engage T3 Sixty to lead the RFP process and subsequent project implementation.

“T3 Sixty understands innovation, trends and the impact change is having on the real estate industry. With the firm’s background in both real estate and technology, they provided excellent expertise on helping us continue to be leaders in this space in Canada,” says Charlwood.

The T3 Sixty team saw a big opportunity ahead for C21. “What impressed me about C21 was their understanding that the technological landscape had changed, and that they needed to, as well,” says Miller.

The Process
With the T3 Sixty team now on board, C21 quickly honed in on what they needed in a new platform. The top priority was putting the needs of agents front and center.

Miller

“CENTURY 21 Canada has always prided itself on prioritizing technology. We also like to provide our agents with all the tools they need from the moment they enter the business. As technology changes, we’ve been able to offer more marketing tools and on-demand training, which ultimately gives us a more engaged culture,” says Brian Rushton, executive vice president of CENTURY 21 Canada.

The need to support agents with modern technology is only growing. For the industry, new portals like Zillow and VC-backed brokerages like Compass pop up frequently, creating further competition and pushing technological boundaries further. Consumers are also more tech-savvy than ever before. Homebuyers and sellers have high expectations for the look, feel and functionality of the online experience, plus a growing appetite for data and information.

From 30,000 feet, C21 knew they needed the new platform to be agile, with a higher level of performance, stronger lead management tools and exceptional marketing capabilities. Down at ground level, that resulted in an exhaustive 150-page RFP detailing high-level requirements of C21’s big-picture needs at the time.

“Scoping a project of this magnitude is a major project in and of itself. At 150 pages, this is by far one of the largest RFPs our group has ever worked on for a brokerage or franchise company,” explains Miller.

Carey and Miller participate in a training session with Real Estate Webmasters staff.

It was crucial that C21 identify a vendor that would not only deliver against the RFP, but that would also be flexible around new requirements, such as features that may not have been contemplated in the original scope, but would later be viewed as game changers for agents. And having learned the lesson from their previous vendor relationship, C21 needed a vendor that was willing to enter into a true partnership, invest heavily in R&D and be a master innovator.

“A true enterprise partner needs the depth of expertise, the know-how and the resources to get it done,” says Miller. “There were very few custom vendors who could manage a large enterprise-client relationship and deliver a very large, complex project.”

The Platform
Today, some 18 months later, C21 is set to launch their new platform in the first quarter of 2019. The innovative front-end design and comprehensive CRM will position C21 as the market leader in technology once again.

Perfectly timed with the C21 rebrand that took the industry by storm last year, the site is chock full of features that will redefine how agent and brokerage technology can enable and enhance day-to-day workflows.

Miller and Matt Pineo, developer, Real Estate Webmasters, discuss the CENTURY 21 Canada Technology Platform.

“Sales representatives need technology that integrates across all platforms and helps them connect with consumers quickly and effectively,” says Miller. “The next C21 platform does all that, but also provides a sales rep with the ability to customize the offering to best suit their business needs.”

The platform also includes a highly customizable marketing center that real estate professionals can access in order to manage their marketing collateral. Additionally, subdomain websites will provide agents with their very own online brand, transitioning from a simple profile page on the old platform to a full website connected to the c21.ca platform. Over 10,000 agents will be on the platform across Canada.

It took 30,000 development hours to deliver against the RFP and all the additional new features identified as game changers. To put that in perspective, it would have taken a single full-time developer over 20 years to build.

Meet the Vendor
Which real estate technology vendor could possibly handle a 30,000-hour custom project in less than two years? C21 completed an exhaustive search, interviewing only the best in the enterprise space, also undertaking thorough due diligence. In the end, they identified only a single vendor that could do the job: Real Estate Webmasters Inc. (REW).

“REW has unique capabilities within the industry,” says Miller. “They’ve built some incredible-looking sites. They’re investing in their web technology to make it the best in the industry. They’ve demonstrated a long-term commitment to maintaining design excellence for what they provide for the web. Plus, they’re one of the few places where you can get whatever you like. If you have the budget for it, you can build any way you want to go with them, which is really terrific.”

With the launch of the largest-ever custom website project on the horizon, Real Estate Webmasters’ success story continues to grow.

Founded in 2004 as a custom website firm in British Columbia, REW is focused on the high end of the real estate industry. In fact, according to Morgan Carey, REW’s founder and CEO, the company’s mantra from the beginning has been to concentrate on the high-producing, long-term, here-to-stay companies. This has allowed REW to consistently create more innovative products than other companies in the same arena.

Working with top-performing agents, teams and brokers, including celebrity clients like Barbara Corcoran and Fredrik Eklund, the award-winning company catapulted into success and now boasts 150-plus employees in five locations across North America. Named one of “Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies,” REW has been repeatedly listed in the Profit 500, Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement.

While most of REW’s customer base is in the U.S., adding a major Canadian brokerage firm is a huge success story that will ultimately pave the way for the company to bring high-end technology to Canadian agents and brokerages.

“When we announced the partnership with CENTURY 21 Canada, many C21 agents had already approached us saying that they wanted to work with us,” says Carey, who notes that the partnership will go a long way toward boosting the company’s brand recognition, while at the same time giving even more credibility to REW and adding to its great reputation.

Lessons and Takeaways for Brokerages and Developers
“A franchise-level project, the launch of the largest-ever custom real estate platform is set to shake up the industry as we know it, causing franchises across the board to realize that it’s time to step up their game,” says Carey. For companies considering a similar move, he advises they take the following lessons into consideration:

  1. Importance of facilitation on both sides. “No matter the size, projects can go out of scope if there isn’t facilitation on the side of the vendor, as well as the client,” says Carey. While the process of creating the largest-ever custom real estate platform was a success through and through for both CENTURY 21 Canada and REW, “having strong client partners who are also industry and technology veterans is critical. Jack Miller, chief technology officer at CENTURY 21 Canada, played a key role in this respect, providing a great show of leadership by taking the time to prepare ahead of meetings and being able to give direction to the team throughout the process,” adds Carey.
  1. Importance of true partnership and expertise. “Great partnerships begin with a mutual level of respect and the willingness to step back and let the experts take care of their respective responsibilities. While it can be a challenge for real estate brokerages when they don’t necessarily understand what constitutes the latest and greatest technology, CENTURY 21 Canada allowed us to take the lead as far as design and technology consultants. In addition, we facilitated a healthy exchange of ideas around web UI (user interface), language and accessibility, helping CENTURY 21 Canada to take the most innovative and cutting-edge approach to their solution,” notes Carey. “Successful partnerships aren’t about preventing problems, but rather, solving problems together,” he adds.
  1. Importance of technology and innovation in real estate. “While the project was a huge undertaking for CENTURY 21 Canada and Real Estate Webmasters—both of which are tech- and innovation-driven—it also redefines how agent and brokerage technology can enable and enhance day-to-day workflows,” concludes Carey.

For more information, please visit www.c21.ca and www.realestatewebmasters.com.

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at paige@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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How to Write and Run a Real Estate Blog

Dec 18, 2018 by

One of the best ways to generate leads while ensuring potential buyers and sellers stay informed about the real estate market in your local area is by blogging about it. You don’t necessarily need an English degree to run a real estate blog, but as a real estate professional, you most likely possess some knowledge about your local market and the real estate industry that’s worth sharing.

That being said, some agents aren’t sure as to what they should blog about, while others are afraid of running out of ideas. They may even feel like their posts aren’t visually appealing to buyers. Here are a few ideas of topics you can explore, and what you can do to ensure the longevity of your blog.

Topics of Interest
Start with what you know. This could be anything from the highlights of your community, new housing developments or annual events to your areas of expertise (e.g., flipping and rehabbing properties), the benefits of investing in income-producing properties, or explaining in layman’s terms how the home-buying process works. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re concerned about running out of topics, it doesn’t hurt to revisit previous topics you’ve written about and give them a refresher. This is especially beneficial if you previously wrote about mortgage rates, market trends and grand openings of any new businesses or storefronts. Keep in mind that your blog is an extension of your business and real estate brand, so try to avoid writing about topics that don’t pertain to real estate.

Style and Context
Blogging allows you to let your creative side come out, which means that it’s okay if your language is a little less than formal. Of course, it’s always best to use common sense and avoid using foul language. The goal is to be informative and to position yourself as an expert in your field.

Categorize
Many of us have a lot of ideas when it comes to blogging, and while it’s encouraged to blog about a variety of topics, it’s a good idea to categorize your posts so that your readers can find a topic of interest quickly and easily. Consider sorting your posts into the following categories: Buyers, Sellers, Investors, Flip and Sale, Our Community, and so on.

Subscribe and Share
Creating a blog post is one thing, but it would be all for naught if your readers aren’t aware of it. Promote your blog and any new posts across your social media platforms, and encourage your readers to subscribe to your blog via an RSS feed. Put the power of sharing your posts in the hands of your readers by including social sharing icons in a visible area of your blog, either at the top or bottom of the post.

Your blog posts don’t have to be 1,000-word essays either. While there’s no set length for a post, you’ll want to keep your readers’ interest by making sure your posts are always informative and interesting. And don’t forget to make your posts visually appealing by adding some nice photos or royalty-free images.

It’s also a good idea to keep a running content calendar so that you know what to write about and post ahead of time. Scheduling posts isn’t a bad idea, especially if you know that you’ll be particularly busy and unable to dedicate as much time to write and post to your blog. A lot of bloggers tend to take advantage of this feature during the holidays.

Blogging and utilizing social media are important marketing techniques every real estate professional should take advantage of, and ones that Realty ONE Group helps their professionals understand. To learn more about how Realty ONE Group can help you market yourself, visit www.RealtyONEGroup.com.

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5 Questions to Ask Before You Build a Real Estate Team

Dec 10, 2018 by

If the thought of building a team has piqued your curiosity, but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some help for you!

I started in real estate back in 2004, joining Bob and Fran Medley who had a small team here in Louisville, Ky. They were star power agents and learned from the best in the country. The Medleys retired in 2008—and I took over and started expanding, and grew the business to where it is today. I’ve been the leader of my 20-agent, five-admin team ever since. Last year we sold 419 homes, and this year we are on track to do about the same level of production.

We’ve compiled five questions to ask yourself that illustrates our recipe for success:

  1. Why are you interested in creating a team? Dave Ramsey says you need to have the heart of a teacher to be a real estate agent. Yet, to become a team leader, you not only need the heart of a teacher, but the enthusiasm of a cheerleader, street smarts, technology fingers and the brain of businessperson.

Don’t get scared if you don’t have all those parts—like me, you can grow into them with time and diligent practice. The very first step is determining how big a team you want, what your end goal is in terms of production, and how much time and energy you’re willing to devote to the process.

  1. How do your buyer’s agents make money? Once you’ve determined you have the drive and energy, you need to decide how you’re going to bring agents onto your team. Simply put, what is your value proposition to other agents in your market? A basic answer to that question might be summed up with one word: leads. Agents want to know what you’re going to do more of, or differently, to get listings—other than just sitting them in front of a phone or sending them out to knock doors. So, forming partnerships with lenders and other industry professionals is imperative to help offset the cost of inbound leads.

As a coach for Workman Success Systems, I can tell you most agents cannot work with more than 25 new leads per month. For a buyer’s agent, however, that may not be enough. So, you need leads coming in from a variety of sources, including personal pay-per-clicks, national lead-seller companies, sign calls and social media. Getting all these things to work together is a subject for another time; the bottom line is, we try to make sure our agents are getting more than 50 leads a month, knowing that at least half of those are going to be people who already have an agent.

  1. What type of team structure do you need? Before you start adding team members, make sure you’re busy enough to support the sharing of leads. Also, be sure to have at least one administrative assistant working with you—one who knows what they’re doing and who you can trust. The key to success is being able to duplicate processes over and over again. That’s why you need systems in place that are foolproof. Using a contact management system that cues your admin to upcoming events and needed reports is imperative. Knowing how to use part (or all) of that contact management system is important to you as a team leader.

One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to gear up for a team is to bring in a coach who has been in your position before and currently owns or manages their own team and knows the pitfalls of growing it. There are a lot of great coaches in our world, but the ones who learn what they’re doing from a book can’t compare to the team leaders who are in the trenches every day handling their own problems on the fly.

Finally, perfecting your office communication, integrating with current technology, adhering to a philosophy, setting and reaching goals, and developing and maintaining systems are absolutely indispensable to finding success in today’s market.

  1. How do you start to grow your salespeople? Growing your team can be as simple as walking up to an agent with whom you’ve done business and had a successful closing and asking if they’ve ever thought of being on a team. I’d love to tell you it’s that simple all the time, but it’s not. Your steps to growing should include communicating with your broker and explaining to them you’d like to create and grow a team.

Ask the broker to be on the lookout for anyone they think would be a good fit. Talk with other agents in your brokerage. Ask your broker to review agent metrics in your city and be on the lookout for people who have potential, but just don’t seem to be getting traction. You can also contact other agents in your marketplace with whom you’ve had positive experiences and build a relationship in which they would consider working for you.

Broadcasting your need for new agents (I would never say you’re “starting a team”) on social media with the words “We are growing again” is a great way to get attention. You also might consider forming a small budget for radio ads with local stations explaining you are growing again and need agents.

  1. How do you keep the team moving forward once you’ve created it? The best suggestion I can give you is summed up in one simple word: transparency. As you bring on more people, everything you do should be agreed on by the group. Once you have an administrative person and bring on your first agent, all other decisions should be made by the group. Sure, you will retain the final say over those decisions, but agents and administrative staff need to feel they’ve had a hand in shaping their destiny. Those who do are more likely to stay with you longer and be more dedicated to the final goal.

For example, say a new agent is identified by your broker. You invite that agent to the team meeting (which should be taking place at least once a week), have the agent sit in on what you do, and, at the end of the meeting, you as the team leader get up and leave the room. Give the agent permission to discuss you with your team, and ask your team to ask the agent questions about their personal goals. This gives your team an opportunity to gain insight into the prospective team member’s attitude and see if they’re a good fit. Any one of your agents objecting to the new team member needs to be acknowledged and any concerns worked out ahead of time.

This gives you a very basic framework for growing a team; you can learn a lot more by attending masterminds around the country, communicating with other team members and listening to what coaches have to say about growing your team. Owning or managing your own team gives you more freedom, but it also brings on a lot more responsibility, and you must be prepared to handle that.

Bob Sokoler is a coach with Workman Success Systems, owner and team leader of The Sokoler Medley team at RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, Ky., and a video specialist. Sokoler’s team sold over 400 homes in 2017 and approximately 440 properties in 2016. Before becoming a REALTOR® in 2004, Sokoler was a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.

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