What makes a good Real Estate team?
I have been reading a lot of articles lately on teams. One in particular was very interesting. The article showcased Amy Kite’s team, a Chicago powerhouse, Ranked number 138 nationally for closed transactions in the rankings, the team had its best year ever last year, with 341 closed transaction sides, more than double its previous year’s performance. 341 transactions???? #OMG
What she wrote about Real Estate being no Part-time gig, resonated with me.
Real estate is no part-time gig
Having children led Kite to start her career in the industry. She came from a high-flying career in head hunting, where she used to say she was a Realtor — but she sold people.
“I’ve always been in sales, I’ve just always sold different products. I changed from headhunting to real estate because I had just given birth to our second child and I wanted to be able to drop in at home any time,” said Kite.
Endorsed by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran as her go-to agent in Chicago land, the former corporate executive has never approached real estate as a part time gig. She was in no doubt about wanting to take real estate seriously.
“The fact is that it’s a business. Too many people don’t look at it that way; they treat this as a hobby.”
Which brings me to our team and how we got here.
5 years ago, my wife was pregnant with our Princess, Olivia. Pryor to Olivia’s arrival it was me, Carolyn and Heather Burns. We were mean and lean.
We wanted to prepare for growth, both in our personal life and professional lives. We had already cracked the $1,000,000 Gross Commission level, with just the three of us, but wanted to get to the next level.
In the last 5 years, we have moved to grossing over $2,500,000 in gross sales commissions, which is the equivalent to $100,000,000 in annual sales volume and ranking #18 out of over 6000 Douglas Elliman real estate agents.
We now have two assistants and 6 agents on our team. We are constantly focused on our customer’s needs, from the minute we start working with them, until the transaction is completed.
So, how do we do it?
My training as a Chef for 18 years of my life and working in the restaurant business for over 31 years has helped me in my Real Estate career. From developing and running the Calle Ocho concept, to working with Laurent Tourondel at BLT Prime and BLT Steak DC, to working with David Burke at the River Café. It taught me the following:
~The customer is always right
~No day is ever the same
~Customers want to be communicated to, in a quick, precise way, with accurate responses.
~If there is an emergency, ie. Short staffing, running our of food, special orders; FIGURE IT OUT! The customer doesn’t care that two cooks didn’t show up and you ran out of chicken.
~treat people with respect. Every person in the restaurant is important. It is a living, breathing machine and it must operate on all cylinders. If you derail one employee by screaming at them, the machine will not run smoothly.
Here are my tips on running a successful real estate team and being the team leader:
~Always be positive, no matter what. If the team leader is in a bad place, the entire team is in a bad place.
~ Have at least one monthly team meeting, if no more. You should have topics to discuss. Ideas, how to help each team members business to grow. Talk about the current markets we are in. what is each team member doing for future business? Are there any positive or tough situations that can be shared, for the entire team to learn from? During the meeting, all phones are off and everyone is 100% attentive. Bring in guest speakers.
~Keep tabs on all individual sold and closed and pending deals.
~Be a part of all deals. I want to be cc’d on the majority of communication with the buyer, sellers and renters for the customers that the team member has generated the business. This model makes us stronger and allows me to participate with negotiations on all deals and maintain outstanding customer service.
~If they are my buyers and sellers, then just my wife, Carolyn and our two assistants are copied on all communications.
~Be a great attentive listener
~Treat every member with respect
~Share your knowledge. Share ideas. Share how you generate business.
~The most important tip I can give you as a team leader is to be laser focused, passionate and have a fun running the team. If you can’t have fun in this business, maybe you need to get on another ride?