Agents should work together to build a successful culture

May 3, 2018

Even when demand is high, agents working at brokerages need to understand they're part of a team. The ability to lean on other real estate professionals at this time of year could pay off for all involved. Since things can get hectic with so much demand, a little help can go a long way.

However, building a good, strong team starts at the top, so it's incumbent upon brokers to make sure the agents they're bringing in are good team players who are more than willing to help their co-workers when they have the time, according to Fit Small Business. And when issues arise, everyone can pitch in to address them in short order.

Putting the pieces together
Another area in which brokers have some work to do - and where agents may be able to encourage those brokers to help them help the business - is in designating roles in certain situations, especially if those fit within agents' individual personalities. For instance, if some agents seem more naturally inclined to be leaders (such as those with more experience), while others (like new hires) need more hand-holding, putting them in a position in which they could thrive in that role would likely go a long way toward ensuring everyone gets the most out of the arrangement.

But at the same time, it's also vital for agents to make sure they can work together effectively, as interacting positively on a regular basis is the first step toward building a strong working relationship. That effort, in turn, could really pay off when it comes to not only building success for the organization, but also keeping clients happy.

"When we first started as a team, like any businesses we had to adjust and learn how to work effectively with one another," real estate agent Negar Souza told the site. "In order to be successful as a team, you must ensure that what you lack as an individual, whether it's a skill or a personality trait, your teammate embodies to ensure you cover all clientele. The most challenging part of the team is ensuring you have a seamless transition between you and your teammates when helping clients so it is smooth and flawless."

Running smoothly
It's vital for agents to also be welcoming when new hires come aboard, with solid, established systems in place for onboarding people, according to The Residential Specialist. Whether they're coming over carrying years of experience with a different company (or companies), or are brand new to real estate, agents need to be able to work together to get those new people up to speed with their firm's way of doing things.

Likewise, it's important to regularly refocus on what the company's intended culture is supposed to be, because in the busy spring and summer other issues can arise that draw attention away. This is totally understandable, but it is nonetheless important for agents to take as much responsibility for fostering that culture on an ongoing basis as brokers. Having those kinds of systems in place will help to both keep agents accountable and give them all the tools they need to meet clients' needs throughout the relationship.

Keeping it going
It's important to keep in mind that one of the biggest issues that affects an agency's ongoing success is continuity, according to Dan Plowman Team Systems. When agents constantly leave the company, it creates a lot of costs related to replacing them, both in terms of starting a new candidate search and the potential for the lost business and capacity. This is also the case when it comes to making a hire and finding out the fit just isn't quite right, because that also takes all that time and financial investment and effectively doubles it.

To that end, it's incumbent upon agents and brokers alike to make sure they're doing all they can to ensure there's a good reason for agents to stick around for the long term, keeping the firm thriving. Brokers may be able to do more to improve compensation and other benefits, and agents should be prepared to be as welcoming as possible.

Supporting everyone
Finally, it's a good idea for agents to make sure their brokerages have all the right support staff in place, especially as they grow, according to CA Realty Training. For instance, while small operations may work for many brokers, when teams start to grow quickly (especially in today's climate), supporting positions need to be added. Agents shouldn't be timid about asking bosses for help when they need it, especially because when agents have all the help they need, they're only more likely to succeed individually and collectively.

Necessary support staff can include sales assistants who help agents follow up on potential leads, or otherwise keep order in the office when many agents are out at open houses or on the road. However, they should also include outside help from professionals like escrow officers, whose job is to specifically shepherd real estate sales through the escrow process, and title representatives who make sure everything is transferred properly during a sale.

Along these lines, it might be wise for agents to make sure they're doing more to ensure they know what their needs are on an ongoing basis, and be prepared to coordinate with other agents at the firm to make sure they can get the help they need, when they need it.

Generally speaking, when there is plenty of open dialog about what makes for a successful agency, there is likely to be a greater effort to strive for those goals. As long as everyone knows what everyone else needs at any given time, agents and brokers will be in a position to help. In doing so, they will likely be able to close more sales and help more clients together, as a team.

That, in turn, will likely help keep agents engaged and happy as the housing market continues to boom, providing for more financial and professional success for themselves and their brokerages.