By Lindsey Fowkes
When I entered the real estate industry, building a team never crossed my mind and I had no idea where I was headed or where I would be 12 years later. Teams have become a popular subject as of late, with the market’s mounting demand for our time and as young professionals and millennials continue to embrace the team oriented work atmosphere. Teamwork makes the dreamwork, right? Although teams have been around for some time, they have to evolve tremendously if you desire to be successful and relevant for years to come.
Most team leaders, such as myself, didn’t start out with a plan or structure before the team was created, it was honestly done organically out of necessity for my sanity.
There was a point in my career when I was producing an overflow of lead generation that I simply couldn’t handle myself while continuing to provide superior service I had built my reputation on. I found myself at a professional cross roads, pulling my hair and failing miserably at work-life balance. The “team” started by referring leads and clients to a friend in my office. I didn’t even interview her (LOL). I guess sitting next to her for about a year was sufficient in my eyes at that time. It seemed like the natural progression and a choice I would later learn from down the road. It then grew to the need for a transaction coordinator to handle contract to close details, since neither of us were analytical personalities, and we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off.
Looking back on it now, the transaction coordinator should have been my first hire, and I would recommend that to any agent who is considering the formation of a team. Learn from my mistakes, people! Get to know the potential team member’s personality by using the DISC assessment (Click here to take the DISC assessment.) It’s a great tool to provide some insight into his or her work style and if it will fit with yours and the position.
From there you need to find a system to operate within, stay organized, accountable, and last but not least track your financials! For heavy online players I would suggest BoomTown, for others with less online traffic, Referral Maker by Buffini and Co. is a great choice. One of the best tips I can give is to choose a system and master it. You will have a MILLION to choose from and flip flopping technology isn’t good for team morale. Also, start NOW before your business begins to flourish and you find yourself backpedaling into some sort of structure.
Today our team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group, The Fowkes Group, consists of six members and is consistently in the top 1%-2% of the network, our office, and in our city of Tampa Bay. Despite growing pains, one thing remains true; our success is attributed to hard work, perseverance and most importantly, my team members. The collaborative efforts, transparency and attitude of abundance is what makes us who we are. We truly work as a team, love what we do on most days, and enjoy watching each other achieve goals and own our version of success, all while remaining humble. There is no secret to success or building a team in real estate, it’s a continuous work in progress to perfect your craft. And, as one of the most incredible entrepreneurs that inspires me daily—Gary Vaynerchuk—would say, “There’s no right answer, there’s just doing.”
LINDSEY FOWKES is the team leader of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group The Fowkes Team. She is also a member of the national REthink Council. Learn more at www.thefowkesgroup.com.