When it comes to building a winning real estate team, you have to remember that it is a business. With the right business model, you can achieve new heights year after year. But the wrong one can lead to stagnation—or even failure.
A mistake we see again and again in real estate is with the middle team—specifically, teams that prioritize creating a “family” rather than a business. These teams often reach a breaking point as there’s no clear leader and too many partners making decisions.
And while partnerships can be a great way to build a team, trying to split all decisions 50/50 eventually ends in disaster.
You need a designated leader to make any model work. And by that, I mean it helps:
- For the team members to work together and support each other
- For the leader’s decisions to be respected and carried out
- For the team as a whole to be profitable and attractive to new recruits (or staff hires)
What teams actually make sense, then?
There are two winning team models that are worth building in 2023. Let’s take a look at each below:
#1–The Mega Team
A mega team doesn’t stop at around 20 agents. It’s 50-plus. It’s 100-plus when you get to 50. It’s 200-plus when you get to 100.
Effective mega team leaders know exactly how to recruit new talent to the team—and how to help every member of the team continuously level up their skills as real estate professionals.
This isn’t a brokerage, because we know brokerages have no control over their agents. This is a team, which implies it has standards that every member is expected to meet. The mega team has a leader whose decisions and insights are respected and valued.
That doesn’t mean there’s no culture or input from members of the team. The mega team is a large but unified whole with a shared vision. And it works for obvious reasons:
- The top line continuously grows.
- You can operate on a smaller margin in the beginning.
- You can grow that margin when you need to—because you can pull back on certain levers when you have that much scale.
#2—The Individual Agent
Even though this is called the “individual agent” when reporting their numbers, when done right, this is a team model.
There’s a rockstar in every luxury market, who goes on RealTrends as the individual agent—and has five assistants, two buyer agents, and somebody who comes in and does staging.
If you love to sell and you want to be in production, this model works. I consider it a team because you have a group of people who work together to support every sale.
With this model, you build a team around a single agent (the rockstar), with staffing and support. The support of the team is critical because it gives the agent more time to do what they do best—hunt for business. In turn, the team is able to take more market share and become super profitable.
The team may consist of W2 hires or virtual assistants. Either way, starting with a transaction coordinator or an administrative assistant is a great way to get started with this model.
Building a successful real estate team requires a clear business model that prioritizes profitability and growth.
Avoid falling into the trap of building a “family” team without a clear leader, and instead, focus on creating a team with a shared vision and standards that every member is expected to meet.