The middle team is dead. 

The middle class is dead—we’ve all heard that, and that’s certainly true in America today. And the middle team in real estate is an extremely vulnerable place to be. 

What do I mean by the “middle team”? It’s the “We’re a family” team.

“I’ve got 6/7/8 agents. And we’re a nice little family. I started the team with somebody who I just like to spend time with in the office. We think alike. We like to spend time together…” 

Likely, those teams started as some type of partnership with no decision on who makes the final decisions. And we know that those end badly. That team will blow up naturally. Because, at the end of the day, partners that go 50/50 on all decisions never work. 

The family atmosphere doesn’t work as a real estate business model

Real estate teams with a family culture can’t compete with teams that run like a business. 

Say you’ve got an 8-10 person team with that family atmosphere. When five decide to get up and leave—because they’re joining a downline or they’ve decided to start their own family team or whatever— you now have a 3-5 person team. 

And you have to decide, “Am I just quitting the team and going back in as a solo agent, or am going to get completely out of the business?” It’s a really bad spot to be in. 

You can’t predict your future when you’re operating like a family—as opposed to a business. 

You might think, starting out, that the family atmosphere will make the agents on your team loyal to the group, and that each one of them will make your goals their own. But they each have their own career and their own professional goals to work on. 

They can’t afford to prioritize your family atmosphere over their own success. 

The family atmosphere makes the team feel less serious—almost as if they’re pretending to be a real estate team without actually doing what it takes to make the team work like a real business. 

Eventually, that becomes the team’s undoing. And it holds everyone back. 

The secret to growing your team is not a secret

When I started a team, I was that little middle team: 8-10 people. And we thought, “If we just keep doing great work, all of a sudden, everybody’s going to come to us. One day, 10-20 people are just gonna walk through that door and join the team.” 

If you’re not being intentional about going out there and getting recruits—getting people to join you—it’s never going to happen. 

The secret to growing your team is not a closely-guarded secret. As DJ Dellasala told me when Tom Toole and I called him up and asked him how he was growing his team down in Jacksonville, FL—there’s no dark magic involved in getting people to join your team. 

You get recruits the same way you get listings. Whatever you do to get listings, do that for recruits. (For reference, DJ & Lindsey Real Estate sold a billion dollars in sales last year).

You’ve got to follow up, you’ve got to address the pain points of real estate agents, and you’ve got to show them how joining your team would accelerate their success. 

It’s something I wish I’d done from day one.