On June 26, 2019, we hosted our monthly YPN Breakfast. Here, we soaked up expertise from three top producing team leaders. Watch, listen and read below to learn about preparing yourself and your team for success and growth. You can check out photos from the event on the YPN Facebook page!
Listen to what we learned:
Read key takeaways:
Talent is everywhere. What you should focus on is assembling common minds.
Jill Silverstein connected with her Operations Manager through Indeed. After tons of interviews with dozens of candidates, she and Stacey simply clicked. “It was a gut reaction with her. I loved her personality. Everything MLS and real estate logistics can be taught, but her personality and her values were what stood out to me, and I knew we could collaborate and be good partners,” Jill said. The rest of her team assembled via social connections either through mutual colleges, referrals from friends or general encounters with compelling, successful brokers.
“For example, Stacey, our Operations Manager, used Alan to rent her apartment, and he was just so great through the process that she went back to him. She said he made her feel like she was a million dollar-buyer and not just a renter. I heard that and said, ‘That’s the kind of person I want on my team,'” Jill said. Ultimately, she chooses people who are in line with her brand and would be an asset to her team.
Danny found that after a certain level of success, he didn’t have to look for people to hire; they approached him. He operates his team by empowering each of his brokers to work under their own MLS IDs. He wants them to develop and own their own sales and their own success. “I feel like the people on my team knew how my team works and that’s what drew them to me in the first place,” he said. Danny owned a specific team personality and brand, and through his relationships in the real estate community, he assembled a team.
Time with your team members is non-negotiable.
Nick’s team meetings and team outings are considered essential building blocks to a positive team culture. Without them, his team members don’t feel the camaraderie and unity, which drive both individual and big-picture success.
Jill treats her team meetings with the same reverence. “We meet every other Wednesday at 10 AM, and those are non-negotiable. Everyone must attend, which I don’t think is too much to ask. These meetings are very structured — we talk numbers, review goals, share progress and challenges and more.”
On Danny’s team, a major part of his role is being available for his team members’ calls to answer their questions, help troubleshoot challenges and supply any other input they need from him.
All three panelists reiterated the importance of growing and retaining talent by treating calls and meetings with their team members as sacred.
Be the leader and the broker you want your team to be.
“By always attending our meetings, I’m showing my team what commitment means. When I give them goals or host contests, I follow up to make sure everyone is participating. That’s what good follow up looks like and what I want to see from them,” Jill said.
Nick keeps accountability in his team through software called Follow Up Boss. He and his partner lean on each other to share the mentorship role. His network and team are made up of people he’s met throughout his involvement on the YPN committee and their events. Nick said those professionals have offered him the greatest examples of being a team player and team leader.
He sets expectations early with his team, so the junior team members know they’re learning and soaking up what they can. For teams with hungry brokers eager to make a name for themselves, Nick recommends taking advantage of updates to the MLS. “You can use a Team ID with each person’s MLS ID associated underneath it. For example, a team that makes 20 million, you can show that one person did 5 million, and so on.” Managing a successful team means maintaining common ground and a common goal, under your stewardship, while allowing room for individual growth.
“When I started, I was sort of taken under the wing of this really successful broker,” Danny said. “I got to watch him navigate through all this growth, and he served as that mentor for me. And just like when the person in front of you at Starbucks pays for your coffee, you pay it forward. I am now being that mentor and that example for my team.”
Take a hard look at yourself before you hire.
Danny knew he was ready for his first hire when he physically could not take care of his clients’ needs. He looked at the places he was being stretched thin, and that directed his hiring choice.
“Before you hire, figure out what you’re not good at and what you need to be involved with,” Jill said.
Nick advises differentiating between skills that can be taught and skills that can’t. “I don’t always recommend looking for someone with real estate experience for admins. You need a go-getter, you need organization, and those things can’t be taught.”
After starting his business in 2009 and employing his parents as his first hires, Nick’s next hire ended up being an admin. “I have a strong online presence and a website that drives a lot of leads, and I knew I needed a sort of ‘dispatch’ to take those leads and dispatch them out to the right agents. So, that dispatch person, that admin, was my first hiring choice.” He looked at what kind of a team member he needed and what kind of skill set he needed – and that led him to his hiring decision.
Building your team means you’re assembling like-minded talent, with the same values and goals, whose strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Just like for all three panelists, when a team feels strong, united and empowered, they’re successful.