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How to effectively build a real estate team

A real estate team is the realtor’s way of saying two heads (or five) are better than one. Typically, a top producing agent will hire or bring others together to align their interests and to create leverage so they can cover more scope, take on more workload, and ultimately produce more as a whole then they did as individuals.

Most of the biggest agents in the industry, making record-breaking sales, and leaving a trail of satisfied clients and glamorous personal achievements did that by building a real estate team. However, it is not as easy as stacking a pile of bricks atop each other. There are a boatload of reasons and tricks to it, which will set you well on your way if you can just get it right.

Why You Should Start a Real Estate Team

One of the things that make a successful realtor is unit sales and the amount of ground they have been able to cover in the real estate market. However, any top-of-the-game realtor will know that at some point, the going gets tough. Not because success and fame have made them go soft, but because there’s just so much that a single person can handle.

However, a real estate team can be more than just a stress reliever. Realtors who’re looking to widen their scope and consolidate their presence in the business will also find building a team to be one of the most lucrative things they’ve ever done in their career. By building a team, a realtor can go from having limited outputs to doing so much more in such little time; we’re talking faster and higher sales here. And eventually, that brings in more clients.

How To Build a Great Real Estate Team

Building a real estate team is no walk in the park I can tell you that. Think of it as another phase of your career, an attempt at acquiring a merger or enlarging the scope of your business. A realtor who is looking to build a real estate team will have to pay close attention to a number of factors. If they get these factors wrong, the real estate team will backfire before it even gets a chance to get off the ground. Get it right and every other thing will fall in place. Think of it as not building a great real estate team, but building a great real estate company. Here are some questions or factors a realtor should consider while building their team.

Who Should I Hire First?

Building a team more or less implies an increase in capacity. This means that you as a real estate agent will be able to handle more listings. It’s not wise to just up and have a team overnight. That’s a prerequisite to crashing out of business. The first hire should be a strong admin person that can free the agent up so they can spend more time on revenue generating activities. This needs to be a talented person you can push the agent to do more. In the meantime, agents can contract a transaction coordinator to help coordinate transactions for more leverage.

How Do I Know I Have the Money to Do It?

Having a real estate team means you no longer have a 100% take in all the commissions. Every commission that comes in moving forward is covering the overhead of the members of your team. Now, a real estate team could consist of a transaction coordinator, a showing assistant, a marketing assistant, and buyer agents. You’re running a mini-company at this point, and if you’re not producing at least 20 transactions annually, you should take some more time to make your business stable before building that team.

What Positions Should I Hire?

We’ve established that you’d need a  strong admin first. A showing assistant can also come in handy to create more leverage and if you are not available and you need someone to fill in for you when your clients need to see the homes they intend on buying.

Going forward, you can hire a full-time assistant and or the transaction coordinator who can handle other tasks for you and the team. Then, of course, you’d need buyer agents. The number you employ should reflect the statistics of your sales. You can also go for other roles like a listing agent and an inside sales associate.

How Do I Prepare?

  1. Have a Stable High-Income Business: A real estate team will implode on itself without a stable high-income business. You cannot start a real estate team of reputable worth unless you are consistently closing north of 20 transactions per  year. Depending on the size of the team and markets served, a real estate team will need way more and on a constant basis.
  2. Have a Solid Structure: A realtor building a real estate team around a flaccid business structure is an exercise in futility. Having a set of goals, visions, systems, business presence, and tools set in concrete also means that your team will be set in concrete. All your team needs to do is fit in and you all can get going.
  3. Take Extra Care with Your Hiring Exercise: It’s not wise to just go out there and bring in every Tom, Dianne, and Harriet that claims to be a realtor. Beyond just finding people who have completed real estate school, you need to make sure you’re bringing people with the skillset and the right personal attributes to not just grow your business but fit into your culture, goals and vision.
  4. Get Your Assistant: In the event that you don’t start out hiring an administrative assistant, you can get a transactional coordinator to sort out all the paperwork and contracts. Administrative assistants come with a little more in the bag than their ability to handle the paperwork. So, whichever you can get first, get, but you need them to get everything up and running before the buyer agents come in.
  5. Get Buyer Agents: Once everything’s sorted out, it’s time to get buyer agents. With more time, you can now start focusing on getting more leads now than one person is able to handle.  So, the buyer agents are ideal to offset the strain. Hiring an experienced agent will land you immediate productivity in the team. A rookie agent might be the cheaper option, but they lack experience and that could drag your progress.
  6. Go For Other Roles: Hiring other roles like a listing agent and an ISA is a good way to split up the workload in your team to ensure greater efficiency and productivity.
  7. Don’t Forget What Got You Where You Are: So many successful realtors have reasons why they enjoy the success they have. It could be their top-notch service or their concern for client welfare. Whatever it is, take that along with you when you build your team. It’s your label, your public image, and it will never stop working.

How To Keep a Team Successful Once You Build It

Once you build a real estate team, never let your eyes stray too far from it. A realtor can grow a team so large that most of the day-to-day activity begins to fall off their shoulder. Nevertheless, that’s no excuse to take a foot off things. Monitor your paperwork and the contracts; that way you can keep an eye out for oddities that could impact the team negatively.

Apart from sales and listings, it’s pertinent that the leader keeps a close watch on team performance and harmony. A disjointed team can mess up the entire performance and sales for your business. Sometimes, it could be that there’s just one weak link in the team. If your eyes aren’t sharp enough, you’d miss that weak link, and that will in turn create bigger problems in the near future.


The nature of building a real estate team is not difficult per se. Any realtor looking to build one should, first of all, have a why. Then they can move on to the how and finally consider how to keep their real estate team at the top.Chris Heller is a real estate industry icon, best selling author and currently serves as the Chief Real Estate Officer at Ojo Labs. As a two time CEO within the real estate industry, Chris is seen as a thought leader, helping to create a cohesive structure and adoption between real estate professionals, consumers. Chris also serves as an Advisor and Head of the Editorial Board for, helping agents make crucial business decisions based on real data and reviews.