How to Build an Effective E-Team

How one brokerage built an e-team to handle leads.

By: Paul Salley, director of business acquisition

Many brokerages in residential real estate are interested in the benefits an e-team affords but are not sure how to approach assembling this team model. REAL Trends spoke with Amanda Hodge, customer service manager of Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors in the Quad Cities Area of Iowa. The brokerage attributes much of its success in obtaining and processing qualified leads to the structure and implementation of their e-team.

“Our e-team consists of 20 percent of the agents in each office. [These agents] agreed to a higher level of customer service, meet a small GCI requirement (15,000), attend a yearly training, weekly sales meetings and certain file update requirements. They must meet at least 15 percent conversion in order to stay on the team,” says Hodge.

Of course, building your e-team takes a plan. Hodge notes that “The more experienced agent is not always the best choice [for the e-team). We want to do our best to have e-team agents who are hungry enough to give exceptional service for the life of the lead.”

With that comes challenges. She says that brokers must outline clear expectations of the agents on an e-team. For example, she says, “We have strong follow-up systems where [an inside sales person (ISA)] will call the lead up to six times in the first 15 days. If the ISA doesn’t reach the lead, it’s assigned to an e-team agent. They must call 24 hours after getting the assignment, again after eight days and every 30 days after that for the life of the lead.”

E-teams can be an effective for any brokerage when structured and implemented correctly. With more and more leads coming in from various online sources, both paid and organic, it’s crucial to have a plan in place to nurture these leads to a measurable conversation and seeing them through to a sale. For Ruhl & Ruhl, it’s working. “Our conversion year-over-year slowly continues to improve as we tighten up our lead process. We’re up 1 percent year-to-date from last year.”