The advantages and disadvantages of teams in real estate have been an ongoing debate for decades. Success doesn’t have to be quantified solely on team goals. It’s important to track goals on a personal level, as well. So, stop thinking of goal setting as something you do for the team collectively. Start with each team member and your team goals will magically appear.
For my nine-member team, ranging from new agents to those with more than 20 years of experience, it’s all about collaboration, delivering extraordinary experiences, and going above and beyond for each other and our clients. When we excel at that, productivity and personal growth follow. Our team dynamic focuses on creating an environment of family, setting personal goals, commitment to our clients, and community involvement.
A plan for goal selling
Our measure of success is not quantified solely on the gross team goals, but our successes are measured on a personal level. One way to do that is to have every team member spend time creating their goals, both personal and professional. From that exercise, we create our team production and service goals. This format can look very different from other teams, where the production goals are created first, and, then, team members are provided their goals for the year.
Why it works
This process supports my family of agents, especially when life gives us challenges. A few years ago, one of my team members suffered a stroke. We came together to sustain him through his personal and professional rehabilitation. Today, his mindset to perform at the highest level remains, although his personal production goals look slightly different than before. Despite creating goals from the bottom up, our team production goals have increased every year.
Through our process, we’ve discovered that personalization for team goal setting is also affected by client relationships and community involvement. Each member of the team is involved in their community. Allowing our team to work independently when needed, and use the resources a team can provide, gives our clients the extra attention that is sometimes warranted. If one of my team members needs to include another team member to help support a real estate transaction, we fully entrust our fellow team members. Our combined market and industry knowledge, coupled with our commitment to the client and community, keeps us comfortable knowing our clients are well cared for in their real estate needs.
I have another agent who is brand new. She is a proud mom with baby No. 2 on the way. Her production goals are a little bit lower than others on the team, yet she is a valuable asset. She is highly regarded in the community, trusted by homebuyers, sellers and the team. Keeping her motivated and providing the ongoing support she needs comes with both a short-term and long-term benefit for her and the team. Production goals are not everything to our team; trust and client commitment are key factors in building my team.
Set minimum standards and find like-minded agents
Notwithstanding, there are minimum standards we set. We couldn’t survive if we had team members who didn’t produce, because there are costs involved in everything we do. Most teams have buyer or seller specialists, but for us, we work on both sides of the business. Therefore, we are well-rounded real estate professionals able to service any client. It’s how I started decades ago, and it works.
Looking ahead, while today we are a nine-member team, just a few years ago, we were six. We continue to plan for more growth year after year, but our primary goal is to find other like-minded agents. We look for agents with whom we would choose to list and buy our personal homes. We want people who understand, agree with our culture and are personally committed to the members of the team, no matter the circumstance.
The pressure to expand
All in all, while there is planned growth, I don’t feel pressured to expand. I feel the pressure to increase what each of us is doing right now and make sure we meet our clients’ needs with the world-class service we strive to achieve. When we have that right person, we’ll bring them on. That’s our process for growth.
Be community minded
Here’s what we collectively understand: We positively impact others and are aware of the world outside of our small circle. Honestly, it’s the whole philosophy of our team. Every team member has a local school they have individually adopted, some members are involved in mission work in places like India. Other team members raise awareness and funds for Alzheimers or serve through a local women’s shelter. When Snowmageddon hit Texas, our team immediately set out to help those in need in our communities.
In a year when we were all hit by COVID, as a company, we still raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the brand’s philanthropic partner, Easterseals North Texas, which enables persons and their families and caregivers living with disability to thrive in their local communities. Our commitment to our community is at the heart of what we do, whether for real estate or philanthropy.
I do think my approach to team goals and mindset are working. I know that I am a leader with my shortcomings, but I must help others on the team rise above their challenges and reach their fullest potential while staying committed to the real estate industry and the communities we serve. That keeps me up at night (that’s why I have a coach!. Acting with grace and empathy as I coach skill sets, learned behaviors and juggle life’s circumstances, both my own and my team members, is demanding but rewarding. I
If my team continues to collaborate on our team goals, deliver extraordinary experiences, and go above and beyond for each other and our clients, we will make a difference and enjoy the productivity and personal growth that follows.
Roslyn Gauntt is a team leader of The Gauntt Team of CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company in Colleyville, Texas