During my recent winter trip south, I had the pleasure of having lunch with my friends Shirley Porter and her remarkable partner, Ken Goodfellow. It was a lovely day on a restaurant patio in Fort Lauderdale as Ken and I got talking about our passion, real estate (sorry Shirley!).
Ken is not a mainstream real estate coach, he is at the upper crust of real estate coaches. Before he takes on a salesperson they must be grossing at least $600,000 and then some. There is also an extensive questionnaire before he decides if the person is actually coachable.
I have been fascinated for some years about the development of teams. If I were younger I would push hard to build a team but I am a content niche player, a go-to expert in my own areas of real estate.
As we ate, we discussed why teams make it but also why teams fail.
As Ken explained, many do not have good business models nor the discipline needed. Salespeople are entrepreneurial in spirit and as it has been stated so many times, a good salesperson is not always a good manager. Ken blames the collapse or failure of a team at the feet of its leader. A team requires a full-time manager. A strong manager keeps the paperwork flowing, follows up, keeps everyone working together and most important, ensures that there is full service for the leads, the customers and the clients.
A team has to constantly be growing and that means constant recruiting of the people who are a good fit and will bring skills to that team. The team has to have a common goal. There has to be a synergy amongst the team members.
I asked Ken why so many agents leave teams and he said there are three main reasons:
- a lack of recognition
- a lack of growth within the team
- a lack of decent money or earnings
Some brokerages embrace teams but others are threatened by them. In order to attract strong teams, a brokerage must provide value for them, and it has to be flexible in respect to commission splits. Teams are different and the rules for individual agents are not the same as for a team.
It was a superb lunch with friends and being with one of the great leaders in our industry. At the end of a lovely meal we just sat back and watched the yachts go by our table, while thinking that some of them likely belong to real estate professionals who have mastered the concept of how to run a team properly. They got trained.