Real Estate

Ready To Blow Up Your Team? 5 Tactics To Turn It Around

Feeling the pressure and frustration of the market? Thinking about blowing it all up? It’s time to take a hard look at your organization, and the way you do business, so that you can flourish in today’s market, Craig Reger writes.

Every day I hear from another team owner or leader feeling the pressure and frustrations of the market — and many are wondering if it’s time to blow up their team. It was a little over one year ago when interest rates first spiked, and for the next 90 days increased over 3 percent, one of the largest and fastest increases in the history of our country.

As a result, the crazy COVID real estate market came to a screeching halt, with sales declining 30 percent to 40 percent in most major markets. Fast forward to today, and sales remain down in most markets. It’s time to take action.

Here are five tactics to turn it around: 

No. 1: Coach up or coach out

“Don’t be surprised if 75 percent of your team is no longer with you on 12/31.” Ouch! This was a common conversation theme at Inman NYC this year, whether at networking events or shared from the stage.

I talk to team owners every day and it’s the same story: Sales are down and “top agents” aren’t performing. What’s going on? For the past two years, agents could become “top producers” pretty easily; skill and expertise were no longer differentiators. 

Agents could meet a new lead for the first time on Thursday and be writing an offer for them by Saturday for thousands over asking price and with all contingencies waived. With little effort or skill, agents were selling a lot of real estate. Those days are over.

In today’s market, it takes real work — building relationships with clients by bringing value over time, studying and knowing the market. 

Your “superstar” agent from 2021 may not ever be successful again if they don’t change their habits. I am not saying you go “Barbara Corcoran” on them, but without executing the fundamental activities consistently and skillfully, agents simply will not succeed in today’s market. Daily lead generation and lead follow-up are must-do activities now, and many agents simply don’t want to do it.

Leaders, you’ve got to coach them up or coach them out. It’s time to offer more training and coaching — roleplay and script practices. 

Leaders must set clearly defined, actionable activities that create business with daily tracking and accountability. If agents truly put in the work all day every day, regardless of immediate results, encourage them and repeat the process again next week.

Over time they will be successful with consistency and skill improvement. If they show up with excuses or they don’t show up at all, you know it’s time to make a change and you need to coach them out of your organization. 

No. 2: Trim the fat 

Talking with top teams daily, most leaders will ultimately admit they have been running in the red since Q4 of 2022 — many optimistically waiting for the spring rush to turn things around. Sales might show a brief bump thanks to seasonality, but don’t let a short boost of income mask that your expenses are likely out of whack.

You have been paying for leads, office space, coaching, admin support, technology and more for the last 12 months. What do you really need and what can you eliminate or change for a lower cost? It’s time to investigate every expense you have and hold it accountable to bringing you a return. 

No. 3: Top grade your sales team

If you’ve got agents not interested in lead generation or lead follow-up, you’re going to need to go on a recruiting and hiring spree. Great news: With the market down, highly skilled solo agents who previously wouldn’t be interested in joining a team are now seeing the many positives a team can offer such as leads, systems and administrative support, coaching and comradery.

These are experienced, successful, and full-time agents; use this market cycle as an opportunity to bring real talent into your organization. 

No. 4: Recalibrate operations staff

We are seeing the biggest players in real estate laying off thousands of good hardworking people over recent months including Opendoor who recently laid off 500 more, mostly from the operations side. 

Fewer sales means fewer transactions and likely fewer listings. Your TC was handling 25+ escrows a month in 2021 and now you are carrying 10. Leaders, it’s time to recalibrate your operations. What other tasks or initiatives can you give your staff to increase business? 

Some ideas include:

  • Prepare daily call lists for your agents.
  • Make past client calls offering value and asking for five-star reviews.
  • Create more social media marketing for the team and personalize for each agent to post.
  • Prepare weekly market stat reports.
  • Support agent training and call nights.
  • Support recruiting and hiring efforts.
  • Create weekly client touches with calls to action.

Each of these cost you nothing more than the salary you are already paying and all can lead to more business.

A word of experience and caution: If your operations team is truly a 10, they’ve likely started incorporating additional tasks like these into their work already on their own. If they are resistant or feel these different activities aren’t “part of their job” it’s time to quickly move on. Find a way to keep talent, as they will be the key to your company moving forward. If they are not a 10, move on quickly and top grade. 

No. 5: Face the facts

If a gold medal was given annually for the most optimistic industry, no doubt Realtors would consistently take the prize. It’s been a year since the market shifted, sales are down 40 percent, listing inventory is at an all-time low and homeowners aren’t interested in selling and losing their low-interest rate. Inflation is chewing away on the little reserves you have left, the cost of goods went up during COVID and most have not come down.

With all of these challenges, many of the most successful teams are burying their head and still believing it will all get better and go back to how it was. It’s time to wake up. This market will continue to evolve and for the foreseeable future; it’s not going to get much easier.

It’s time to take a hard look at your market and your business — your leadership, systems, training, accountability, lead sources, expenses and your agents and staff. The proactive doers will win in this market.

Craig Reger is a 25-year veteran in real estate and a trainer, speaker and coach. He is the co-founder of Reger Coaching and Consulting and owns a boutique brokerage in Portland, Oregon. Connect with him on Instagram and Facebook.  

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Real Estate

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *