When you are running a commercial real estate brokerage, the structure of the team and the skills provided by individuals are important factors to attract, consider and strengthen. A successful commercial real estate team can take some years to create and consolidate. The right people can sometimes be hard to find.
Before going too far into this topic, it should be said that the industry generally has a high turnover of salespeople; many new people to the industry will only last 12 to 18 months given the intensity of the learning curve, and the requirement for personal motivation and action. Failure to take the right actions every day undermines the ability of an agent or a broker to create substantial commissions and a reasonable client base. Without good commissions and a growing client base, it is inevitable that ‘the money runs out’ and changes have to occur.
Whilst many salespeople will have all good intentions and a desire to achieve results in commercial real estate, only a small number (the average is 2 in 10) will actually take the necessary steps of action and keep doing what is required. Underachieving salespeople are therefore an expected collateral off spin to the commercial real estate business.
Team Performance Checklist
Here are some ideas to help you establish a professional and high quality commercial real estate team:
- Sales Character – Any new salesperson to the team should be tested as to sales character and commitment. Professional skills are one thing, but the motivation and drive to see something through to the very end is a valuable quality that will greatly help any agent or broker. Some deals take months if not years to pull together. Tenacity is something that helps a deal come together.
- Proven results – If the salesperson comes to you from another brokerage, ask about results they have achieved to date and question the business processes used by the individual. Ask about skills and systems they use personally. Some agents require a good degree of administrative support because they dislike or have a lack of skill in using computers, databases, and other office systems. If an agent is like that, then you should identify the problem before considering their employment.
- Database – Every agent should commit to the process of a database. It’s a personal thing that could be delegated to an administrative person, but when that happens the agent doesn’t keep records up to date and opportunities are then missed. A good database used by the agent will produce leads and opportunities.
- Communications skills – Today any agent should be prepared at any time for all negotiations, offers, inspections, and approaches made from clients, prospects and business peers. Skills for all of that can be improved through practice. Role playing in the weekly sales team meeting is a good thing can also help.
- Key performance indicators – There are specific parts of the industry and the business that should be tracked individually. They include cold calling, meetings made, presentations, listings, and inspections. From those 5 factors you can see elements of strength and weakness in any agent or broker. Improvements can then be made.
- Administrative support – All agents and brokers should always be responsible for their deals from the start to the finish; you cannot and should not delegate that process. That being said there are degrees of assistance that can help a busy agent; support with marketing, website, documentation, and correspondence come to mind.
In mentioning these performance issues in a real estate team, I will say that some agents can improve with the right guidance and encouragement. It is up to the team leader to understand every individual in the team and then to nurture each team member through performance targets and skills.