In a successful commercial real estate team you need specialized people that are highly motivated and driven to grow personal market share and income opportunity. As simple as this statement may seem, the realities of finding and growing such a team are difficult.
Many an agency principle has struggled with the sourcing of new people and the variables of team performance; it is a constant job that requires dedicated focus and some real planning. To frustrate things further it is reasonably common for salespeople to move on to ‘greener pastures’ or be ‘poached’ by other agencies. The fact of the matter is that you can lose your good people very quickly.
To build a successful commercial real estate team a number of important processes come together. Here are some of the bigger ones:
- Career nights for sourcing new people
- Staff retention plans for helping people grow in their roles
- Training and development within property specialties
- Listing and marketing support as part of a team environment
- Commission and salary improvement packages based on performance
- Allocated localized sales territories and property specialties
- Personal business plans and regular performance assessments
- Dedicated Administrative support for sales people
- Database software to assist prospecting and new business growth
- Online and offline marketing systems to support both listings and personal marketing
- High quality website, email, and internet marketing tools
- Ethical business practices and systems to support client services and feedback
- Legally correct and fair employment agreements that take into account the different job types in the team and the skills required of individuals
- Tracking and measuring of market share, listings, commissions, and database growth
- Risk and Professional Indemnity protection and processes
Before going too much further I will say that these things ‘cost real money’ and they won’t ‘evolve overnight’. They are part of a specific personal improvement plan for a good quality brokerage. In the case of newer businesses, the systems can be implemented over time.
If the previous points are the ‘systems’ required, then the following can be the roles and activities of people within the team. Assuming the skills and knowledge of each person, you will require people in the following categories:
- Deal creators, be it in sales, leasing, or property management
- Administrative support staff to process listings, marketing, contracts, leases, and monies from transactions
- Marketing support where specialized help can be given in advertising copy, layout, photography, and lodgement
- Trust account and financial controllers to administer deposits, commissions and rents, as well as settlement funds and monies from sales and lease finalization
- Sales specialists – they should be familiar and skilled in investment sales, owner occupier sales, negotiations and marketing, as well as contract documentation of all types.
- Leasing specialists – they should be very skilled in lease marketing, vacancy minimization, rental strategies, lease interpretation, and lease negotiations of all types.
- Property Management specialists – in this part of the business, the right people can extend the value of services offered and support investors with property performance skills and systems.
- Sales Manager – this role can be filled by the Agency Principal providing they have the skills and the respect of the team. A Sales Manager has to be a proven performer (not an administrator).
A team of this size and complexity will professionally support clients and thereby the agency performance. A team like this will be structured into the running costs of the brokerage, with the critical factor being income earned. Commission rates will vary by salesperson based on skills, knowledge, and commissions earned year to date.
So there are two parts to the successful real estate business today; that is the selection and retention of the right people, and the implementation of the best staff support systems. Build your commercial real estate business plan around those facts and requirements. Protect and encourage your people to perform at the best possible levels; that should be the foundation of a good real estate team.