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26 August 2014

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Team Leaders

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As a broker you may have faced this dilemma: whether to allow associates to build their own teams. So often the lines between team leader and owner get blurred, with team leaders (and even associates) forgetting their roles within the company.

However, those issues should not discourage brokers from building teams. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate (BHGRE®) held a seminar on the benefits of team building for brokers, with one focus in mind: positive growth.

Growth in a company often leads to increased productivity, stronger work ethic and more creative output. This type of growth is an invaluable asset found in successful teams. BHGRE’s seminar discussed the stages in which successful teams are built, and how brokers can be effective leaders, mentors and bosses during this transition period, as scary as it may seem.

As a broker, the most important part of team building is making sure your associate is qualified to be a team leader.

  1. At what level of production does the associate stand? Leadership skills can be honed, but they are rarely taught. Is your associate ready to take on a team? Does he or she have the abilities to grow a group of people into a successful business? Do you trust them?A good rule of thumb: an agent considering their own team should always meet with management beforehand to review corporate guidelines and responsibilities for becoming a team leader. They should never go at it alone.
  1. How many years of experience does the associate have? Agents with strong backgrounds in sales can guide their peers toward successful careers, and putting them at the head of a team can help your business blossom.
  1. What is their personality or temperament? Not everyone can be a leader. Building an effective team means knowing who is able to handle certain situations professionally while still understanding the differences in personality. Dominant thinkers attack problems differently than dominant feelers. People who care about job security and predictability work differently than risk takers. Managers need to understand the personality traits of potential team leaders in order to have functional professional relationships.
  1. At what level of growth are they? In our post on team building for associates, we discussed five stages of growth for teams. The foundation of a team is built on preparedness, and without that preparation and direction (identifying your brand – implementing a production system – delegating admin work – hiring team associates who share core values – putting the work in the associates’ hands) it is hard to get a properly working team in place.

As an owner and business partner you need to know the role you’ll play. More importantly, the team leader needs to know your role and adhere to it. As mentioned earlier, discuss with your agent your roles, guidelines and duties within the team beforehand.

Will you be a part of the team’s hiring process? Will it be you or the team leader handling internal issues? May team leaders hire from within the company? Will you have carte blanche to fire associates? Will the team leader have carte blanche with firing? Make the guidelines clear ahead of time, along with all the benefits you’ll be offering team members, and you’ll likely avoid the potential headaches that arise.

If you are looking for positive, effective and longstanding growth for your brokerage, building a team of professional, like-minded agents makes sense. Finding the right team means finding the right leader, and the right leader will help your business flourish.

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