If you are a busy agent trying to give GREAT SERVICE TO CLIENTS, BUT also MAXIMIZE YOUR TAKE-HOME INCOME AND ENJOY A BALANCED LIFE, you may be struggling to determine what kind of team will work best for you. There are some new solutions available to you, as well as the traditional approaches. This article will compare and contrast the three different types of teams with regard to the bottom-line business fundamentals:
Which type of team is best for delivering great client service?
Which is best for growing volume and managing your capacity to handle that volume?
Which is best for minimizing costs? And which will give you the highest take-home income?
If you are interested in the answers to any or all of these questions, read on!
Rather watch a video? Check it out below!
Quick disclosure up front: one of the support team models I’ll be discussing in article blog is the Relevate support team. We developed it, and all the agents here use it. The Relevate model is perfect for some agents but not perfect for other agents. I promise to be as objective as possible in comparing the three support team alternatives because my ONLY goal is to help YOU find the right fit for YOUR needs.
As a long-time top-producing real estate agent, I’ve been exactly where you are, from zero all the way to 88 transactions per year. Through my years of studying (and trying) every different approach imaginable to growing a real estate business, I have learned there are only three primary types of support teams used by high-producing agents:
- The first is a Part-Time team: You hire friends, family, or virtual assistants to help you part-time with the marketing or client service work. This can include the use of staff provided by your brokerage or arrangements between you and other agents to cover for each other.
- Next is the “industry standard” team, as described by Gary Keller in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent book. You hire other agents to take care of your buyers (and split the commission with them) to free you up to handle the listings. We’ll refer to this as the “MREA” team (although I realize that at KW, the term “MREA” is sometimes used only for teams that gross or net $1M+).
- The third type of team is the “RELEVATE team”: This is a support team hired, trained, and managed by Relevate Real Estate as part of a comprehensive system for running your real estate business.
If you haven’t watched it already, you MAY want to watch this video for a deep dive into all three types of teams before considering the questions we’ll be discussing. Understanding the pros and cons of each type of team will give you an even better background as you jump in this information.
#1 How Will You Ensure Your Clients Get GREAT Quality Service?
Team members in a Part-Time team normally don’t have standard processes to follow, or extensive training. When you delegate to them, you will need to manage them closely to ensure quality service.
In this type of team, listings will be handled by you (the team leader) so the quality of service to sellers will be excellent. As you get busy, you will fully hand off buyer leads to your buyers’ agents. As the team leader, you will develop processes and training programs both for lead conversion and client service and hold your team accountable for performance.
Relevate leadership hires, trains, and manages your team members, so you can confidently delegate most marketing and client service. You will introduce the team to your clients during their first meeting, then work with your team much like a primary care physician works with specialists and highly skilled nurses. You are always the primary agent and are in touch with your clients regularly. You receive detailed updates by email every morning and can step in quickly if needed.
#2 How Will You Maximize Your Transaction Volume?
A Part-Time team can enable you to increase your transaction volume by about 2O% by taking some of the simpler tasks off your hands, such as showings and transaction coordination, as long as you continue to work your business the same amount of hours you have been, and focus more on marketing to bring that business in.
By investing in advertising and purchasing leads and hiring and effectively managing an increasing number of buyers agents to convert and service those leads, you can achieve truly unlimited transaction volume growth in the MREA team model.
The Relevate team model is designed to free you up to grow and build relationships with your past clients and spheres of influence. Their proprietary software is custom-built to support that activity. If you take advantage of their tools and the time they give back to you and work full-time at your business, you can grow your transaction volume to at least 100 transactions per year.
#3 How Will You Handle the Inevitable Ups and Downs in Transaction Volumes?
This is an important and often overlooked factor when it comes to team support and applies to (a) short-term situations, such as when you have three team members and five buyers want to see homes on a Saturday, and (b) longer-term situations, like how to afford to keep good team members when either your personal business or the market as a whole, slows down.
For an agent utilizing part-time help, there is some flexibility because part-time people, by definition, do not need full-time work. However, if you cannot give them any work for a while, they may get busy with another agent or job and become unavailable to you for future work.
An MREA team is normally composed of full-time people, all dedicated 100% to you. If more people are needed in the short term, your current people can work overtime, but that may only address some situations because no one can be in two places at the same time. You will need to plan ahead for slowdowns, setting aside cash reserves so you can pay everyone so they will not leave you. But if the slowdown lasts too long, you will need to let people go.
In the Relevate model, short- and long-term volume changes will not be an issue for you as an agent. In the short term, 30+ trained licensed support agents are available to help in any way, and any time you need it. When you are less busy, you simply use fewer team member hours (your use of them is always flexible, based on your day-to-day needs). Relevate’s responsibility, not yours, is to have cash reserves and invest them to keep team members busy on process improvement projects during slower times, so they will be there for you when you get busy again.
#4 How Will You Minimize Your Costs?
In this type of team, you do as much as you can yourself and minimize the use of support to keep costs at the lowest possible level. Therefore you should be able to keep 75%+ of your gross commission income (GCI).
As the leader of an MREA team, you will need to pay buyers agents at least 50% of the commission (more for lead conversion than client service) and invest heavily in purchased leads and/or advertising. The average MREA team leader takes home 18-35% of GCI, depending on the management ability of the team leader, which varies widely.
In the RELEVATE model, you pay 20% of GCI to the brokerage primarily for hiring, training, and managing your team and under 15% of GCI for all marketing and client service. Relevate guarantees your take-home income will be at least 65% of GCI (assuming you are using all the processes correctly).
#5: How Will You Maximize Your Take-Home Income?
You and your Part-Time team can typically handle up to 25-30 transactions per year, and as long as you do as much as possible yourself, this type of team should maximize the percentage of the GCI you keep. To increase earnings beyond that, you will need to do more transactions, and that will require having an MREA or Relevate team model.
The take-home income potential of this type of team is unlimited. Your take-home income will equal the amount of gross commission income you and your team closes, multiplied by the percentage you keep (18-35% on average).
The take-home income potential of this type of team is also unlimited. Your take-home income will equal the amount of gross commission income you and your team closes, multiplied by the percentage you keep (65%+).
So, which Real Estate team is right for you? Part-time, MREA, or the Relevate team?
When you are a busy real estate agent and need good support, the last thing you need is confusion and uncertainty about which type of support is right for you. In this article, we covered the “bottom line” questions about the quality of client service, the ability to increase volume and manage capacity, costs, and take-home income.
However, there are other considerations that are just as important for many agents. For example, Which is best for building your brand? How does marketing work? What kinds of leadership opportunities come with each type of team? And finally, WHICH TYPE OF TEAM HELPS YOU HAVE A GREAT WORK LIFE BALANCE?
One of the big questions agents always ask about the Relevate team (mostly because it IS different from what they’ve experienced before) is, “It sounds like Relevate is doing a lot of marketing and managing for agents… WHAT DOES IT COST TO WORK WITH RELEVATE?”
And if you’re in the mood for some juicy gossip, you might enjoy hearing about The Five things Relevate Agents HATE About Relevate 🙂
If you are an agent in the Triangle Area of North Carolina area and you’d like to visit with us to learn more about Relevate Real Estate, click HERE to set up a time to talk with us.