When we think of success, we tend to think of certain individuals: Bill Gates, Beyoncé, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep. We think of these people as the pinnacle of the American Dream, climbing their way to success through nothing but sheer will and raw talent.
But what we don’t tend to consider is that none of these people got to where they are on their own.
Bill Gates would never have been able to develop the Windows operating system if he hadn’t been surrounded by top-notch talent (including the late Steve Jobs) to help him put it all together. What would Beyoncé have become if she wasn’t first partnered with the other talented ladies in Destiny’s Child? And Meryl Streep cut her teeth in the acting world by surrounding herself with talented teachers and students during her time at Yale University.
No one does it alone! Even in our business of real estate, the top brokers in the world didn’t get to the top all by themselves. They surrounded themselves with a team.
What kind of squad do you need to move your real estate game from Level One to Level Ten? How do you get this team of people together…and once you do, how do you keep them together?
Great questions! Let’s break it all down and help you build the ultimate real estate squad!
Who Do You Need?
Selling a home, as you know, is not as easy as posting a few pictures online and waiting for buyers to flock to the door. If it were that easy, anyone could do it! Selling a home requires a ton of work, and to do it right, you have to get some outside help.
When you first visit a home that someone is trying to sell, you typically don’t get a ready-to-sell unit. You are very likely going to need to hire contractors to fix up the house and get it ready to show. Painters, electricians, home inspectors, and general contractors can make necessary repairs and upgrades.
Sure, you could call a company every time you need a service and have them send out whoever is on hand that day. But why not develop a strong relationship with one person or one small team of people in every service you need?
It is far easier to call up a specific painter whom you have worked with numerous times because they'll know what you want and expect without having to tell them. Working with one person also lowers or completely eradicates the chances of your contractor performing low-quality work; successful long-term client relationships are important to contractors, and they will give you priority over others.
There may also be work you are doing at an OK level that could be done by a professional instead. Photography, social media, web design, and general marketing all might be things you can do on your own adequately.
But have you ever seen the difference between a house listing with professional photography and a listing with amateur pictures? It’s like night and day! Buyers pick up on subtle things like this, and the quality of the home’s photos may be the difference between them arranging a viewing and moving on to the next listing.
That all being said, a successful real estate squad should absolutely include the following:
- Home inspectors
- General contractors (painting, electrical, HVAC, etc.)
- Landscape specialists
- Social media gurus
- Marketing experts
You probably already hire people to take care of some of these things for you, but you should work on completing the list. After all, the less time you spend on photography courses or frantically Googling painters who work on Sundays, the more time you can spend doing what you’re actually good at: selling homes!
How Do You Get Them?
The best way to build your elite squad is to get recommendations from people you know. All the Googling in the world won’t net you a terrific working relationship like an introduction from a friend or colleague.
Has a friend of yours recently gotten married? Who photographed their wedding? Wedding shots are obviously different than home shots, but a good photographer may feel comfortable doing both, or at least know someone who specializes in real estate photography.
Has a family member recently renovated their home? Who did the electrical work or painting? Ask around and find out what company or individual they recommend. Ask if they’ll arrange a meeting or phone call; this kind of personal touch goes a long way!
If you don’t have any personal connections, your next best bet is the internet. Yelp, Angie’s List, Craigslist, and yes, Google, will point you in the right direction. If you’re looking for people to help with online-only work, like social media promotion or maintaining your website, freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr are terrific resources. Simply post what kind of task you’re hiring for, and let the specialists come to you!
Don’t be deterred by how long this process might take. The first painter you hire may be too expensive or turn around less-than-amazing work. Take it in stride and move on to the next candidate until you find the right fit for your team.
How Do You Keep Them?
Once you’ve got your awesome squad assembled, you should move on to the next task: keeping them happy! If you foster an atmosphere of mutual assistance and loyalty, you’ll be able to keep your squad together for years, and they’ll always put your needs above those of other clients.
The best way to keep your team happy is to always have their business cards at the ready to give to…you guessed it…your clients! If you are happy with their work, you should promote them to everyone you come across who might need their services.
Your team will quickly pick up on the fact that you send them lots of business, and that can pay off in two huge ways: they will value your business and always go the extra mile for you, and they will also recommend you to everyone they meet!
But don’t just hand your squad a bunch of business cards and hope they'll hand them out.
Give them a copy of your very own book with your name and face right on the cover! Get a free copy of The Secret of Wealthy Home Sellers to test out this strategy. Like the results? Then come back for more!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!