A Team Leader’s Formula for Success | Dotloop

The Success Formula of a Real Estate Team in the Top 1%



October 15, 2018 | comments

Strategic Session with Team Owner Jeff Cohn

Listen as Jeff Cohn, owner of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group – the #1 real estate team in Nebraska and #38 in the country – unpacks the key components of a top producing real estate team and his methodology behind building a team from the ground up, overcoming challenges, leveraging technology and driving agent adoption.

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1. Recruit Agents Smarter. Choose Teams Wisely.

If you’re an agent wondering if you have what it takes to make it as a team leader, first, ask yourself, “Do you have evidence of success in selling?”

For Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group, that’s about $4 million in volume, says Cohn. Of course, markets vary and many variables will indicate when the time is right to step up to the team plate, but having the experience and the right people in place to take the next step is critical.

A good team leader will also hold their agents accountable. “Many times, agents find themselves out of business because the majority of brokers aren’t checking in with them and helping with actionables on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to help with their end goals. Look for areas to leverage your business,” he suggests.

For agents looking to make the next move, he recommends seeking those teams who embrace your core values. For Cohn’s Elite Real Estate Group, the four core pillars are: culture, lead gen, lead conversion and tech systems.

Most agents interviewing teams and brokerages ask about commission splits and fees. “What they should be asking their brokers is, ‘How much more money am I going to make while spending less time and energy?’ “If you’re going to be using dotloop for Teams, you’re going to be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in overhead expenses, simply by taking advantage of that technology piece,” Cohn says.

Also, team leaders should steer clear of simple cold-calling techniques. Instead, get creative and hold quarterly forums where you can meet and greet top talent. Elite Real Estate Group offers free continuing education credits through its title company, employs a vice president of business development who focuses on building the team, and hosts charity events every quarter in which they invite top agent candidates to attend.

2. Use Tech to Touch More Leads.

When Cohn first got his start as a team leader in 2011, he noticed that the most highly successful businesses used client relationship management (CRM) software. While some see CRM simply as help with lead gen, what matters most, he says, is providing a centralized place that houses leads and allows agents to maintain a positive relationship with those contacts. Teams prosper by tapping into this centralized database, enabling them to “grow successfully together,” says Cohn.

Of course, the more people you can connect, the more leads you close in the long run, and technology can help multiply your ability to reach more people. Just think about how much more effective email, or even better, texts are in reaching leads versus paper or in-person contact.

Technology can take many forms in the real estate world, from centralized CRMs and virtual calling systems that broadcast your voicemail across multiple contacts to a team-specific transaction management software like dotloop for Teams.

“Dotloop for Teams takes our product offering to the next level and allows us to provide agents with a solution where they can put in an address and a name and it auto-fills the entire contract,” says Cohn, who’s managed to close 700 sides with just one full-time admin using the platform. “It takes my agents less than 5 minutes to execute an entire contract. Then the client can pull it up on their mobile device, so nothing has to be emailed or drafted in person. The beauty is you have a copy of everything and so does the client, as well as the title company, lender and other agent, and it’s all been legally and electronically signed.”

It’s also important to make sure your technology is mobile-first. Successful real estate agents are on the move, as are their clients. To keep up with the pace, you need a mobile-first platform like dotloop for Teams that gives you the ability to fully text transactions from the mobile app with full tracking of all conversations for compliance.

3. Expand When the Time Is Right.

When Cohn founded his team in 2011, he thought the biggest challenge would be raising capital for CRMs, office space, admin costs and other overhead expenses. But then he got creative, and it made all the difference in his expenditures. He charged broker fees to help absorb costs on admins and offset marketing fees by approaching third-party vendors, like title, home warranty and insurance company to assist with leads.

“I was able to 100% zero-base my marketing expenses as a result. We eliminated the cost of admin and marketing expenses. The only challenge I had left was having agents willing to work those leads.”

4. Establish a Network of Lead Touchpoints.

While nationally, the lead conversion rate is less than half of 1%, Cohn’s team is converting leads six times better by implementing a network of touchpoints, like text messaging, email, listing updates, e-alerts. Essentially, they’ve created a “plethora of direct contact” with any incoming lead to build relationships with both buyers and sellers,” he says.

Today, it takes Cohn’s team on average six months to convert a lead from the day they’re registered on the CRM to the day it goes under contract. “We’re doing a better job just simply by staying in contact,” he says.

5. Expand Your Knowledge Base.

Cohn learned much of what he’s implemented by observing successful types in and out of the real estate industry.

“The biggest challenge that agents face is information overload,” he says. With YouTube videos, podcasts, webinars, books, experts and coaches all vying for the agent’s attention, the net result is many agents take no action at all. “They don’t know where to start,” Cohn says. “There’s a lot of noise out there.’”

First, says Cohn, find a business plan that gives you a step-by-step plan. Then, he encourages everyone to “put on your scientist outfit” and test everything for a year. Try a new CRM, a new virtual caller or dotloop for Teams. Implement what works and identify what doesn’t.

“That’s been our strategy for seven years — to test everything,” says Cohn. “People get stuck having the knowledge but not implementing, or they implement but don’t have the knowledge behind it. When you put those two things together, you’re going to have more ability to effect change.”


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Dotloop for Teams is the only transaction management platform designed to mitigate the typical collaboration and tracking challenges that real estate teams are faced with every day.

The team dashboard empowers team leaders with full-time visibility into all transactions, simplifies compliance for admins and gives agents the tools they need to close deals faster.

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