Real Estate Teams Study: 5 Key Takeaways | Dotloop

Real Estate Teams Study: Key Findings on What Makes Teams Tick



September 06, 2022 | comments

From Communication to Systems, Workman Success Systems’ Founder and CEO Weighs in on What’s Driving Teams Success Today

Recently, Workman Success Systems (WSS) conducted a national study, The Unexpected Impact of Teams in Real Estate, in which about 500 active real estate team members explored topics from team communication and recruiting to broker/owners-supplied services.

In partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics, Workman performed the national study to glean statistically accurate data in an area historically underrepresented in real estate research. The study discovered numerous unexpected insights and best practices that real estate teams, regardless of size, can implement immediately in their business strategy.

Here, Verl Workman, Founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, discusses the findings and what they mean for a real estate professional who’s currently on a real estate team, a brokerage looking to add a team or anyone thinking about joining a team as they begin their real estate journey.

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5 Key Takeaways from the Workman National Real Estate Teams Study

Takeaway 1: Teams are the Future

The Workman study found that 81% of agents think that being on a real estate team makes you more likely to stay in the industry, and 72% of real estate professionals on teams believe their team has been essential to their success.

Those are profound numbers when you consider the mass turnover of agents that come and go in real estate.

“According to NAR, the vast majority of agents that come into this business don’t renew their licenses,” says Workman. “So when you see 81% of agents say they’re more likely to stay in the business because they’re on a team, that solves the turnover problem.”

For many new agents who join a brokerage after receiving their license, they may attend several months of additional training before they’re allowed to sell real estate. “By then, they’re out of money and they need to find a job,” says Workman. “Joining a team puts you in a place where you can make some money right away and learn the business from people who are doing it in a high volume environment.”

Team members succeed, says the top teams Master Coach, because, one, they specialize. While the average agent does about 11 residential transactions a year, the average team member completes about 18 deals a year, according to Workman.

“So you make more money at a 50% split doing 18 deals than you would do at 100%, closing six or seven deals,” he says. “Also, those teams who use solid systems like dotloop and other tech are able to automate and produce more.”

Takeaway 2: Communication is Key to Team Success

Another key question asked in the study was “What are the biggest barriers or threats to establishing a strong real estate team?” Communication, by far, leads.

The poll, representing currently licensed and active team agents, ranked poor communication (32%) highest for the biggest barrier to establishing a strong real estate team, followed by poorly defined roles and responsibilities (29%) and lack of mutual trust (26%).

Team members also reported “infrequent communication” (24%), inability to manage conflict (23%), fear of conflicts (23%), avoidance of accountability (23%) and negative atmosphere or toxic culture (19%) as barriers.

The solution? Communication. “Teams need to create a rhythm of communication – a steady stream of consistent meetings,” says Workman, who recommends a daily team huddle with a specific purpose in addition to agile meetings with key reports.

Open communication throughout the day on internal messaging apps, group chats and text messaging will help supplement the more formal, structured meetings.

“There’s lots of ways to create team communication,” says Workman. “The idea is you have to be intentional about it.”

Takeaway 3: Systematize All Repeatable Tasks

With so much downward pressure on commissions today, Workman says, the real estate agent is forced to do higher volume to make the same amount of money than they did in the past.

“The only way to do that is to streamline all of their processes and systems to create greater efficiencies. That’s why teams are growing so fast,” he notes.

Even so, the study found “only 56% of real estate professionals say they have systems in place for business activities repeated three or more times.”

Real estate teams can significantly boost their productivity by automating manual processes, says Workman.

“For everything you do three times, you must have a system for it,” he says.

Dotloop, for instance, allows you to have everything that happens from the moment the deal goes into contract,” says Workman. “All of those steps have to happen to ensure a successful closing becomes an automated system, and every contract that goes through the team gets processed exactly the same way. The agents know that nothing will fall through the cracks because it’s an automated process.”

All too often, team members don’t create systems because they either don’t know how to build them or “they’re so busy doing it themselves they can’t even imagine training someone else,” Workman says.

By taking the time to build systems upfront, Workman says team leads can simply review a checklist to know when the tasks have been completed. “Great leaders inspect what they expect – they don’t do the tasks.”

Some teams tasks that are ideal for systematizing include:

Takeaway 4: Teams Must Establish Trust

From Workman’s experience, real estate teams with high turnover can often trace the team members’ discontent back to a lack of trust in the leader.

“People don’t leave teams and they don’t leave companies; they leave leaders,” Workman says. “When you see companies that have high turnover, it’s not because of the brand and it’s not because of the company; it’s because the leader isn’t giving the team what they want.”

Trust begins on day one when the team begins the recruiting process. The absence of trust is at the heart of high team turnover, Workman says.

“The reason team leaders don’t delegate is because they don’t trust their team members,” he says. “The reason a team leader won’t give an A lead to a buyers or sellers agent is because they don’t trust them to do a transaction without them. Lack of trust at every level of the team creates dysfunction.”

As a real estate teams Master Coach, Workman recommends team leaders change their mindset of, rather than how the team member can serve the leader, the leader should embrace their teams with a “servant’s heart” and instead ask how they can serve their agents and assistants.

Successful team leaders want their team members to succeed, taking into account each individual member’s unique “why.” Then, they can create a “culture of productivity” through great people and business development.

Takeaway 5: Members Want Team Acceptance from Brokers and Franchises

One of the most unexpected findings of the study was the discovery that “89% of real estate professionals believe major real estate companies/brands should support a team model.”

Team members want the tools, training and systems that only brokers and brands can provide at scale for them to reach their potential.

In particular, the study found that “62% of real estate professionals say they wish they had more specific specialty training within their teams.”

For those team members who are seeking training to support their roles as buyers agents, listing agents, administrative staff and leadership development, brokers and brands that offer this type of training will be in a better position to attract, keep and develop them.

In a time of great transition for the real estate industry, it’s clear that many challenges persist for the future of real estate professionals. Teams are no exception, but those who leverage specialization, systems and templates to standardize and automate their processes will be well poised to drive better outcomes across their agents and admins.

As Workman notes, “This national study has proven that teams can be the foundation upon which real estate leaders, organizations and brands can build stability and growth for years to come.”