Setting Up Your Real Estate Team

Planning Your Team Structure

Before you bring on your first staff or team member, you must look ahead and plan how your business will grow. This plan will allow you to recruit the necessary tools, infrastructure, and resources to promote long-term sustainable growth.

Temper Your Ambition

Many Realtors are overly ambitious when they begin to develop their team. They hire staff and agents at an accelerated pace, driving their expenses through the roof and dramatically increasing the pressure on their time and stress levels. It is a fatal flaw to grow too fast.

Every person and system requires nurturing through an investment of time and money to be successful. Without this investment, you will create a chaotic, disorganized, and demotivating environment that promotes inefficiencies and wasted resources.

We most often see this level of unsustainable growth in busy market places. Realtors forget that markets change and that their volume of business will decrease. Your business must be prepared to weather the storm.

The best way to build a team is to start small and evolve in different phases. Once a growth phase is complete and managed effectively, then, and only then, should you move to the next phase.

Phases Of Team Development

Phase 1 – You still run your business by yourself, except you contract out as many service items as possible to third-party providers. This could include bookkeeping, managing showing calls, contracting out house measurements, using courier services for cheques and documents, etc.

Phase 2 – You now hire a part-time staff member. This could be for three days a week, various half days, someone who works from home when required, or any other variation. They would be in charge of managing paperwork, some marketing tasks, booking showings, client relationship management, etc.


If you are generating a high volume of low quality leads (such as Internet registrations), then you may consider bringing on a buyer’s agent or ISA (Inside Sales Agent) in Phase 2. Buyer’s agents and ISAs will be discussed in detail later on.


Phase 3 – You now hire a full time staff member. The primary goal for this employee is to do any business task that frees your time so you can focus on working directly with clients.

Phase 4 – You now hire on buyers agents and eventually, listing agents.

Phase 5 – Phase 5 is where you finally achieve unlimited business growth. In this phase you will consider hiring ISAs and other administration and marketing coordination staff as the volume of work requires. In addition, you can add buyer’s agents and listing agents as your business grows. Phase 5 is the longest phase. You can work in Phase 5 indefinitely, or as long as your desire.

Phase 6 – In phase 6 we position ourselves to transition out of the business. In this phase, you will hire a CEO/Business Manager who will oversee the team and be in charge of high-level decisions. In addition to transitioning your responsibilities to someone else, you will also want to consider rewarding this high-level individual with an equity/ownership position in the business.


Moving from one phase to the next requires three criteria to be in place:


  1. The financial resources and infrastructure must be in place.
  2. The volume of business must be too high to manage in the current phase and must be sufficient to support the next phase.

Number 1 and 2 must still be true even with a 20% slowdown in market conditions



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