Richard Robbins and Amy Flowers
Last week’s Team Leadership Academy in Toronto, hosted by the acclaimed Richard Robbins International (RRI), drew the who’s who of real estate team leaders in Canada and the United States.
Robbins—author of Deliver the Unexpected: And 6 Other New Truths for Business Success, as well as a business mentor and international speaker for over two decades—noted that real estate teams are evolving into de facto brokerages and imparted to 100 high-producing attendees the finer points of what that entails.
“Teams are growing into brokerages, and sales people are sales people, but they haven’t developed the leadership skills necessary to start running a team, and what we’re doing here is creating the systems and processes so that team leaders know how to manage a team, distribute leads, teach team members how to do listing presentations, and how to effectively work with buyers,” Robbins told REP.
“Becoming a leader who effectively trains their team to do a better job, at the end of the day, provides a higher level of customer service and more business for you.”
Before training can even commence, team leaders have to hire the right candidates, however, a rampant pitfall in the industry is that they don’t—a misstep that results in lost time and money. To elucidate his point, Robbins points to Cirque du Soleil, an organization that consistently hires the best acrobats in the world.
“Hire really slowly,” advised Robbins. “A lot of team leaders hire too quickly and, quite often, get the wrong person. You have to do personality profiling and have multiple interviews. We’ve developed a system around where to advertise, where to find people, how to do the telephone and in-person interviews—and the same goes for how your team is expected to conduct those duties. You can’t build an A team with B players.”
Part of establishing a team of exceptional agents is ascertaining their motivations and providing the foundation upon which to execute as a cohesive unit. However, without bedrock a foundation is unsustainable.
“You have to determine everyone’s goals in the sales organization. If one agent wants to do 10 deals, I want to do 15, and another wants to do 20, we have to roll that up all into a single team goal and then move towards the same thing,” said Robbins. “Now that we’ve set our goals, we need to determine our daily schedule: How much time should we spend on prospecting, doing lead follow ups, training, and studying the market.”
Broker Amy Flowers of Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty, has been a Robbins devotee for all 16 years of her career and credits him for her team flourishing as quickly as it has.
“He was the first person to teach me to treat my business like a business, and the fact that I learned that at an early age helped the trajectory of our team,” she said. “Attending his events, whether mass events or smaller ones, there’s always something to learn from his seminars, but this one is specific and targeted, which is what we like because our businesses are specific and targeted.”
Attendee Tom Storey, of The Storey Team with Royal LePage Signature, has been running his own real estate team for five of the six years he’s been in the industry—a feat for which he credits Robbins’s coaching.
“I became seriously interested in his coaching a year into my career and it absolutely took off,” said Storey. “I have more time off now and can enjoy my lifestyle while still running a high-producing team. To put yourself in a room with other people doing what you’re doing, but at a level you aspire to reach—there’s no other way to do it than to surround yourself with those people.”
Indeed, the Team Leadership Academy and other Robbins events aren’t merely places to learn. Rather, they’re a network of highly successful business leaders who share with each other, as Robbins does with them, how to elevate themselves, not just their vocational pursuits.
“One of part of RRI that’s undersold is the community aspect,” said Ralph Ciancio, broker of record with REMAX Hallmark Ciancio Group Realty. “RRI provides coaching, but the community is likeminded; they care, they share, and they’re generous agents from across North America. It’s a closed-door meeting with top agents—people who sell up to 500 homes a year—and we’re sharing best practices.”