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There is no one road to success. How each person defines success varies, and the routes to reach that goal vary. In real estate, we generally can say most brokerages would describe “success” as fielding a powerhouse team that represents clients well, delivers top-notch customer service, closes deals, generates repeat business, and a creates profit. How does a brokerage find the key people who will make this success happen?

Set goals

Every brokerage has a mission. While we might exclaim, “be number one,” that’s not a real goal. Meeting objectives drives brokerages to the top. One CRE brokerage might set out to be a one-stop shop for office properties deals and management. Another might specialize in retail centers.

Outline what it will take to achieve the mission. Think: “offer outstanding customer service,” or, “close $100M in retail sales in the first half of the year.”

Evaluate needs

Expansion starts with an understanding of a team’s strengths and weaknesses. Identify the areas to improve to uncover the person you’re looking for: a lead-generating go-getter, an agent with DST 1031 deal experience, an industrial market guru, etc. Prioritize needs over what you might want.

Get systems in order

Build confidence in your new hires that the brokerage has it together. Your administrative system should be running smoothly before growing the team. As real estate coaches Tim and Julie Harris explain:

“Before you start hiring people, systematize business to ensure that you can generate, prequalify, convert and close business. You want to have a system that you can train your team in using and one that they can use without having to stop and ask questions every five minutes about the how and why for every procedure.”

Know Your Numbers

Don’t grow unwisely. Real estate is a numbers game. Get the math right from the beginning. While you want to offer competitive benefits, as a brokerage owner, the last thing you want to realize is you’re making $10/hour for the time invested.


Above all else, talking with and listening to your team will breed success. People need to know the expectations and where they stand through regular feedback. People also feel more valued when they know their concerns are heard and clear change happens. An open-door policy builds trust and confidence in the brand.


Money does talk. Come up with a competitive compensation plan with clear incentives to be a top producer. At the same time, agents new to the game, while not sitting in the top-earners club, shouldn’t struggle to make ends meet in their personal lives.

Positive mindset

Create a culture with people constantly striving to improve. Expect the best and hire those with the same mentality. This positive thinking creates an inspiring environment, where agents are always learning from each other and lending a hand, as necessary.

With the right fundamentals in place, finding the best fit for your team is easier. Real estate agents want to work for a brokerage with a great reputation for looking after their team members. Establishing a positive culture with the right administrative tools from day one is an essential part of building the team.

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