Richard was recently interviewed for the OREA EDGE newsletter about the team approach in real estate, together with Melanie Piche who runs the BREL Team at Toronto’s Sage Real Estate in partnership with her husband, Brendan Powell. Here is an excerpt from the article, but you can find the whole article here.
Richard Silver, who has worked in Toronto real estate for more than 37 years, is the Torontoism team lead and vice-president of sales at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. He is part of a seven-member team comprising five Realtors and two support staff. He believes in the team model because “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Everyone brings different strengths. Each of us is better at something than others. Some people speak a different language. Our team contains different cohorts, Baby Boomers and Millennials, and they all provide different viewpoints.
Silver believes that in a successful team, members learn from one another and feed off one another’s ideas and energy. “We learn from the strengths of others, as well as from their guidance when problems arise,” he says. "Each of us is different and we celebrate our diversity.”
Silver employed a coach to help the team get organized, determine responsibilities and settle on the method of compensation. He believes the smooth running of the team flows from that approach.
I choose to share all my leads with the team and no longer solely represent anyone. I also wanted their compensation to be high so they would not be tempted to leave and go out on their own.
Real estate is a competitive business, but neither team has had much internal conflict. Silver’s team members are careful not to step on one another’s toes. Silver says the team can always turn to management at the brokerage if it encounters a problem that seems insurmountable.
Although Realtors are often viewed as rugged individualists, both sources say it is possible for real estate salespeople to work and thrive in teams if the right conditions are present.
People who can’t work as part of a team are the same people who might also have problems in an office environment. If it is all about you, don’t choose to be part of a team. Our team members have come to depend on each other and, for the most part, have become social friends, as well as business friends.
Keys to team success:
- Realize that you’re in it for the long haul; it’s not just about getting one deal done.
- If you’re thinking of joining a team, talk to the other team members and get a complete picture. Ask in-depth questions.
- In considering a team, see what the track record is and the longevity of members.
- Be sure that both the team and its affiliated brokerage are a good fit for you.
- Remember, it’s not all about what you can get. What do you bring that can make the team better?
- Consider hiring a coach or finding a mentor when you are starting a team so you can avoid painful mistakes.
- Put people with complementary skills together on your team. The complexity of the market today means no single individual is an expert on every type of property or aspect of the business.
Originally posted in the EDGE newsletter and OREA site, by Elaine Smith.