How Does Team Culture Impact the Real Estate Client Experience?
Like many successful real estate brokers, Steve Rovithis, Broker/Owner at Rovithis Realty learned about building a real estate team the hard way.
After realizing he wasn’t where he wanted to be in terms of his brand’s message and level of client experience, he got serious about getting the right people into the right seats on the bus — starting with a defined culture.
“Our industry is very unique in that I could be competing with you today for a listing, and tomorrow I need you to bring your buyer to me,” says Steven. “So we can't be cutthroat because we're going to work with each other eventually. That’s why we're looking for people that are effective and easy to work with. Because the cutthroat thing... it's very short term and you will get exposed in the long term.”
No matter how you look at it, your real estate team’s culture can have a huge impact on your reputation and revenue, not to mention the experience your clients have with your brand. With the housing market as fast-paced as it is, now is a great time to look at your team culture with new eyes and make sure you’re on a strong path toward future success.
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Here’s what we’ll cover
Why your real estate team culture matters
With the Great Resignation in full swing, 2022 is the year of turnover in so many industries — including real estate. And while the turnover rate in real estate has always been fairly high, unlike other industries, turnover on your real estate team directly correlates to lost revenue for your business.
With 90% of real estate clients saying they would use the same agent for another transaction, you’re losing a significant part of your client portfolio every time someone leaves.
It makes sense, really. Real estate transactions are major purchases that require a lot of trust and relationship building. Clients care about the face of who sold them the house more than anything.
Then of course, there’s the fact that real estate is such a small, personified industry. Keeping your agents and transaction coordinators (TCs) happy will shine through not only in the client experience, but in your potential for hiring and retaining strong talent and relationships overall.
Because a great team culture isn’t just about your agents.
Clients are going to be engaging with the entire team. Being able to create a consistent experience of professionalism and care is going to have a big impact on your bottom line.
How your culture impacts your clients
A 2018 survey by homes.com found that two in five first-time homebuyers said buying a home was ‘the most stressful event in modern life’.
The way clients are represented throughout the homebuying or selling process is going to have a massive impact on their overall stress levels throughout the transaction. Steven highlighted the importance of this.
“I think now there’s this opportunity for people to really be good at their jobs. Let marketing be loud — you just be a nice person and guide people through the most difficult transaction of their life.”
Not only are home transactions large purchases, they usually happen at a monumental milestone in a person’s life.
Whether a person is getting married, having a child, changing jobs, or getting divorced, it’s likely they’ve got some level of distraction happening during the transaction process. The wrong culture can create a messy transaction that leads to some form of buyers’ remorse.
Here are some things that can (and often do 😬) go wrong:
64% of millennial homebuyers have some type of regret
13% feel they overpaid for their home
28% failed to purchase the property they wanted
38% of first time buyers felt the process was much longer than expected
How the right culture prevents buyer’s remorse
So much of the homebuying process is emotional.
And if the numbers are anything to go by, the right or wrong real estate experience can clearly make an impact on a client’s overall satisfaction levels with the team or agent they worked with.
The good news is, creating a good culture internally empowers your team to keep transactions organized and expectations managed, while freeing up more time to build real relationships with clients.
Here are some ways your team culture can improve client outcomes:
Your team will tell a consistent story, no matter who the client speaks to
You have a process in place for when things don’t go as planned
Agents feel empowered to help clients win
How to hire the right people
According to a 2016 review by WAV group, on average, the cost a brokerage absorbs when recruiting and training a real estate agent is between $5,000 - $10,000.
When it comes to staffing in real estate, turnover is honestly just one of the concerns. Hiring the wrong people can also yield lower average sale prices, and less overall sales.
Consider hiring a real estate recruiter
Some brokerages are great at doing their own recruiting and hiring.
Others struggle to attract and filter applicants in a way that is going to really be beneficial for the business — especially when it comes to pinning down that all-important culture fit.
That’s where the right recruiter can help. According to WAV Group, you can expect a recruiter to deliver 15-20 new hires/ year.
Signs you may want to hire a recruiter:
You’re struggling to balance job responsibilities with hiring
You don’t enjoy hiring
You’re losing money on new recruits due to performance or turnover
You have over 100 agents and need a streamlined hiring process
Revamp your process
While smaller brokerages can sometimes get away with a more relaxed hiring process, larger businesses are going to need something more solid. Between writing job descriptions, interviewing, and training, there’s a lot of steps to consider.
Define qualifications: While it’s easy enough for anyone to get into real estate, it’s important to have an idea of what your ideal candidate looks like. Hiring friends and family may sound like a good idea at the time, but may yield issues down the line.
Define the role and KPIs in the job listings: Everyone has different ideas of what success looks like. Being upfront about your expectations can weed out candidates that don’t fit your goals, as well as set the stage for a good culture.
Define the ideal team member persona: Outside of a person’s personality having a huge impact on your team’s culture, real estate is such a personal industry. Your team members are all going to be helping people through the biggest purchase of their lives. You need people who represent your brand at each step in the process.
How to transform your culture
With a new generation of homebuyers entering the market, you’re going to need to adapt to keep up with the new needs of the industry. Change can be difficult for agents especially, with many of them coming from independent backgrounds. How you position and execute on change in your culture is extremely important to consider when making business decisions.
Decide what’s worth changing
When it comes to real estate, technology is becoming more and more important. 63% of homebuyers didn’t even physically step foot in a home they put an offer in on in 2021.
Between the pandemic and overactive market, you’re going to be forced to adapt to a new, almost faceless real estate process. In the current climate, you simply can’t afford to drop the ball on communication between your team and your clients.
Things to keep an eye on within your team culture:
Do your tools empower your team members?
Do your systems prevent disorganization?
Do your team members all have a similar personality?
Do your team members get along?
Is work/life balance healthy or is everyone burnt out?
Implement change carefully
When it comes to actually changing systems and processes within your business, it will become very clear where your culture sits. Even the best cultures are likely to have a bit of pushback and a learning curve.
Here are some things to consider as you move to implement new changes:
Are my team members happy in their current roles? Is there one that fits better?
Are my team members empowered by change or afraid of it?
Are my team members communicating issues effectively?
Do my team members understand how this change impacts the bottom line?
Handling culture in real estate is often overlooked. But managing your team’s satisfaction internally can have a huge impact on your client base, as well as your revenue. Utilizing tools designed to help streamline transaction processes, connect your team, and empower clients can really help get your culture on the right track.
Learn more about how PrecloseGO! can empower a great culture within your brokerage. Sign up today for a free 14 day trial.