Erica Joy Maniquis is a Business Manager with Side Real Estate. In this article, Erica shares her expertise and insight into successful real estate team fundamentals, what are some of the roadblocks that agents and admin face as they build a team, and what they need to do to grow their business without too much turmoil.
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Erica has a wealth of knowledge stemming from her background as an Operations Manager for Tellus Properties and Partners Trust. She later studied Communications in grad school and also did a short stint as a commercial real estate agent. She then realized that her calling was consulting, which she currently does as a Business Manager. As a strategic consultant, Erica learns about a company, its vision, and then helps create a strategy around growth using tools and resources. Erica works with 30 different boutique companies (a.k.a. partner brands) across the US and, in her own words, describes her current role as “a dream come true.”
A Successful Real Estate Team
Erica believes that having a strong vision and a commitment to your mission is an essential when considering successful real estate team fundamentals. Without that, it becomes hard to figure out what type of agents you want and what culture you want to cultivate.
She encourages her partners to focus on: when, how, what, and who? When do you expand your team? How does it happen? What are the triggers in your operation? What does your company stand for? Who is that? Describe it. Why should somebody choose to work for you?
By diving deep into your vision and mission, you will better understand that the definition of your company is who you are and the people behind you.
Another key to success is to have a map of succession to increase growth. Create a community of collaborators and learn what works and what doesn’t work. Delegate, document, and build systems and processes within your team.
Erica has seen companies grow from one to many, and those offices start waning as they duplicate or multiply. Things become harder to control if there are no processes in place. In real estate, every transaction is different, but the process is the same. The more you create a foundation of systems, the easier everything will be when you expand.
In order to establish processes and procedures, agents first need to let go of tasks. And yes, this can be hard for some agents to figure out what to let go of. But agents can maintain that control factor through documentation of their processes and procedures. Agents don’t always see this because they’re in the weeds but having a strong system in place provides them with the freedom to focus on generating more business.
Also, Erica believes in order for an Agent to thrive, he or she needs to learn not to be attached to an outcome. Agents have only so much control over an outcome. When dealing with clients, they need to stop overthinking and just focus on showing up and doing their best. Stressing about an outcome doesn’t serve any purpose when closing a real estate deal.
Growing Your Team
In order to successfully grow a team, agents need to pay close attention to financial management. Erica recommends focusing first on profit and loss, then regularly looking at metrics and goals. Most importantly, set a goal for income and then look at the profit and loss. Check to see if you are spending money in the right places.
When looking at your expenses, you may wonder, “What percentage of expenses should go to salaries as your team expands? Are there any rules of thumb to follow?” Erica suggests thinking like a small business or startup, they would probably extend 25% to 30% on overhead, including employee costs, right? OK, well, then that means this much profit, right?
Then as your company grows, percentage changes get smaller, but you’re playing with bigger numbers. Hopefully, you still earn more every year, but that percentage gets smaller. So pay attention to that for the most part, just like business standards. Also, look at business data as a resource; you can spot current or emerging trends from this information.
Before recruiting agents onto your team, remember the importance of having a clear vision and commitment to your mission, as mentioned earlier. Your company’s value proposition towards other agents becomes really important since the real estate community is very small.
Agents really need to understand what that means. The more genuine you are, the better because it makes your value proposition authentically you. Identify what makes you different, and you will attract the right people. It doesn’t have to be about making the most money. It just has to be authentic – the good, the bad, and the weird.
People who want to be a part of that will gravitate to your company. But when you try to be something that you’re not, people can smell the inauthenticity a mile away. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.