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Teamwork: It’s OK for Individual Agents to Ask for Help

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You know a prospect will move on quickly if you don’t respond to their query in a timely fashion. But when you’re an individual agent juggling multiple clients, listings, marketing initiatives, and everything else that comes along with maintaining your own business, it’s hard to find the time to be on-call at all hours for potential clients. This is where having an assistant or a team of people supporting you can be crucial to capturing new business.

But your mentality may need to change. Stop thinking that because prospects are calling for your services, it means you have to be the one to answer every call, says Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury marketing at Coldwell Banker. The point is that prospects need to make contact with someone who can hear their needs and concerns right away, and a member of your team can be that stand-in until you’re available.

Hogan was talking in the context of servicing high-income clients, people who often have a team of their own — attorneys, consultants, event planners, personal assistants — managing different aspects of their lives. People like that expect a “Ritz-Carlton level of service,” Hogan says, which often requires supporting team members on your side to achieve. His advice isn’t exclusive to high-end agents. It can be applied to anyone in the real estate business. “Customers understand that it’s not just you making the magic happen,” Hogan says. “A great team that gels and gets things done is so much better.

“You want your people to have people,” he adds, explaining that clients often feel more comfortable when they know you have a team of people working on their behalf.

Your clients know they aren’t the only one you’re working with, but they still want the feeling of having your full attention. That can be translated by having one or more support staff who can take calls and answer emails from prospects on your behalf when you can’t, he says. So don’t feel like you have to handle the pressure of managing everything yourself. Get some help, and learn to hand some of the your day-to-day responsibilities off to someone else.

Graham Wood

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at gwood@realtors.org.

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