Watch Rick Fuller, leader of the number 1 team in San Francisco, explain how to build a real estate team that lasts with a strong cultural foundation.

Rick Fuller, leader of the top producing team in the San Francisco bay area, provided us with some insight into how to build a real estate team. When you need to know how it’s done, you find someone who does it right! And Rick knows a thing or two about how to build a successful real estate team.

You might be wondering – why are we talking about how to build a real estate team during the COVID-19 crisis? It’s simple. It’s going to take a great real estate team to weather this storm.

How to Build a Real Estate Team that Lasts with Rick Fuller

Here are the pointers that Rick Fuller gave us on how to build a real estate team that lasts.

Fail forward – success is not constant

Even for successful real estate teams like Rick Fuller’s, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Truthfully, even successful teams experience failure. The important thing is not to fail backwards but instead to fail forward. When you fail, learn from that misstep and use it to propel yourself forward.

Sometimes it might feel like three steps forward and four steps back. This is one way your coach can help you. Here at Icenhower Coaching and Consulting, our coaches will help you make sure you are failing forward and building a team that is going to propel you in the right direction despite the ups and downs. Your coach will help walk you through what the next steps are to get you where you need to be. As the market shifts and experiences changes with the COVID-19 crisis, your coach will help you keep a pulse on this market. And finally, your coach can also help you build and grow your real estate team.

When it comes to building a successful real estate team, the bottom line is simple. It’s more about who you work with and less about what you do. And in building a team, you must also cultivate your culture.

The real estate team culture tree analogy

Rick Fuller likens real estate team culture to a tree. The different aspects of the tree are representative of the various facets of the culture you’re developing in your real estate team. We’re going to talk about soil, roots, trunk, branches, and fruit.

How to Build a Real Estate Team

SOIL – provide the nutrients that your team needs to grow

The best, strongest trees have the richest soil. All trees will grow to their highest potential if they are set up with the best soil. Make sure you’re leading and guiding your team members in a direction that is going to nurture their soil. It’s imperative for the growth of your organization (as it is for your culture tree). Your team will grow and continue to reach new heights if they are properly nourished.

Right now, we can see that your soil is being affected by this COVID-19 crisis. Your team members are faced with new obstacles that may impede their ability to function as well as they had before. They are possibly sheltering-in-place with their spouse and kids. It’s harder to concentrate and work from home when there are so many distractions and factors outside of their control derailing their concentration.

You as a team leader must lead by example. You also must care deeply about your team members and part of that is helping to make sure they are provided with good, healthy soil. Your team member may have just had an argument with their spouse, or a tough conversation with their kids while trying to homeschool them, and now they’re hopping on a Zoom call for work and they’re just not in the right head-space. On top of that, the financial implications of this pandemic cause extra stress on your team members.

Make sure that you’re leading, teaching, and giving great guidance when it comes to the soil of your team. And even more important than that, make sure that you’re hiring people that have great soil in the first place.

ROOTS – have a clearly defined mission statement

Think about a tree. It starts with its roots, and these roots must be strong in order for the tree to develop a sturdy base. The roots pull in the nutrients from good soil. It produces the potential of what the tree could become. This is essential as you build a real estate team.

Now, think about the roots of your organization. This is your mission. Why do you get up in the morning? We’re not talking about a mission statement from a corporate perspective, or something you type up and post on the wall of your office and never look at. Think about it this way. How would you answer the question, “Why do people show up here each day? Why are my team members working so hard?” We must define this.

Tap into this shared purpose. You are in this together with your team members, and it’s important that everyone is on the same page. This is a huge motivator. When people find a purpose that is bigger than just themselves within an organization, they want to be a part of it. Having a mission statement like this will also attract talent for future hires.

Every team member should be able to able to say what your team’s mission statement is without thinking too hard. Why does your team exist? Once you have the roots clearly identified, and you’re living up to them, it’s not something to just put up on the wall. It’s something you live each and every day.

TRUNK – build up your organization with good team members

Now you need to start looking at the “trunk” of your organization. You can trim a branch prune your tree, but you never cut at the trunk of your organization. The trunk of a tree is a conduit for what’s happening with the roots all the way to the branches and eventually the fruit.

It’s the same for a real estate organization. The trunk of your organization is the conduit from your mission to your goals. The best representation of the trunk of a tree in a service-oriented business are those that are serving. That’s our team. You build up your organization by hiring good estate team members.

You must define what makes a good team member. There are three pieces that determine this: humility, hunger, and intelligence. Humility because if they’re not humble, they’re not willing to take advice. They need to be teachable and coachable. Hunger because they must want to advance their career and possess their own internal drive to do more today than they did yesterday. Intelligence because they must have the know-how to perform all their duties and meet with clients, representing your entire team.

BRANCHES – define your organizational goals

What’s the message you’re putting out to the consumer? You want to have a transparent message. These are your branches. What goals do you have as an organization? When your clients talk about you or write reviews of their experience with you, what words do you want them to use?

Instead of being reactive with what you want your clients to be saying in your reviews, define these as goals, right now. What you want your online reviews to say? Professionalism, character, competency, communication, customer service… etc. Define that today and then work towards that and provide that experience to your clients. These goals and attributes become your branches.

How to Build a Real Estate Team

FRUIT – your wildly important goal

Finally, on your culture tree, you will have fruit. Fruit represents your wildly important goal. If you have nutritious soil, good roots, a solid trunk, and healthy branches, then you can start talking about what kind of fruit you want to create.

How do you know that your culture and your team is successful? How do you define success? Your fruit will represent your success. It’s what you get from the culture and team you have nurtured. To build a great real estate team, you can’t just eat your fruit. You must also plant some of these as seeds back into the ground.

You must reinvest the fruits of your labor back in your business. Some team leaders take too much money out of their business and it’s wasted in one way or another. I’ve talked before about how to cut expenses in your real estate business – how to cut fat and be careful to not cut muscle. Some fat must be cut, and you need to put the muscle to work and plant those seeds into the ground. Instead of harvesting all of our fruit and consuming it, some needs to be dedicated to planting back into our business.

Reinvest this fruit as education for your team. Training and coaching for your team will both be wise ways to take that fruit and plant seeds back into your organization. Now more than ever, your team needs to have guidance and direction as they navigate these uncertain times. This final aspect of building a team is the most important – you must reinvest your harvest into your people.

How to Build a Real Estate Team that Lasts

Building a culture tree today will help you weather storms, present and future. There will always be a new storm on the horizon, and it looks like this pandemic will be giving us plenty of reasons to surround ourselves with team members that will get us through. You will make it because your roots go deep and because you have a healthy culture tree.

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Stay up to date on what’s happening in our industry and join our Facebook group, the Real Estate Agent Round Table for free, relevant content daily, including breaking news on the real estate market and the Coronavirus crisis.

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