“The strongest, fastest-growing real estate companies have team building as part of their cultures,” said Carla Cross.

Cross, a well-known real estate coach, stressed the importance of a team in real estate.

“Choose the right people,” she said. “So many times, agents hiring an assistant or buyers’ agent choose people like themselves or people who will do what they don’t want to do and sometimes that works out. But most of the time, great agents aren’t usually administrative or numbers people,” she added.

She said it’s best to choose team members based on their skills. Some workers prefer to work with people, and some prefer to process invoices and do administrative tasks, and there is a big difference.

“In order to make the team better, you have to have the right people. You can’t train someone out of mediocre or lack of liking the job. All these new agents who come into business and fail, it’s because they don’t like the job, they aren’t people people,” said Cross.

She said leaders of a team must be very open and transparent, and stress the importance of accountability. She added it’s a difference between old and new style management.

“We are all there to do well,” Cross said. “Flesh out the plan so everyone has a common focus. The vision of the company should include what people want it to be like, what kind of people to hire, what are the values, what is the common focus? All of those things should happen before the agent even starts the team,” she said.

The common focus is a big point in Cross’ plan. She compared real estate to a game of basketball. “You wouldn’t have a shooting guard try to take every shot, instead they would pass so there was true team play, they were harder to guard. A common focus was win, everyone knew their roles and knew they were important, just like in real estate,” she said.