September 2017

The 7 C’s of Group Success (Raising The Bar On Your Group)

Recently, the world lost an amazing artist. It was the great Jerry Lewis who was not only a stand-alone comedian, but also a member of the great comedic team, Lewis and Martin.

As more and more “Groups, Teams and Partners” continue to emerge in our industry, his passing got me thinking about what it takes in 2017 to create a successful group, versus a false title of “Bigness” that could potentially mislead the client.

Without a doubt, some existing Groups are the real-deal. Powerhouse teams like McKown, Weinstein & Associates or The Smith Group set a fantastic example of how working in tandem creates a stronger bottom line and quality experience for their clients.

But where does that leave the small agents of two or more, who want to compete with the big boys (or big girls in this case)? Or how can we protect both the client and agent, by making sure the standards of a Group are authentically in place?

My answer is, just like hotels have a criteria and star rating for industry standards, I believe we agents need to have a Group Star rating, which I call it the 7 C’s of Group Success. It looks like this:

Group (n): A collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals.”

The 7 C’s of Group Success

Culture: To begin, every group needs a culture. In a sense, your culture is your team’s personality of excellence, which separates you from the rest. In other words, it’s knowing who you are, what you represent as a team, and how you are going to present and execute yourself on the market, as a group.

Center: Once your group is formed, it’s important to remember that, as the old saying goes, “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” For a successful group to collectively stand, there must be one professional leader. But forming a synergy is as equally important. Therefore, your new back tattoo shall read: A group is not a team of individuals who are banned only by your name. A group is a collection of people who execute the end-goal of your group’s mission.

Communications: There’s nothing worse than hearing a team member say, “I don’t know.” Therefore, communication is a must within the group. Daily listing update emails, weekly training meetings, or monthly personal cocktails or lunches are all a part of teaching, updating, strategizing and team-building. Remember: People join a group to be part of a team. And all team members need to feel connected and visible.

Cultivate: Just like no two fingers are the same, neither are individual members in a group. Therefore, make sure that each of your team members has a specific place and purpose in the team. In addition to that, if you’re anything like me, you hate to delegate. But as a leader, it’s time to get over it. Learning the art of letting go is the only thing that will make your team stronger.

Creative Open Door: There are two things I know for certain. Our industry is always changing, and we old guys are getting older. That said, a progressive Group must be open to learning new things. Diversifying your group will keep the creative eyes open, and who knows! The next creative genius on how to improve your business might be right underneath your nose.

Commit to Teaching: As a group leader, there’s one mantra you must remember. “People do not know what they do not know.” Therefore when a team member makes a mistake (and believe me they will) your job is to become a mentor and a teacher. It’s a known fact that people want to be led and taught. And long term success of your group will be determined by how your team grows underneath you.

Client Care: And finally, in a world where Zillow keeps infringing on our business, the best way to set yourself apart is by service and professionalism. In other words, “Client Care.” At the end of the day, the success of our business comes down to the satisfaction of our clients.

So, if you are thinking about adding the designation of Group, Associates or Team after your name, make sure you are ready to take on this responsibility, because though reaching that goal, (or the close of the deal) is a personal feel good, “Taking it as a team” is priceless.


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