What Are Your Team
Leaders Not Telling You?
Office dynamics can be tricky where sales teams are concerned. Team
leaders offer brokers these thoughts on how to reduce frustrations.
Maura Neill, ABR, CRS, had reached the
brink. The award-winning team leader
considers her brokers to be friends whom
she “adores.” Yet Neill, who founded the
Buy Sell Live Atlanta team in 2013, nearly
left her brokerage earlier this year to join
another company. She and her brokers
had gone back and forth on an issue that
left her exasperated and thinking about
other options. The conflict boiled down to
money and how much Neill was required
to pay the brokerage to bring her mother
onto her team.
Team leaders say they’re increasingly
bumping heads with broker-owners
over how each will maximize profitabil-
ity and operate efficiently. A policy that
increases revenue for a brokerage—such
as charging a full desk fee for every team
member, regardless of that person’s
role—may stifle a team’s growth. Or a
practice a team leader prefers—such as a
company award system that recognizes
each team member, not just the team—
may not fit with the brokerage’s culture
Fear of the unknown may contribute to the problem. “I’ve noticed that
companies look at adding new members
to teams with a lot of trepidation,” says
Sasha Farmer, CRS, GRI, owner of The
Sasha Farmer Team at Montague, Miller
& Co., REALTORS®, in Charlottesville, Va.
“I haven’t found many companies com-
fortable with the team structure because
it’s not easy to figure out.”
In some cases, team leaders will ap-
proach their brokers directly, as Neill did,
to ask for shifts in policies or practices.
But success is hardly guaranteed. And
it may leave brokers worrying that a
productive team could pack up and join a
competitor at any point.
To reduce the chances of a sudden
departure, brokers need to open the
lines of conversation, proactively raising
topics that team leaders may be hesitant
to raise but are surely thinking about and
discussing with their peers.
“It’s not that brokers need to give
away the farm,” Neill says. “But this is
real estate. Everything’s negotiable.”
It Is About the Money
Disputes over fees are common. In Neill’s
case, her brokers had a simple policy
that applied to everyone; they charged
a monthly desk fee for every licensed
person at the company.
Neill didn’t question the policy until