When I was broker in the Washington, D.C. area, I put together a team of three (plus the virtual assistants on whom I still rely). For buyers, sellers and, especially, me, the arrangement worked beautifully.
Our clients benefited from having retained three heads and three pairs of hands. We usually collaborated on showing properties to buyers, staging properties for sellers, marketing them, taking various clients under our individual wings, handling paperwork and covering for each other in all manner of circumstances–closings, illnesses, vacations and so on.
One of us knew suburban Virginia better than the others and one, Maryland. One of us developed business best, and another was especially good at detailed followup. Clients seemed to love our system of cooperation, and what made them happy made us happy.
(That I had to threaten my former business partner with a lawsuit to recover some funds when I left D.C. and moved back to the Big Apple is another story that does not bear repeating.)
So, I believe teams can be a great advantage to all concerned. But they also can produce pitfalls, especially for those sellers who are dazzled by the prospect in a listing presentation.
What many sellers fail to appreciate is that relying on a team with many participants and numerous listings frequently means that:
- The “star” who leads the team and makes the presentation may all but disappear after the listing agreement is signed;
- The selling of the property may well be left to less experienced personnel who, sometimes, joined a team instead of succeeding on their own;
- The left hand won’t always communicate well with the right hand, causing confusion to reign such as the time (chronicled in an earlier post) that a “star” made a showing appointment in one e-mail to me followed immediately by an e-mail from an assistant saying that an appointment was not possible that weekend).
I’m not trying to denigrate all teams (or any team, for that matter). They fulfill an important function. And I’m not trying to elevate the way I do business today.
All I want to do is call attention to some of the issues that sellers may want to explore when they consider hiring a team to find a buyer at the right price in a timely fashion for one of their biggest investments.
For sellers who want to tango, one broker may be just enough.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022