May 8, 2021

Lessons Learned When Merging Teams

A few years ago, one of our coaches (Stephanie Brackett) was instrumental in handling the “logistics” of merging two very large real estate teams. Her team (now called Anderson Hicks Group and the #28 team in Real Trends across all brokerages) was a pioneer in what we now see happening more and more. We aren’t just seeing agents partner up, or small teams folding into large teams; we are seeing more & more powerhouse teams joining forces.

We asked Steph to share some of the lessons she learned (some the hard way!), along with a list of “things to put on your to do list”.

8 LESSONS LEARNED WHEN MERGING TEAMS:

  1. People need to feel they have choices and they need to be heard. Make space for that.
  2. People need to know what they will be doing. Write job descriptions right away.
  3. Do not make job descriptions around people. Make them around positions and then fill them with people.
  4. SC personalities do not take well to fast change. Give them time to process.
  5. It’s not about the splits.
  6. Cultures can be very different. Have open conversations about cultural differences so resentment doesn’t build. This is especially important with “unspoken culture” – even the littel things like whether you email each other with questions or whether you walk into each others’ offices.
  7. Test. re-test, test again before you change file storage.
  8. Make sure filing systems are similar before merging (naming conventions, where you store, what you store).

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT/DO WHEN YOU MERGE:

  • Operating agreement for owners
  • Confidentiality agreements, NDAs
  • Legal consult
  • Office location – who moves, who stays, do we all move
  • Accounting/tax prep
  • Budget for new entity
  • What company pays/doesn’t pay for owners/agents (and above the line/below the line decisions)
  • Combining the P&L
  • Combining prior year reports for tracking numbers/data YOY
  • Reserves
  • Bank accounts/credit cards
  • Owner draws/salaries
  • Leadership Team – who, priorities
  • Department Leaders
  • Org chart (opportunity map)
  • Job descriptions
  • Compensation scale for employees – salaries, bonus structure, profit share
  • Compensation review for staff from each team
  • Agent, Showing Partner & ISA Splits/Compensation
  • Who Should Be Licensed/Who Pays
  • Accountability System
  • Which vendors we will use (Payroll, photography, staging, repairs, social media, etc)
  • Equipment Inventory
  • Leases (copiers, vehicles, phones, cameras)
  • Team Name
  • Branding/Marketing
  • Websites/Social Media/Radio
  • New team MVVBP
  • Team Value Proposition
  • Recruiting materials
  • Slogan
  • Logo
  • Signs/Directionals/Open House
  • Press releases
  • Team announcement
  • Public announcement
  • Announcement to existing clients
  • Announcement to key relationships
  • Car Wraps
  • Business Cards
  • Billboards/Bus Benches/Grocery Stores
  • Pre-Listing/Listing Packages
  • Pre-Buyer/Buyer Consult Packages
  • Combining Online reviews
  • Team Standards
  • Agent Production Standards
  • Agent Contracts
  • Admin Standards
  • Tracking/Reporting Structure (frequency, data, audience)
  • Lead Flow Standards
  • Update Drips/Searches
  • Combine/Purge/Standardize Databases
  • File Storage System
  • Project Management Tool
  • Email
  • Voice Mail
  • Eliminate Redundant Software
  • 1,2,5 & 10 Year Team Vision
  • 1 & 5 Year Business Plan Covering 4 MREA Models
  • Training
  • Meeting Rhythms
  • Scripts for Team Questions on Merger
  • Whose Systems Will We Use
  • Tags/Status Definitions
  • Update Client Facing Forms/Software
  • Update Internal Forms/Software
  • Update branding on marketing
  • Email Signatures
  • SWAG
  • Team 1-3-5/Goals
  • MLS Paperwork
  • Listing Syndication

That should get you started an Merging LIKE A BOSS! Thanks Steph!

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