How’d He Do That? Building a Powerhouse Team

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Justin Havre
Justin Havre

When Justin Havre formed his team in 2012, he was with a large independent real estate brokerage in Canada and started out with just six agents. One year later, his small team had grown to 28 agents who were simply crushing it in their Calgary market. He made a strategic decision to scale back to 20 agents in 2014, he says, to concentrate increasing each agent’s production and conversions rather than focus on growing his roster.

Last summer, Havre began looking for a new brokerage where his agents would benefit from stronger brand visibility and individualized recognition. He found exactly the right mix of leadership, camaraderie and support for large teams in RE/MAX – specifically with Broker/Owner Rick Campos of RE/MAX First in Calgary, Alberta.

Seventeen of the 20 agents on Havre’s team at the time came over to RE/MAX. The team closed 673 transaction ends resulting in more than $250 million in closed sales volume in 2014 – half of that production took place with RE/MAX.

So how does someone build a powerhouse team that averages 37 transactions per agent? Here are Havre’s best tips explaining exactly how he did it.

1. Pace yourself. When it comes to adding team members, go at your own pace. Havre had an abundance of leads to feed to new agents so he was able to grow his team fairly quickly, but that’s not always the case in every market. Add people who gel with your values and vision, and hold your team members accountable, he adds. “Building a great team takes time, and it definitely won’t happen overnight,” Havre says. “Slow and steady wins the race.”

2. Invest in your people. Leading a team starts with having the right mindset – a mindset of service, Havre says. In addition to offering top-notch office support and coaching, Havre hosts monthly team-building events. They’ve done white water rafting, paintballing, cooking classes and zip lining, to name a few outings. He assigns different team members to plan the events so they all feel a sense of ownership and engagement within the team. “We are a tight knit group and I credit every team member for having built a great culture,” Havre says.

3. Generate a steady stream of business. As Team Leader, Havre spends the bulk of his time generating leads – and that means investing heavily in online marketing. He suggests picking one or two marketing or lead-generation avenues to master before trying other things. “To keep leads flowing, you have to invest about 25 percent of your commissions back into your business,” Havre says. Generating new opportunities is the greatest challenge for new agents, he says, and if you don’t have enough leads to feed your agents they’ll run out of steam quickly.

4. Delegate, but stay humble. Teams aren’t for everyone, and they’re certainly not an ideal setup if you can’t relinquish some control and delegate tasks to others, Havre says. “You have to learn to be about the ‘we’ and not the ‘I,’” he says. “I might be the name and the face of the team, but I respect everyone as individuals and what they contribute to our success. This isn’t a dictatorship. I learn every day myself and I learn from my team members, just like they learn from me. We’ve built this team together.”

5. Prioritize prospecting. One downside of being busy, Havre says, is that some agents forget to keep prospecting for new clients. That can be problematic when business is slow. “I always encourage my team to block out time to make those prospecting calls,” he says. To help keep them on track, Havre has each team member follow his transaction system, which involves asking past clients for reviews on social media sites (Yelp and Facebook, for example) to gain future business.

Get Quick Tips on building a team from Justin Havre.

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