David is a Marine Corps combat veteran, father of two, and successful real estate team lead of 27 agents! He has his own amazing podcast, ‘It’s About More Than Real Estate: With David Serpa’, that you can find at: http://apple.co/2xhrsxW; Make sure to follow and listen to it!
His jump start into real estate:
He got into real estate a few months after he got out of the Marine Corps and in his second month, he opened 7 escrows and made $35,000. He now leads a successful real estate team of 27 agents! 100% of which, that have been here for over 18 months, make over $100,000 a year, which most agents can’t do.
How did he do that? His Marine background helped him take initiative.
Who works for David’s team and what is he looking for in his teammates? Typically, they hire about once a year and they are very protective over their team. His team has been so successful that they are now coaching new team members, until they each have 4 members in their own team.
How do you build a team? The only time to really start and/or expand a team is when you have more business than you can handle. Most people start their team way too early. Realistically, David believes he started his too early, but, at the moment, it had just felt like the right people at the right place, at the right time. When David decides to expand, he makes bold moves. Refers his team to even the biggest money opportunities that get to him, rejects the ‘scarcity’ mindset and invests, to get back.
What does the interview process look like for the new recruits? It’s been different for each evolutionary process. At the beginning, David will interview people who he thinks will be a good fit for the team. He will also ask for a cover letter, to disqualify the people who are lazy to even do this.
And how do you even find people to hire? David made group interviews that he let his agents lead and interview, after he introduced the team to them.
Who is he looking to hire? He is looking for people who fit his culture and for good people who could qualify to be great agents, even if they are not necessarily very experienced already in real estate. David is looking for each candidate’s ‘dark corners’, what could qualify them to be or not to be great agents and how this could benefit or hurt them in their real estate career.
His team is currently building an internet web, a series of evergreen content that will always be out there and attract different kinds of people to his business; once this content is out there, it will be there forever, through blogs, podcast, and video.
How is his management structure of 27 people? David honors people’s desires; if they don’t want to coach, they don’t have to! However the schedule he likes to encourage is for everyone to start their day with him, the new agents then login a call with their team lead and they get a one 30 min session of coaching per month. It’s about delegation; the more you can delegate, the more you can focus on the things you can do well. This is a 100% performance-based and meritocracy system that David encourages.
Can anyone be on a team? Think about who you are. If you are looking for a family, a structure of support that will help you and you will help them, then you should look for a team and a good one.
What’s the average time someone stays on David’s team? David can’t think of anyone who’s stayed with them for more than a few months and left.
Is there a system in place that David implements for leads? This is a question for Rob, he is the one who generates the leads for the team.
What about open houses. Open houses are huge for David’s team. He loves them. The only reason that one will not close a lead in the open house is because they don’t know how to close the lead. Open houses don’twork because agents don’t work, there is nothing wrong with the open houses! Not to mention, you get an education through open houses.
Do you believe that marketing is really important to drive the lead to the team? Absolutely! If you are great in creating content, or ads, or videos, then do it! Just do something. Perfectionism leads to procrastination, which leads to paralysis, so, no matter what, do something!
What are your thoughts on expansion team? David is not that big on expansion team. He would rather focus on his own market then expanding and getting a lesser market share with average agents that he doesn’t even get to see all over the country. David would rather focus on creating content around fantastic agents in a larger broker setting. Quality is so much more important than quantity.
What about listings and premarketing? If somebody calls Davids and wants to list their house, they will work with one of his fantastic listing agents. David has created a bunch of celebrities around him, so it’s less about David and more about his team. David avoids extra work and creating systems that don’t need to exist. He has personally built his listing presentation on prezi with videos of him and all of their marketing flyers. They spent way too much time with the client to build relationships.
What about buyers agents and their ability to sell property? If they are buyers agents, they will bring that lead back to the team and the listing agents will take over.
Who picks the listing agent? Zach is our primary listing agent because of his personality profile and the way he represents me.
Does everybody have a different deal? They typically put everyone in the same deal and everyone has to earn it. Once they make a six figure within 12 months, then everything changes. David is able to attract a lot of talent and is certain that his success is due to his team.
How many people would David like to have on his team by, say, January? He would like to keep that number at 27. He is never worried about adding. A lot of people contact him to join his team, they are kind of the cool kids, and they will be added, when the time feels right.
Number one advice for somebody wanting to start a team? Understand who you are, what your design is, the things that you do and other people don’t so easily. If you need to be surrounded by people, then do so!