Leading a Hot-Market Team With Warmth, Experience, Talent and Character

Above, Melissa Hoff

It has to be frustrating for a real estate team leader to bring in a new hire, train them, guide them and have them succeed, but then see them leave to start up their own business. For Melissa Hoff, broker associate and team leader of The Hoff Group at Compass in Florida, there’s another feeling as well—pride.

“I’m good at teaching agents one-on-one how to sell and be more confident,” says Hoff, who oversees eight full-time agents. “Sometimes they leave our team and go out on their own, and I take that as a compliment that I’ve empowered them to do it.”

It is such generosity of spirit that has informed Hoff’s successful real estate career. With over 20 years of experience, she and her team specialize in representing clients in residential and commercial transactions across Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties.

Leveraging Compass’ technology and services, including advanced analytics and marketing tools, Hoff oversees all communications and tasks, while also dedicating time to her clients and community involvement, such as volunteering with the Humane Society of Broward County.

Here she explains how and why she works with her team.

Michael Catarevas: Why do you prefer working on a team over working alone?

Melissa Hoff: It’s nice to have agents to collaborate and brainstorm with. Also, if you’re sick or out of pocket, you have people to back you up.

MC: How do you navigate the individual personalities and skill sets when working on a real estate team?

MH: There are always going to be people with different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. I try to partner agents who complement each other in terms of personalities and goals. Some agents may be better at cold-calling, and some may be better at hosting open houses.

MC: As a team, what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

MH: Our strengths are that everyone gets along, and we treat each other like family. We have each other’s back and want all team members to succeed. In terms of weaknesses, this is a tough real estate market. It can be hard to keep people motivated because of how the market is right now, but that’s where having a team is a blessing. We are all there to help motivate each other and stay positive and use everyone’s creative thinking to brainstorm new ideas.

MC: How do you operate as a team to ensure you’re all on the same page?

MH: I meet with everyone as often as I can. Everyone structures real estate teams differently, so it’s a matter of finding what works best for the team leader and the team. 

MC: How is the market influencing your team when it comes to decision-making, strategy and sales?

MH: The market overall has slowed significantly. Only the agents willing to put in the hard work will stay in the industry. Agents will have to take a more active role in their success and really work for their leads because of this market.

MC: What are some tips and strategies you can share for managing a real estate team?

MH: Don’t hire everyone you have the opportunity to hire. It’s important to have agents who will fit in with your team and be an asset. Treat it as a business decision. Although you may feel like you want to help everyone, it won’t always be in their best interest or yours and could even slow you and your business down. 

MC: What is the secret to the success of your real estate team?

MH: Keeping the team small and working with people that I like and respect. With the slow market, it’s important for us to run a tight ship and only have agents on our team who are willing to go above and beyond to close deals for our clients.

MC: How do you divide workload and responsibilities amongst the team to keep everyone on track and on the same page?

MH: I try to hand out leads in round robin fashion and encourage agents to collaborate based on personalities and motivations.

MC: What advice do you have for real estate professionals looking to join a team?

MH: Do your homework and interview with multiple teams to see what works best for you, as every team is run differently. Some teams split 50/50, and some don’t. See what the team leader is doing in terms of marketing, lead generation, pay-per-click, Zillow, realtor.com®, CRM and more. Teams often provide services that an individual agent wouldn’t be able to pay for on their own, so that is a benefit.

MC: What advice do you have for new team leaders?

MH: Hire wisely and start small. It can be overwhelming, but don’t hire everyone you have the opportunity to hire right away. Grow gradually.

MC: What is the single most important factor that makes your team work so well?

MH: As the team leader, I am very engaged and accessible. I am available to go on appointments with my agents, problem solve and brainstorm with them to figure out best ways to put deals together. I believe it’s important to have a team leader that is very involved.

MC: The market has experienced so many ups and downs over the last four years. What are you doing differently in today’s market from pre-pandemic and during the pandemic?

MH: I am really getting back to basics and doing the things that may make me uncomfortable, including making cold calls. I have been encouraging our agents to door-knock, where they are allowed, with other team members.

MC: Tell me a little bit about the culture within your team, and the goals and core values you rely on.

MH: We have a very welcoming culture. We hang out outside of work, and act as a family. Even new team members or team members who don’t know each other very well treat each other with respect and get along as we all share the common goal of finding new leads and closing deals in a tough real estate market.

For more information, visit https://thehoffgroupfl.com.

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