Agents should do what they’re good at, delegate the rest

Jill Biggs and Sean Soderstrom argued Wednesday at Inman Connect New York that leaders have to learn to find their specialties — and to delegate.

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Jill Biggs has 61 agents and more support staff than she could immediately count off Wednesday.

“I have a sales manager,” she said while on stage at Inman Connect New York, adding that she also has a stager, several virtual assistants, a listing manager, people who handle leads and more.

Biggs runs the Jill Biggs Group with Coldwell Banker in New Jersey, and her point in bringing up the various members of her staff Wednesday was to urge industry professionals to specialize in the things they do best — and delegate the many other tasks they face to people who are better at those things.

“You don’t have to be the best in everything,” Biggs said. “Know what you’re good at, and then, fill in the blanks.”

In Biggs’ specific case, she said she’s best at — and makes her money from — “herding cats” and fixing problems.

But she said that an agent who is just starting out might want to first think about hiring an assistant. If that goes well, they might eventually want to bring on another agent, and then another assistant. Either way, the point is that agents interested in growing teams can benefit from starting out small, wearing a few different hats in the beginning, and then gradually scaling up.

“If you’re going to be big and you’re trying to wear every hat, you’re going to have a hard time,” she said.

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Sean Soderstrom, left, and Jill Biggs at Inman Connect New York on Wednesday. Credit: AJ Canaria Creative Services

Biggs appeared on stage Wednesday with Sean Soderstrom, the co-founder and CEO of real estate software company Courted. Among other things, Soderstrom said that he used to lead recruiting and retention efforts in the brokerage space. The companies he saw have the most success recruiting, Soderstrom added, were those that focused on their systems.

Soderstrom also touted the benefits of technology such as artificial intelligence, which he said has developed to the point that it can evaluate things like agent productivity.

Though Soderstrom’s remarks largely focused on tech, his point wasn’t far off from Biggs’ thesis about specializing and delegating. In Soderstrom’s case, he emphasized that some of the delegation can involve technology. That, he said, allows agents to maximize their time on things they’re good at.

“The whole point,” Soderstrom said, “is to put yourself as the team lead in the situations where you maximize your time.”

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