May we all agree the most effective and efficient recruiting a Broker can do is to retain the agents they have? We know this, yet why is our churn rate often high? Well, honestly, sometimes we simply attract and hire the wrong talent for our organization. Yet the most common challenge is that agents (like your market) are constantly moving…leadership delays the process!
Best practices for Agent Retention:
Recruiting is how well you tell your story…retention is how well you live and deliver the story you tell.
The Key thoughts to empower you to provide what you’ve promised:
- Transparency! This starts in the initial conversation!
Here is the dialog I used when adding agents to the office:
“Selling real estate is a process…not an event …so is office leadership.
In the sales process, you can experience ease and elegance or blood and guts. The same is true for Brokerage Operations. I choose ease and elegance; therefore, you will find a copy of our Office Policy and Procedures Manual in your On-Boarding Kit… and it is to be discussed and signed by all parties once you officially join!”
- Take care of all details in writing: *
Included in your Office Policy and Procedures Manual should be written guidelines for all office practices, protocol and procedures. Some examples may include:
a. How we handle all money issues:
i. Delinquency; monthly investment
ii. Commissions paid;
iii. Commission disputes,
iv. E&O Claims
b. What marketing practices are acceptable.
i. How, when, what, why
ii. Brand (if applicable) compliance standards
c. Pre Nup
i. In the event things don’t work out how do we handle
2. Pending Sales
3. Unpaid expenses owed to the Brokerage
ii. This is the birth of respect and integrity. How you end the relationship is being viewed by the entire real estate community. Lead with strength not by fear.
*While, much of this may or may not be included in the Company/Brand Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) however it is important to remember that what is provided by your Brand is a boiler plate and may not be customized to you market and your specific office practices. Make sure you take time to customize to protect all parties involved.
- Set both expectations and consequences for all parties:
a. Set expectations for all essential brokerage necessities:
b. Set consequences for what happens when things go up-side down.
- Praise publically, coach privately
a. Praise publically! It is important to pat both your agents and staff on the back for a job well done. Make sure your appreciation is shown frequently, consistently, justly, fairly and most importantly…sincerely.
b. When performance does not meet, or exceed expectations, coach privately. Behind closed doors, fulfill the role of the Leader and lead. Have the tough conversation. Reluctance to address the problem never makes the problem go away or better. Often it has the opposite impact. Hit the challenge square in the eye; honestly, directly yet with care and compassion!
- Recognize patterns and address them
a. Often with sales professionals, patterns and behaviors impact production. As the Leader document the pattern so that you can discuss it at the appropriate time wisely and logically.
b. Once the established pattern has been discovered and explored, have the conversation. With care and candor discuss how the pattern might be impacting production and relationships.
c. The good, the bad and the ugly. When discussing production and behavior patterns, again praise publically and coach privately. This conversation must be free of all emotion yet hosts the potential to build a bond that cannot be shaken.
a. As a Leader, you have most likely tapped into two amazing gifts. The gift of anticipation and the gift of discretion. Practice and honor both. Work ahead of all opportunities before they become challenges. Buffer and avoid as much drama as possible. This is a huge assignment yet a significant practice.
b. Train your tribe!
i. Encourage best practices for all real estate activities
ii. Provide resources for the best systems, processes and procedures
iii. Be a resource, not a sales pitch. Provide what is needed to take each member to their desired level of production.
c. Educate your tribe!
i. Provide relevant, state of the art, industry specific tools, resources and benefits to ensure your agents grow their business.
ii. Keep the vision and goals HUGE. Challenge each with industry specific opportunities to grow their business under your leadership
i. Frequently and publically!
ii. Consistently find way so recognize and celebrate as many members as often as possible. This action much be all inclusive and not limited to a select of Top Producers.
e. Coach and consult.
i. Constantly work to build respect and trust with your tribe!
ii. Communication must be authentic and frequent
iii. Empower each member to create a 1-3 and 5-year vision, and discern what action steps must be taken today to fulfill each year’s.
Simple is not always easy. This is a great example of that principle. Once you involve the dynamics of personalities, emotions and friendship things have potential to become complicated. That’s why our advice (for the third time in this blog) is to have all things in writing. It’s much easier to make the call when all parties have agreed and signed off!