When I was just starting out in real estate, I enjoyed attending my mid-sized office’s monthly meetings. They were great opportunities to meet and learn from more experienced colleagues, find out new and exciting tools for agents, catch up on corporate-directed initiatives and to simply take a break from the everyday grind. Back then, that was a valuable use of my time.

  • Although every moment of every meeting may not be useful to a top producer, company meetings usually offer critical information that can dramatically impact an agent’s practice, and less-experienced agents draw inspiration and motivation from those top agents.

In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic.

An office’s top producer is questioning why she needs to attend company meetings.

Agent perspective

When I was just starting out in real estate, I enjoyed attending my mid-sized office’s monthly meetings. They were great opportunities to meet and learn from more experienced colleagues, find out new and exciting tools for agents, catch up on corporate-directed initiatives and to simply take a break from the everyday grind.

Back then, that was a valuable use of my time.

Twenty years later, I have built a really thriving career and emerged as the most consistently top-producing agent in the company.

Nowadays, my time is even more valuable — and precious. I have a full plate of demanding clients and high-maintenance listings, in addition to family obligations, of course.

So, while I can appreciate the importance of office-wide meetings and joining in the company morale-boosting, it’s very tough for me to forfeit a two-to-three hour block of a typical day each month.

And — if I’m being truly honest — those one or two pieces of useful information I would get from the meeting could probably be communicated to me in an email or a short conversation with my broker.

I am not trying to “big-league” my fellow agents or intentionally be aloof; I’m genuinely concerned about falling behind on paperwork and communication with clients, vendors, etc.

Ultimately, isn’t everyone involved — me, my clients and the company — better-served by having me out there selling property?

Broker perspective

I respectfully but totally disagree with my agent on this matter.

First of all, I guarantee that those “experienced colleagues” who attended meetings when she was a rookie were also quite busy but realized the value in regularly interacting with their co-workers.

It can be lonely and isolating for agents in the field, and these company meetings give everyone a chance to connect and feel like a part of something bigger than themselves.

Furthermore, the presence of the company’s top producers at these meetings really does inspire good morale from newer and/or less productive agents.

Secondly, those “one or two” useful things she might learn from the meeting should not be so easily dismissed.

She might learn about a new change in state law that requires documentation to protect her real estate license. Or a new software tool that could save hours of busywork and allow her to spend more time in the field. Or a major leadership transition announcement that impacts her relationship with the company.

Whatever the case, that one piece of critical information is well worth the investment of time.

Finally, there is tremendous value in simply visiting with her colleagues and seeing if mutual interests connect.

She may find herself sitting next to an agent who has the perfect $600,000 two-story that her buyer has been hounding her about for the past year. Or meet the perfect candidate for a partnership she has been considering.

Or someone representing a deep-pocketed foreign investor who wants a condo exactly like the one she contracted last week. There is business to be found!

How to meet halfway

There are plenty of opportunities for both sides to compromise on this issue. If a busy agent truly can’t attend office-wide meetings, he or she could commit to scheduling shorter but regular meetings directly with their broker, to discuss important company issues.

Instead of monthly gatherings, a broker may decide to hold fewer (but more impactful) meetings over the course of the year.

He or she may use these meetings to reward and acknowledge agents for exceptional production or service or to have a motivational speaker rally the troops.

The broker could even offer these speaking opportunities to their top producers (which would certainly encourage their attendance!)

Finally, the broker could videotape company meetings and then privately post them online for agents who could not attend.

Anthony is the broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, leading the activities of more than 170 agents. He is also a working Realtor who sells more than 150 homes a year. In 2017, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce honored him with the R.E.A.L. award in the category of “Real Estate Broker – Residential.”

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