In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic. A successful agent is experiencing career boredom and finding herself in need of some new challenges and inspiration. What can her broker do to help motivate her and establish fresh goals?
A successful Miami real estate agent is experiencing career boredom and finding herself in need of some new challenges and inspiration. What can her broker do to help motivate her and establish fresh goals?
Pick the cliche. After 30 exciting years in real estate, I feel like I’m on the proverbial treadmill — doing the same-old, same-old — just stuck on autopilot. No matter how you put it, the meaning is the same: I am bored out of my mind with the process of buying and selling homes and need some serious motivation.
I suppose the first step to solving a problem is admitting the problem, but I’m still wondering how it came to this? I have always been the one excited about learning new technology and concepts from continuing education and the most eager to get out and meet new people.
It was me who would rally the troops to out-perform the other local offices in the spirit of competition. My colleagues have always known they could approach me for new ideas and fresh perspectives. But now? I seem to be the one dragging myself into the office every day, simply checking the boxes on my to-do list and biding my time between sales.
The good news is that I know the problem lies with me. I am happy with my office, colleagues and clients, and I am fortunate to have a steady stream of business. I just can’t seem to find any excitement or pleasure from it, like I once did. I will speak to my broker and see what he thinks.
As a longtime broker, it is my responsibility to observe and recognize signs of weariness in my agents. This is a perfectly natural phenomenon faced by all professionals, particularly busy and successful real estate agents who work long hours and demand a lot from themselves.
Experience sometimes brings a lack of challenge felt in the early years. Many agents reach a plateau where they are comfortable and stop pushing forward, totally missing the concept of the next big progression to an even higher level. Real estate is a field where there is always opportunity for growth.
Accordingly, every office should have a plan in place to help and support agents who reach this stage; especially the top producers to whom others look for inspiration and guidance. Letting this problem go unchecked for too long can quietly infect the morale of an entire office.
The important thing to understand is that every individual, by definition, is different. The issues that bore and tire out one agent might not be the same for another, so communication is critical.
The broker should speak to the agent outside of the office (perhaps over lunch or coffee), to break up the monotony of the workday and allow the agent to speak freely.
How to meet halfway
Once the agent and broker have discussed the agent’s malaise and identified its source, several creative solutions are naturally available from the traditional real estate office.
Many experienced agents enjoy sharing their knowledge in formal settings and could be given the opportunity to teach classes on things like accountability, cold calling, sphere building and the value of rental properties.
Others draw inspiration and satisfaction from helping their community, and many offices have charity partnerships that could provide this outlet. Hands-on charity work like building homes for disadvantaged families or volunteering in hospitals can be especially helpful “in your face” reminders of how thankful we should be!
For some agents, encouraging the addition of an intern, employee or partner (or even building a whole team) can spark a wave of action, inspiring them to be their best selves for the sake of the team. Others might need the challenge of a never-before-considered sales goal for which to shoot.
A simple answer might also just be a day at the beach (which we are lucky to have in Miami) or an extended vacation. A little separation and self-reflection can go a long way to recharging one’s batteries.
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Anthony is the broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, where he leads the activities of more than 165 agents. He is also a working agent who consistently sells more than 100 homes a year. In 2018, he was named “Managing Broker of the Year” by Miami Agent Magazine’s “Agents’ Choice” Awards.