It’s never been a more interesting or exacting time to be an indie broker. In November, Inman celebrates the indie by narrowing in on what growth tactics are working best and what tech is emerging that offers the best competitive advantage.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

A brokerage’s culture sets the tone for everything — what agents should expect, what the company holds near and dear to its heart, as well as its shared values and goals. This, in turn, greatly influences agent satisfaction and productivity. And really, what’s more important to your bottom line than that?

Because of just how crucial cultivating a positive indie culture is, last week, we asked our readers to weigh in on the topic. We asked, “How do you build an environment that fosters engagement, productivity and, above all, happiness?” Here’s what you had to say.

  • At ehomes it’s more about what we don’t do. We say no to applicants more than we say yes! Truthfully, this was a lesson learned the hard way. The lesson: One bad hire can cause financial and cultural turmoil. After the merge between ehomes and Divergent, it took so much time to “clean house” ensuring we were on the right track to creating the environment in which agents could best perform. That meant identifying our people. Once we did that, it was easy to identify agents that would cultivate and protect our culture. (I really just wanted to say “say no to assholes” — that’s the simplest way to put it.)
  • Our culture at 43 Homes is one of mutual support and shared learning. I came from a bigger franchise brokerage before starting our company in 2015. Although my broker was amazing, there wasn’t a lot of interaction among people in the office. That left me feeling like I was operating on an island at times. So, I created 43 Homes and have worked hard to create an environment where agents and staff not only know one another, but enjoy sharing each other’s company. The result is a culture where the group is invested not just in individual success, but rather in the greater good of everyone who walks through our doors.
  • One way in my experience would be creating a culture of productivity. Having a training value that trumps the big-box brands who can not compete with an independents family like culture.

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state. 

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