Brokerage firms talk a lot about the importance of culture and relationships, oftentimes tying culture directly to agent retention. At my brokerage, @properties, we’re no exception. But good agents — even if they love you — will inevitably outgrow you and seek another company if you can’t answer this one fundamental question: “How are you going to help me grow and succeed in my business?”
As you develop your agent retention and development plans for 2022, think about the ways you will help your agents grow and succeed. It’s well worth the effort to ensure that your agents are not only happy and winning in their careers but also firmly rooted in your organization. Here are three ways to make that happen.
Put leadership before friendship
Although it is important to develop meaningful relationships with the agents you work with, a relationship built on friendship alone is not a good foundation for agent growth and retention.
It’s a fine line: It’s important to get to know your agents on a personal level, but on the other hand, if you’re too friendly, it can be difficult to be respected as a leader or to deliver the feedback and advice agents need to move forward.
Therefore, focus on leading from a place of strength and thoughtful strategy, in combination with kindness and care. When an agent respects your leadership, sees you have a confident plan of action and recognizes your ability to manage challenging situations, they will want to get behind you.
Create a roadmap for your agents
As independent business owners, most agents are looking for direction and will look to their managing broker for guidance. Provide the structure and accountability they are craving by developing clear goals and expectations.
Consider implementing coaching sessions on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. If you have too many agents to offer individual coaching, think about creating smaller group roundtables that meet consistently.
Also, consider setting up a peer-to-peer mentorship program, empowering your agents to count on one another for support.
In addition to creating clear goals for the individual, think about collective goals for the office. These goals could include growing market share or increasing listing inventory. If you’re looking for resources to help, you could start with some of the more well-known industry training programs, including Ninja Selling or the Keeping Current Matters website and blog.
Many different training resources are available, so give several a try to find the one that best aligns with your brokerage culture and management style.
Leverage the resources around you
As a leader, you may feel like you need to have all the answers. Let go of that feeling. Your job is to use the best resources available to guide your agents toward success — whether that be advice from you, other experienced agents in your office or your office support staff.
Many times, your own agents will have the answers that you’re looking for and are happy to be a resource for their colleagues. Some may have skills that others need — perhaps one of your agents is an excellent marketer and can share tips or another has amazing organization skills that they could teach to others.
In addition, don’t underestimate your current office support team. Think about how they can get involved and support the growth and development of your agents.
Whether it’s a front desk staff member who can teach your agents how to use the company tools to support their business or a marketing staff member who can train agents on social media, your office support team can be an important resource to help your agents grow and succeed.
Successful brokers lead from a place of both strength and caring and help agents understand what it takes to succeed. By building a strong culture of agents who enjoy being together, respect each other and feel supported, your office will be well-positioned for success now and into the future.