“You’re in it for the career, not for the year,” Kymber Lovett-Menkiti says as she leads this Inman Connect panel discussion about creating a thriving culture.

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Real estate teams should be transparent about their values and keep an agent’s needs in mind in order to attract, retain and grow a brand, real estate leaders said on Wednesday.

Creating a culture centered around agents and their individual strengths will help to empower them, agents said at an Inman Connect panel called Building an Organization Your Team Wants To Be a Part Of, on Wednesday.

Flexibility around the realities of the current real estate market will help retain agents and help them grow in their careers.

“Your real estate career is not built in a single year,” said Kymber Lovett-Menkiti, the panel’s host. “You’re in it for the career, not for the year.”  

Menkiti spoke with Kelli Griggs of Navigate Realty, located in northern California, and Kevin Boyle with Real in Florida.

Both stressed the need to focus on an agent’s strengths rather than weaknesses, to tailor training to specific needs and to be flexible given today’s climate.

“Just so people don’t feel like they’re on an island, they need to be able to know what’s working, what’s not working and where people are at, honestly,” Boyle said.

Boyle said his team focuses on developing the whole agent, both the professional and the individual.

“We’re not just telling people how to convert a FSBO or how to knock on doors, but also what are they doing to be able to take some of this training home and be a better person overall?” Boyle said.

For her team in northern California, Griggs said she sets up an office space that her agents will want to spend time in and eat meals together two or three times a week.

“We’re in a really bougie commercial space, and we’ve got a fantastic commercial kitchen in the center of our office and have a small farm,” she said.

She said her team is mindful when bringing on new agents, making sure they line up with the team’s core values.

Boyle said he figures out a way to allow people to be the same person they are at work as they are at home.

“I’m going to deal with a three-year-old, and I’m also going to deal with a 55-year-old client,” Boyle said. “There’s not a huge difference between a seller and a three-year-old sometimes.” 

He said he then tailors training to agents’ individual needs, avoiding what he called “buckshot” training.

“It’s a qualitative push from a training standpoint,” Boyle said. “Being able to prescribe the right training to each agent. We do that through mentorships, making sure that the mentorships are specific to what the agent needs and what they’re going through.” 

Griggs employs what she calls “exploiting each others’ greatnesses,” where she celebrates each team member’s individual strengths and then finds ways to let them train each other.

“We really want to highlight that and ask that person in our open share concept to go ahead and help train the other person,” Griggs said. “Whether it’s social media or maybe you’re an expert in solar. Share the skills that you know. We have a platform for them to do that.”

“My best advice for somebody who’s planning for 2024 might be to say, take a look at your team. Are they in alignment with your core values?” Griggs asked. “That one wrong person in a role can get the rest of the team stuck.”

Email Taylor Anderson

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