Recruiting and Retention
A manager/broker is an individual and brings their own style of management into managing their agents and their office. However, the manager/broker must be flexible and be able to adapt their style of management to suit each situation.
Build and maintain a team of goal oriented professional associates who together will achieve the company goals.
In order to carry out the management objectives a plan must be in place. The main functions to achieve your objective are to recruit, retain, manage and motivate associates. At the beginning of each year plan how to carry out each function.
- A. Recruiting
- A manager/broker must look to recruiting as an ongoing task. A manager should form a farm area for recruits as an agent would for properties.
- Send thank you cards to other broker’s Agents who sell one of your branch properties.
- Greet all Other Broker Agents that come to your office, offer help and assist them in their needs.
- Encourage the agents to recruit. Keeping them focused on the importance to them and the company.
- Instill in your agents to be polite and professional to all other Broker Agents who call or enter the office.
- Watch the paper for awards given to other Broker Agents. Send notes of congratulations or give them a call.
- Be aware through the MLS system what agents in your area are very active.
- Use the Board Winners list as an addition to your farm list.
- Have a hit list in place of agents you may want to contact more often.
- Be aggressive in the community.
- Take part in board activities.
- Take part in other Broker Agent’s tours.
- Send Invitations to other Broker Agents for special office functions.
- Set aside time on your weekly, monthly planner to recruit. Recruiting is prospecting. Always plant the seeds for the future.
- On your yearly planner set a goal of how many new people you need and want to recruit. Without a set goal you will tend to become lax in your prospecting.
- On your yearly planner, plan for career nights and career coffee.
- Have a well planned program for your career nights and coffee. Be prepared with recruiting packages using company and office materials.
- Have your office presentable and look like an inviting place to work.
- Selection of New Other Broker Associates
- Know what type of agents will fit into your office.
- Have your top agents have input as to the selection of other Broker Agents. Your agents work in the field with other agents and they have first hand knowledge of the ethics and professionalism of other agents.
- Have a planned interview.
- Have a recruitment book in place. (Similar to a listing presentation book.)
- Be knowledgeable of questions you can and cannot ask.
- Be sure you have a set aside and private time slot for the interview.
- Be a good listener.
- Take good notes during the interview.
- Offer everyone an application.
- After the interview, go over your notes from the interview so you will be well prepared to make a decision.
- You want to select someone who looks professional, speaks well, has goals and will fit well with the existing team.
- Training never ends. A manager/broker must be knowledgeable of all facts of the real estate business and what it takes to be successful. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
- Training for new agents may be conducted by you or an outside trainer (RETI). However, the manager must always give support training to the new agent in the office. You or an outside trainer (RETI) should plan for advance training, special seminars, continuing education, etc.
- The manager/broker should also plan on the yearly planner for in office training. Inquire from your agents the subjects they feel would be beneficial. Contact speakers in advance.
- At weekly sales meetings have at least 20 minutes training on subjects you feel are needed. Plan for experts in different areas to come to speak at sales meetings or give seminars in the office. Lenders, Attorneys, Home Inspection Experts, Title Companies or other company managers or administrative heads are just some ideas.
- A manager/broker can also use an associate to help train other agents. Some agents have computer skills, networking skills or other advanced skill they can share.
- Know your agent’s strengths and weaknesses. Some agents are better at listing and marketing properties. Other agents are better at buying counseling and selling properties. Some agents have better telephone skills. Sometime you may have to send an agent back to a basic training course. (RETI)
- Keep the agents well informed of planned training, subject matter, speakers, time and dates. Post information on monthly planners. Use fliers, memos, email and voice mail. Promotion will result in attendance.
- Keep the agents informed of all education being offered by the local board of Realtors. Encourage your associates to obtain special designations. (GRI, CRS, CRB and others)
- Keep yourself well informed of any changes in the industry that must be passed onto agents.
- Train the agents on any changed on contracts, company forms, company policies and promotions.
- A well trained and well managed agent will be motivated.
- Plan your training on your yearly planner. This will help you keep on track.
- Having your agents become confident in themselves will bring on motivation to succeed. Nothing brings success like success itself.
III. Retaining and Managing the Associates Presently in Your Office
- Retaining the agents presently in your office comes from good management of those agents and the management of a smooth running office.
- Having a good support staff in place is very important. They come in contact with your agents everyday. The staff should realize that the agents are the life line of the business. Without the agents there would be no need for staff. You must have a staff willing to help the agents with their needs. Meet with your staff periodically to discuss any problems or upcoming events. Include your total staff in the planning of office functions.
- Instill in your associates pride of being associated with you. They are to feel that your brokerage is the best company where they can achieve their goals.
- Know your people. Have a file on each agent containing the following information: birthday, spouse, children and hobbies. This information can become very important in communication with your agents and their families.
- Agents thrive on recognition. It does not matter what production level the agent has or how many years they have been in the business, they want recognition. There are many ways a manager can give their associates recognition. Congratulate them as often as you possible can: at sales meetings, when they bring in a listing, when they bring in a sale, when they close a difficult sale, when they help another agent, when they reach their goals, when they exceed their goals, when the attend a company function, when they have won an office contest, when they recruited another agent, when they obtain a designation, when they receive an award and any other time you can find.
- Further methods you can use to give the agents well deserved recognition: each week at the sales meeting, on the spot in front of their peers, send birthday cards or thank you notes, send flowers, give out awards, Banners, put their picture in the paper, take them to lunch. Never miss an opportunity to give recognition.
Keep communication lines open to your agents. The agents must feel they can talk to and reach you whenever they need your help or advice.
- Take the opportunity to talk to every agent as they come into the office, even if it is to say how things are going.
- Be aware of any problems they may be experiencing. Let them know you are there if they need your help.
- If you haven’t seen or spoken to an agent in a couple of days, give them a call.
- Return all calls from your agents as soon as possible. The agent calling may be having a problem with a sale, listing, customer or associate. They may just need your advice. Whatever the reason it is important to them and they are important to you. A manager/broker is on call seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
- Keep your agents well informed of all company promotions. Sell the agents on the benefits to them and the office. Agents must be kept informed of any changes that are taking place, such as new policies, new forms, special promotions, special company events, information from the board of Realtors and the commission.
- A breakdown in communication, not returning calls or not keeping them informed may cause an agent to be upset, and rightfully so. A breakdown in communication can lose you an associate. They may feel you don’t care.
- There are several ways of communicating: phone, notes, memos, fliers, calendars, email, cell phone, facebook and other networking sites for example.
- On your yearly planner, plan for one on one with each associate at no less than twice a year.
You’re the one who should be “by appointment”. A specific time should be set aside without interruptions. Meetings should be related and with a goal in mind. Before hand knowledge of the agent’s production is necessary. Use the office reports to compare the agent’s former production level to the present. help the agents to set their goals and what activities they plan to perform to reach their goals. Offer suggestions and or direction.
Always congratulate the associate who deserves to be congratulated. Ask these associates where their business is coming from and what do they give credit to for their success. offer help and be open to their suggestions. Being sensitive to your associate needs and wants no matter how big or small may save you that agent. Often you can have their wants and needs implemented. Failure to try or followup on their requests can lose you a good agent.
These are suggestions. Each office and company is unique. Some things work, some don’t. You will find what best fits you and your specific environment. Good Luck.