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Client recruiting season is in full swing. I don’t understand why anyone would want to recruit me, but they do. I even got a pair of socks last week from Take My Socks off.
The messages are all pretty much the same. They are all about better “technology” and the opportunity to make more money. They all have great “cultures”, and some want me to join their family. We all want new families, right?
None of the recruiting letters specifically target me. I’m just a name in someone’s database. The data may have been captured and sold, and I may have been registered or categorized as someone who is likely to close the store and go to work for someone else.
It’s a numbers game, and the company with the most agents will have the most home sales – because the agents sell homes. There are brokers responsible for hundreds of agents, and some are responsible for thousands in multiple offices.
Brokers are responsible for supervising their agents And the The reason why marginalized and really bad agents are allowed to act as real estate agents.
It wasn’t until I started my own company that I really noticed some vulnerabilities in the system. Like the time an agent with an expired license made an offer on one of our listings, and their broker didn’t know the license had expired.
There have been times when we have helped agents from other companies write proposals and have shown them how to use the different tools in our MLS system.
Have you ever tried to file a complaint with a broker about an agent? Good luck with that. Mediators tend to defend the actions of their agents, which is not at all helpful when there is a problem.
I called a company and asked to speak to the broker about the unlicensed agent I mentioned, the person answering the phone didn’t give me a name. What does it say about a real estate company if no one admits to being a broker?
As a broker, any agent you do not trust should not work to sell your mother’s house or to help your eldest son buy his first home in your company or under your license.
How brokers can renew the industry
We’re not talking about what we can all do as brokers to improve the industry.
Here are some of the things that real estate brokers can do that can raise the bar in the industry:
- Recruit and keep the best, and don’t be afraid to ask someone to leave. One bad customer hurts all customers, especially when they end up in jail and on the news.
- Make commission structures partly dependent on the amount of training and education the agent receives each year. Add a bonus or percentage to the commission split.
- Don’t assume that the agents who make the most money offer the best customer service, are the best agents, or are ethical.
- Instead of focusing the internship on how to promote the brand, conduct sessions on how to better serve customers. Have group discussions on how to deal with various common problems that arise in real estate transactions.
- Have the rules and standards that agents must adhere to if they want to operate under your brand.
- Know who your agents are, and be available to discuss or help troubleshoot when there is a problem.
- Send surveys to other agents asking them about their experience working with your agent.
- Know who your agents’ clients are. Some agents work with criminals.
- Reward behavior, such as showing empathy and patience or excelling in marketing or communication skills.
- Make an example of the agent who does something that raises the bar, or goes above and beyond, and not just the agents who bring in the most money.
- Focus on sharing knowledge rather than sharing profits. Everyone in your office should make a profit by selling real estate.
- Suppose there are some incompetent agents in your office, and either help them expedite or do us a favor – and let them go.
- If someone complains to you about the behavior of one of your agents, listen and be open minded. Listening can prevent lawsuits and save lives.
- Stop thinking of agents as “the number of employees.”
- Look at the listings in your MLS mediation. Don’t allow horrible images or descriptions for listings in all caps.
- Check periodically to make sure that your agents have valid real estate licenses and that you have their current address.
- Let everyone in the office know that you are the broker and the best way to contact you. Post this information in your lobby and on your website.
- Getting a broker license should be harder than it is, and starting a real estate company should be even harder – it’s very easy. Brokers call me and ask me what is the difference between contract modification and supplement. To be fair, at least they asked privately rather than guessing or asking on Facebook.
A good broker pays attention and recovers the agent, catches errors and helps agents through tricky points.
The number of brokers may have peaked recently at 1.5 million. If there is a shift in the market, we may see some dealerships leave. It might be a good time to clean the house. Let’s do everything we can to make sure that the best agents and those who have the potential to stay – and the rest leave.