Since I started working in real estate back in 2008, something that really stands out to me is the high turnover of new people entering and leaving the industry within 6-12 months. Whether someone has been 18 or 40 years old, I’ve noticed over my years that a lot of new agents have quickly exited the industry shortly after starting. Having said that, a lot of new agents also push through the pain barrier of the first 2 years to go on and do great things. But I’m writing this article based on the folk that don’t last, and how to help overcome that.
So let me start with the employment and recruiting stage. As a coach, I always offer agents and principle’s that I work with my assistance throughout the hiring process. When I’m given the opportunity to interview or meet a potential candidate for a specific sales role, whether it’s an assistant or standalone agent, I am very particular on 2 things.
1. Describing the role to a tee
2. Someone who asks me more questions than I ask them
Describing the role to your candidate
Whenever I’ve spoken to someone who quits their job soon after they’ve started, I always ask them why they quit or left. If I had a dollar for every time someone answered “It wasn’t what I thought it would be. I didn’t know I had to do all of these things”, I’d be a rich guy.
So that tells me that there’s a possibility their job role wasn’t described or outlined to them properly during the interview/hiring stage. So to help prevent any misunderstanding, put together a very simple job description in dot points. If you require a person to make 100 calls a day, make that known. Don’t say something like, “required to make a lot of phone calls each day”. A lot to you could be different to someone else. Lay down the ground rules before you even hire them, and be strict about it. If your candidate doesn’t want to do specific things, thinks your requirements are ambitious, or you sense hesitation or bad body language, keep looking. Try not to hire someone just for the sake of it. Because the general perception out there is that real estate agents make easy money. The reality is, we don’t. We work bloody hard for our success. And new comers to the industry need to understand that from day 1.
On a side note, if you’re looking to hire an assistant who you want to focus on prospecting a lot, try this… Have a list of 10 names and numbers on a piece of paper (it doesn’t matter if they’re a buyer, owner or tenant). Ask your candidate to quickly give them a call just to touch base. The sole purpose of this exercise is to see if they hesitate or tackle the task head on. If there’s hesitation, could that mean they’ll be hesitant to pick up the phone if you hire them??? No hesitation = a go getter!
Someone who asks me more questions than I ask them
If this is the case, I’d be quite impressed. It shows me the candidate genuinely wants to know as much about the role as they can, so they can make an educated decision moving forward. The less questions they ask would make me feel that their interest for the role wasn’t at 100%. And I suppose this could be said for any role, in any industry.
Retaining and motivating real estate newbies
Retaining and motivating new agents to the industry needs some thought and effort put into it. You can’t just hire someone with no real estate experience and expect them to hit the ground running without nurturing them. If you do, there’s a higher chance they’ll start to float throughout the office, not complete tasks and hit targets, which is what’s going to lead to their exit – either on their own accord or from you moving them on.
So I’m going to break it down in simple point form for you to consider and possibly implement. Remember, this is designed particularly for new agents in the industry with little or no experience.
– For the first 2-3 months, sit down with them first thing in the morning for 5-10 minutes to outline their tasks and objectives for the day ahead. If you can’t be there in person, phone them.
– You as their boss have to lead by example. Give them plenty of your time. Check in with them regularly no matter how busy you are. Show them that you care about them and their development.
– Let your new staff member follow you around to ease them into their role and your business. Try not to throw them in the deep end too early. This is where retention problems can arise if they’re exposed to too much early on. Slow and steady wins the race.
– Familiarise them with all of the systems in your office, so that when they’re called upon, they can complete what they need to and aren’t left scratching their head.
– If they see you slack off and be lazy, they will. Don’t create bad habits.
– Something that really motivated me back in the day, was my boss paid me $20 for each appraisal I generated. Whether the owner was selling in 1 month or 10 years, every new door I got into I was paid $20. It may not sound like much, but when you add it up, it definitely helps.
– Offer monthly, quarterly and/or yearly bonuses for hitting targets set within the team.
– Work with them throughout certain tasks. Build a strong relationship and encourage them to implement new or smarter ideas.
– Mix it up. By that, I mean don’t burn them out. Take them out for lunches and “non real estate” events. Get to know them on a personal level, not just professional. It goes a long way.
– And most importantly, simplify things. Don’t make things too difficult or seem overwhelming. Remember, they’re new.
I hope my insight has helped you. If you have any questions about this topic, please reach out to me.