Chicago Agent’s 2014 Truth About Agents Survey found that 31 percent of Realtors have been with the same company for their entire career. While that statistic is positive feedback for managing brokers, a growing number of dissatisfied agents are considering changing offices this year; in 2012, 10 percent intended to leave their current office. In 2013, that number rose to 14 percent, with 53 percent stating they were willing to leave their office.
That suggests a new confidence in the market – one that shows if agents don’t get what they need from an office, they can get it from another office and aren’t afraid to make a move. Therefore, how can managing brokers not only show equal support to all agents, but also help them grow their skills, train them and be their absolute best?
John Greene Realtors has a three-pronged management team: Pederson, Neil Piket, the assistant managing broker, and Scott Parker, the sales manager. This approach allows each manager to utilize all of their strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses, as well as give agents the option of who to seek out for advice. If one manager is out of the office, with two others available, agents never feel neglected.
Parker takes the lead with motivational tactics such as sales contests and sales meeting content; agents turn to Pederson when they look for ideas to increase business or are disappointed with their current performance; and with Piket’s background in management, training and ethics issues, he helps handle any matter involving compliance, license law or ethics.
Regardless of the responsibility at hand, one thing is key – availability. Pederson recalls how surprised one of his agents was when he promptly responded to one of her late night text messages regarding a concern she had about a transaction.
“I want my agents to know I’m here for them, always,” he says. “I’ll go to bat for them. I have always felt I am working for the agents, they are not working for me.”
Conlon Real Estate Managing Broker Ruth Drussy Hernandez says from day one she has created an open door policy with her agents. Conlon Real Estate first opened in 2009 with 50 agents. The company now has 200 agents (who average 10 years of experience) in four offices, and will be opening two additional Illinois locations in 2014 in Hinsdale and Winnetka. She says that the fact that she has been open and available consistently for all her agents is part of why she’s been able to recruit and retain agents at her office.
“I welcome them to come talk to me at the first sign of trouble, or if they’re venturing into uncharted waters,” Hernandez says. “I’ve even had agents call me during a showing if they have a question or they need assistance in general. They can communicate one-on-one and reach me through any line of communication at any time.”