Managing broker, Conlon/Christie’s International Real Estate
The policy at Conlon/Christie’s is for managing brokers to not sell or list properties unless it is for a personal acquaintance, Hernandez said.
“I only handle friends and family and it’s only a couple times a year. I don’t have many friends,” Hernandez said jokingly. “The policy here is that in my role [as managing broker] with 200-some agents, it’s best to focus on my job. My daily activities center around agent interaction and guidance.”
Because she is in charge of the company’s agents and their success, taking leads for herself would undermine her ability to attract the best agents. In fact, Hernandez said the No. 1 question prospective employees ask is if she is a selling manager.
“My agents need to feel that they are in a safe place,” she said. “That they feel they don’t compete with me … and that everyone gets a piece of the pie. It’s good for our culture.”
Hernandez said she only takes friends and family because they are coming to her and likely are not interested in working with others. And while those few clients a year are enough for her busy schedule, Hernandez does say she missed the emotional highs of selling.
“It’s exciting when people get what they want,” she said. “I do enjoy that.”
Managing broker, Baird & Warner Lincoln Park office
Though Bailey is licensed to list and sell as well as manage an office, the managing broker at Baird & Warner’s Lincoln Park office said it is his policy to not sell. He said the policy was adopted from his managing broker when he was a young agent, and a move he said helped instill trust in his workplace.
“Our managing brokers don’t compete with other brokers,” he said.
While the policy is meant to keep agents happy, the firewall between management and sales helps the office in other ways. For one, managing brokers are then free to focus on the company’s health while agents can get into the weeds with their clients. Neither management nor the agents have time to do the other’s job, Bailey said.
“I need to know about the marketplace and I also need to train salespeople,” Bailey said. “That’s different from working with buyers. It’s tough to have two full-time jobs. You can’t dip your toe in both ends of the pool.”
Like Hernandez, Bailey said he also misses listing and selling, but said his new job comes with its own benefits.
“I do sometimes miss the client interaction,” he said. “I get satisfaction with developing my brokers.”
Senior vice president and managing broker, Related Realty
“Our managing brokers don’t actively sell,” said Patrick Ryan of Related Realty. “Everyone is constantly getting brokers or new developments or new business that is coming their way. We [managing brokers] may not actively show listings like brokers, but it would be foolish to turn people away.”
Ryan notes that managing brokers still want to cultivate relationships and maintain the level of customer service provided to clientele, but he personally doesn’t have the time to do the marketing and other tasks required, for example, to help buyers win in a multiple-bid situation.
“But we’re going to cultivate any business we can,” he said.
Ryan does miss selling sometimes, he said. “That’s the fun part of this business. I can help assist someone and help them find something that they want in a home.” Like Hernandez, he says it comes down to emotion more than the salesmanship involved in working with clients.
“I do miss that, and looking at a house from a different perspective. I miss that personal interaction.”