Relationships are everything in real estate. They’re your business’s bread and butter, helping you to widen your sphere of influence, which can lead to growth and sales. A key relationship in any real estate broker’s sphere is the one between you and your agents.
With new agents continuing to enter the industry and seasoned agents often seeking their latest-greatest opportunity, it’s in your best interest to build strong relationships with the agents you’ve worked so hard to find. The real estate leadership actions that you take now to do this are twofold: you’ll start on the right foot with new hires from day one, and you’ll keep tried-and-true agents engaged, satisfied, and proud to be on your team for years to come.
Weichert® has seven tips to help you, and they all lead with gratitude.
1. Nurture mutual trust and respect. When it comes to building relationships, the real estate cliché location, location, location gets swapped out with trust, trust, trust. Trust is the foundation of your agent relationships. This can lead to sturdy, lasting relationships; the utmost professionalism; and top-tier performance. From trust, comes respect. And from there, everything that makes an agent want to stay with and work for your brokerage falls into place.
Be mindful that with every act of honesty, transparency, and support you show your agents, you are fortifying the foundation of trust. When times get challenging, and they will, your agents will know that you have their backs no matter what.
2. Take time to appreciate your agents. People want to be heard and seen—it’s a universal need in life and business. Go the extra mile to know your agents in their professional roles as well as who they are as individuals.
Because we are all so busy these days, this takes effort. But it’s worth the pause in the long run. There’s nothing like face-to-face interactions to really get to know the agents on your team. Make time for these moments. Ask your agents about things outside of the office—and then be prepared to truly listen without any distractions. (Therefore, do not ask while you’re multitasking!) When you ask an agent how their kids’ soccer tournament went over the weekend, really listen for the details. Follow up with a few questions. Offer genuine enthusiasm. As you take time to know your agents beyond their skills and sales, remember to also share things about yourself. Connecting as people, not just as co-workers or broker/agent, serves everyone.
3. Coach like you really, really care. Of course, sales matter. You’re running a business. But when you lead like you care about your agents more than you care about your sales, people notice.
Find out what really matters to your agents. Listen to their needs and goals. Help them figure out what steps they need to take to achieve those goals.
Leaders benefit greatly from investing in and connecting with their people. And when your agents have a good connection with you, they’ll feel safe to give you more feedback, which helps you grow and develop as a leader. It becomes a cycle for growth.
4. Celebrate key moments and milestones. Did your agent close a big sale? Did they finally get the listing they’ve been working on for months? Celebrate these moments! And make it personal and specific. Acknowledge the steps and effort that was put into the achievement. “Your tenacity these last few months really paid off. I especially like how you used your referral base to build momentum. Well done!” sounds a lot better than “Good job!”
If you want to go above and beyond, you can also make an event out of it, like an office happy hour or a monthly milestone meet-up. Celebrations like these offer you prime face-to-face time with your agents while you incentivize success. If an agent knows their accomplishments are noticed—and noticed among their peers—they’ll want to do more.
5. Wrap your arms around the entire team. This tip builds on the previous one. You can embrace the entire team in many ways, including publicly celebrating agent milestones, hosting team outings, conducting professional collaboration sessions, and encouraging work-life balance. It’s like a big hug of gratitude for all the people who help you and your business to thrive.
At Weichert, we often talk about the “We” in Weichert. We are one big team—a family—and we take purposeful steps to ensure that the team feels this love. Our culture is all about collaboration, inclusiveness, and yes, competitiveness—but within the industry, not with each other. Our peer-to-peer networking affords our broker-owners and their agents with opportunities to share ideas, collaborate, and build and grow with each other. With over 40 states represented across the US, the Weichert team at large is always learning something new from each other.
6. Set a supportive tone of open communication. Open communication is crucial to any relationship, including those in the workplace. One of the first steps toward great working relationships with your agents is to encourage asking questions, reinforce that there’s no such thing as a bad question, and support your agents to have a voice. When you create a culture where agents can “share the air,” your team will have a vested interest in the overall business.
Open communication also comes from you leading by example. Set the tone for your teams by demonstrating your own open communication. Find the most appropriate ways to share challenges and successes of the business overall. It can help them to understand how their involvement plays an important role. Forbes makes a great point with the following, “For managers and leaders, share relevant company updates … and provide them with frequent feedback. This ensures they have all the information they need to do their jobs at all times and aren’t kept in the dark.”
7. Keep nurturing your relationships. Building strong relationships with your agents can’t be done in a vacuum; you need to be mindful of your relationships as a real estate broker. To lead, you have to focus on you, too. For example, how might a franchise with Weichert help you cultivate your agent relationships? At Weichert, we partner with our broker-owners to help them build rock-solid relationships with their agents. There’s coaching for your 1-on-1’s, helpful tools and resources, and ideas from fellow affiliates that you can always tap into. Ask us how this investment changes everything for our affiliates. We’re happy to share. Contact us today.