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CRE Brokerage Management Challenge #2: Managing Brokerage Staff

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In my last blog we addressed how to recruit agents, of all stages of experience. Once you’ve built a great team, you’re going to need to keep them great. You must consistently help them improve their performance.

From my 25+ years of experience as a broker, manager, and as a coach to brokers and managers – there are four things that I know work in managing your brokerage staff.

Avoid “One Size Fits All” Management. Many managers have one style which they apply to every one of their team members. Then they wonder why people in their office are unhappy, unmotivated, and likely to quit at any time. Are you the same person as your sister, your best friend, or your second-most-successful broker? Of course not. Everyone has different motivations and responds to different types of management. Some like rewards, while others are motivated by the fear of sanctions. Some need a little bit of micromanagement to help keep them on track, while others work best when left alone. Get to know how your brokers/mortgage brokers and property managers want to be managed, and tailor your style to each of them. Using a tailored style will help you get better performance from them while also making them feel better about their relationship with you. Refer back to the first blog in this series regarding screening and assessment tools — these are great products for understanding the individual motivations of each team member.

Be Ethical. You might think that this is obvious, but it isn’t. Most managers would never do anything egregiously unethical, but every manager has been confronted with issues that fall in an ethically grey zone. When you are in this situation, bear in mind that what you do will end up being telegraphed to your entire office. Once you bend your ethical standards, you will begin to lose the moral authority to impose those standards on your office as a whole.

Be Consistent. Being consistent is more nuanced than it might seem. Consistency isn’t about treating every team member and every situation the same way. Instead, it’s about having a system and set of standards that you apply evenly. Your team shouldn’t be surprised by your answer when they come to you for a decision, or with a request – and they should get the same result as other team members in their situation.

Be Wrong. It’s okay to be wrong. The most important thing is to own it and move on. Saying such things as “Remember when I told you X yesterday, I gave you bad information, and I apologize. Here’s the right answer…” will let your team know that you are human, just like them. When you fix your mistakes, you reinforce your quality standards.

Have Some Fun. We work in a demanding and intense business that can be characterized as cyclical, if not radical as of late. While you do not want to be the lead joker in your office, a bit of (appropriate) levity and fun can go a long way to improve your office’s esprit de corps.

In my next blog I will expand on the third major challenge as a broker/owner/manager: Business Development and Marketing.

In the interim, we’d like to hear what your top challenges are as a broker/owner/manager – so we can address those in future blogs. Please take our 1 question survey by clicking here.

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