Embrace new agents with a deliberate program to successfully assimilate them into your team
There is a difference between new agent on-boarding and new agent orientation. Onboarding is checking all the administrative boxes: adding their license to your company, setting up their access to systems and technology, assigning a workspace, etc.
To truly embrace new agents, you need to have an orientation program that engages them with you and your company’s culture. Whether that program is one day long, several days long, or spread out over weeks or months, orientation is a valuable tool to both help new agents sell real estate immediately and also lay the groundwork for a long, mutually beneficial relationship within your company.
Here are several best practices that you can employ in your orientation programs to help new agents get off to a great start in their new roles:
Provide an Action Plan: Aside from all the details, provide a basic game plan—such as a 90-day activity checklist—that they can follow to jump start their lead generation and client acquisitions immediately.
Provide Specific Support Mechanisms: Let new agents know whom they should call for support. Include names, contact info, and areas supported (sales, technology, admin, etc.) If you have a mentor system within your company, all the better.
Review Everyday Culture: Common knowledge isn’t always commonly known, so put new hires at ease by reviewing things that you may take for granted such as how the phones are answered, where coats are hung, and how to refer to your company or office name.
Be Prepared: Provide information in advance about where to park, how to get in the office, and what to expect. Showing that you value the agent’s orientation will also demonstrate that you value their success.
Make Them Feel Welcome: Consider having a coffee and donut meet-and-greet with other agents and staff. You can also have a welcome card signed by other agents. Even if new agents don’t know the names yet, they will appreciate the gesture, and will also look back later at the agents—including “big hitters”—that signed their card and feel the goodwill all over again.
Demonstrate Your Tech Tools: Especially for proprietary software, introduce them to the systems that they will need to immediately be effective in their new business.
Be Consistent: If you have multiple offices, I recommend using the same basic orientation template in all locations. Some of the details will change, but the information and structure should largely be the same.
Get Feedback, then Adjust: When orientation concludes, get feedback from the new agents and make adjustments so that you are better next time.
Beginning a real estate career is an exciting time for both the new agent and for their company. A purposeful orientation approach will reduce the new agent’s stress, make them productive more quickly, and increase their bond with the company, thereby reducing turnover. Additionally, it will typically lead to a more positive company culture overall.
Implement the practices above to make new agent orientation successful, and help your new agents make an immediate impact in their businesses and yours in 2021!
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Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Homes.com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker as an industry Influencer. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.