As real estate teams expand, they often experience a variety of growing pains. Many face challenges in the hazards of scaling or struggle to gain efficiency as a larger team. But one of the most common (and least talked about) problems team leaders face with growing teams is retaining top producers.
There are many reasons these agents might want to leave a team. Some want to spread their wings and start a team of their own. Others feel underappreciated or feel they pull most of the weight on their current team. Or perhaps the team dynamic just isn’t the same as it used to be. Whatever the reason, some of these agents are going to leave no matter what you as the leader do. But there are often steps you can take to support thriving team members and help them continually grow alongside you. Here are a few quick tips that the teams I work with have found helpful:
Leadership always begins with listening. If members of your team don’t seem satisfied with the current state of affairs, talk with them, and listen to what they say. Whether their challenges can be resolved with just a few simple adjustments or might never be worked out, maintaining an open dialogue with your team members is critical if anything is going to improve.
- Acknowledging expertise
If you have experienced, specialized agents, recognize it! Give titles that reflect agents’ abilities, skills, and seniority. Ask them to design and facilitate training for new hires or ongoing professional development for the whole team. Include them in strategy decisions.
- Incentivizing and rewarding excellence
Many teams have found creating incentivized production levels help distinguish top producers while helping the whole team elevate their game. By reaching a particular level, agents unlock perks that might include waived fees, better splits, access to designated admins staff, or even the ability to build their own teams within your team.
- Having fun!
Team leaders should remember two things: most agents who think about leaving a team would probably prefer to stay, and there was something that drew them to the team in the first place. Reignite your team members’ enjoyment of the team dynamic by having fun together! Throw monthly contests or spiffs, go out on the town, or book a team trip. If the group you lead is enjoyable to be with, agents will reconsider their urge to start over somewhere else.
At the end of the day, being a team leader means creating a space where every team member can succeed and thrive. Of course, we are pleased when agents grow their skills and capacity and hope the very best for them. If it’s time for them to leave the proverbial nest we wish them well, but if there is still excellent work they can do with and for the team, we need to open those avenues to them by improving what the team can do for them. Otherwise we’re only squandering their significant potential.
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and free downloadable resources.