For REALTORSⓡ, it’s hard enough to succeed in these challenging times without having to deal with job stress that has nothing to do with their sales performances. But like any workplace, there are all kinds of personalities and attitudes. Probably more so in real estate sales, as extroverts and people who speak their minds are plentiful.
When someone isn’t in sync with the established culture of an office, it can cause morale issues over time if not addressed. Sometimes the problem can be fixed…and sometimes it can’t.
Minor Ruiz owns Realty ONE Group Royal Oaks, in Miami Lakes, Florida. When one of his agents isn’t working out for whatever reason he first tries to right the ship if it’s business related. If it’s an interpersonal matter sometimes other staffers can get it solved and sometimes they can’t.
“I hand out many of my qualified leads, but only to those who show up every day and take my training,” he says. “I don’t really believe in giving out leads but I’ll certainly do it when I’m busy and can use the help. I’d rather teach agents how to generate leads. As the old saying goes, give someone a fish and they will eat for a day, but teach them to fish and they will eat for a lifetime.
“As far as tough personalities, I keep a positive environment and my team tends to filter them out when necessary. If I have to step in I’ll start by saying something positive and ask them to correct the problem.”
During a session at RISMedia’s Rocking In the New Year virtual conference, the topic of when and how to terminate an employee was broached. Two industry leaders explained their philosophies about how preserving the culture and a team working together took precedence over even a high-earner.
“First of all, culture starts from the top, but it’s really built at the bottom,” notes Josh Harley, CEO at Fathom Realty. “I can talk about culture and say this is what I want the culture to be like, but it’s that local leader who has to exemplify that culture. Part of that is making sure you don’t hire the wrong people.
“I cannot tell you how many agents we’ve fired that closed 100-plus homes a year because they were (bad fits in the office). When you do that, the culture improves not just because that person’s gone, but because everyone else is happier and has much greater faith in the company. We are here to serve our agents and that should be the culture.
“And when you make that the culture, then the agents feel loved and served and they’re going to be much more likely to refer other people to the company and more likely to serve and love their clients. And when they do that, their own business grows as well.”
Ken Baris, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Jordan Baris Realty, adds that timing is important when letting someone go.
“A judicious firing for the right reasons is one of the most healthy things, and also a great road to faster profitability,” he says. “And whenever you let somebody go, whether it gets belabored or happens quickly, usually people in the company will say thank you for doing that. And you realize it should have been done long ago. Even though people may not be telling you, your instinct is right and it even helps the person that you let go. If they’re not right for the culture, they’re not right for the culture. So never be scared to address that.”
Harley was succinct in telling how he onboards and offloads employees.
“You hire slow and you fire fast,” he says. “You get rid of someone quickly when you have to. It’s the right thing to do. It’s better for the organization, but also better for them too, because if they’re not going to be the right fit, why drag it on and on. Let them find a better location, where it is a better fit for them.”