By Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair, EXIT Realty Corp. International
When there’s a void, negativity fills it. As I travel around the continent, I’m finding a tremendous number of brokers and agents who are feeling detached and distant from their brand, each other, their clients, and the industry.
During COVID, people became accustomed to working from home and using teleconference technologies to connect, and even after all this time, getting agents accustomed to coming back into the office and connecting in person is more difficult. It’s a paradox; they’re staying away but they’re missing human connection. EXIT’s Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, says, “Indifference is a killer of business.” It’s also a killer of relationships. As broker/owners, when agents are working from home and turning in their transactions, it’s easy to take them for granted and assume they’re okay and your relationship with them is okay. It isn’t necessarily so.
As we head into recruiting season, it’s important to not only focus outward to find new talent but also inward to remind our own people why they made the choice to join us and how we value them as part of the team. People want to be part of something better, and the operative words are “part of”. Being part of something isn’t necessarily accomplished from a distance. By making a conscious effort to catch them doing something good and have them share it with others at a live, in-person meeting, or holding a brainstorming session where everyone can collaborate about what’s working, can bring agents together.
My favorite definition of compassion is “compassion equals empathy plus action” and part of that action right now involves bringing people together. The good news is compassion is good for you. Studies show it’s good for your health, your relationships, your business and your bottom line. So, in your plan to reconnect compassionately with your agents, personalize your interactions with them – the more personal you can get (without being creepy), the better. Agents are looking for honest, genuine connection, and to feel like they’re part of a community. Do you know what their dreams are? Where do they see themselves in one, three and five years? Do you know how you can be part of the solution to get them there? My strong recommendation is to keep notes on everybody. Social media helps so connect with them on Meta and LinkedIn. Engage in real time get-togethers and one-on-one conversations. Between visits to the office, pick up the phone and see how they’re doing.
Recently one of our top brokers shared that after hearing me speak on this topic, they went back and had a conversation with a $15 million producer whom they hadn’t seen for a long time. The agent shared that they had been thinking of leaving because they didn’t think their broker cared, whereas the broker had been thinking everything was okay because the agent was out there doing their thing, closing deals. They cleared up the misunderstanding and the agent was recommitted to the brand.
Don’t take anyone for granted and take every opportunity to reconnect, sooner rather than later.