Providing a positive and productive office culture is key to attracting and keeping good agents. It’s also what keeps the top talent from jumping ship and hanging their license with your competitor. So how do you create an environment that keeps a team enthusiastic and helps them grow together? Here’s five tips for brokers that can help.
1. Spruce Up the Office Environment
We know that it’s the curb appeal and staging of a home that sells the house. The environment in your office works the same way. No one wants to bring a client into an office that has uncomfortable chairs, outdated furniture or bad lighting. Agents don’t want to work in that type of environment either. If it’s been a while since you’ve redecorated, it’s probably time for an update. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Simply adding new artwork, plants and decorations are often all that is needed to offer agents a pleasing office environment. If you are a Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate office, you have exclusive access to office design inspiration books prepared by style directors from Better Homes and Gardens® magazine.
2. It’s All About Communication
Although getting a group of agents to come together for a meeting is challenging, communication is one of the keys to creating an office culture. Hold regular meetings. Break the meetings into 3 sections. First is an office update; second is some area of professional development; and third, leave time for agents to ask questions. Use the types of questions agents are asking to set part of the agenda for the next meeting.
3. Technology is Key to Retaining Good Agents
Although technology has transformed the way that buyers look for properties, some real estate offices still haven’t caught up with the times. Does the office provide lead generation for agents or are the agents still fighting to find leads on their own? Can buyers easily connect with agents from the website? If technology is not up-to-date, the office seems antiquated and could lead to decreased productivity.
While technology choices and options may seem overwhelming, you do not need to do it all at one time. Pick one area to upgrade, and then take the necessary time to successfully implement it.
4. Give Back to the Community
Giving back to the community as one big team not only works to improve office culture, it helps strengthen the connection between agents. It’s also an opportunity to promote the office’s social consciousness and desire to make the community a better place.
There are several ways agents can give back. Participate in a charity run or walk, or volunteer time with a local charity. One such example is the partnership between Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate and Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. Brokers and their agents have the opportunity to donate their time as a team or in the form of money donations. Alternatively, simply help out a family in need during the holidays. For example, the office could collect canned food donations around Thanksgiving and give the donations to a local food pantry.
5. Good Training Makes Good Agents
Host an intensive training program for new real estate agents, as well as options for experienced agents. Another option is to let young agents shadow experienced agents. Ask senior agents to be mentors for a new agent, but make sure the young agent provides some level of support for the experienced agent. Not only does this help provide a positive office culture for everyone, but it gives brokers an opportunity to retain new agents who might otherwise quit when they are frustrated by the learning curve.
Do these five things, and expect to have a long and successful relationship with your agents. Let us know what you think!