Never Fired an Agent: Attracting and Keeping Quality Team Members

Posted on Oct 2 2018 - 9:54am by Zoe Eisenberg
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Dan_LeeName: Dan Lee
Official Title: Team Leader, Village Realty
Region Served: Atlanta, Ga.

You have a strong team of agents and your team seems very stable. Is it true you have never had to fire an agent?
It is true that I’ve yet to fire an agent, but by no means does that mean that I haven’t had agents not perform to expectations. The reason for my agent retention is two-fold: First is the hiring process; there are specific criteria that I hold myself to when it comes to the hiring process. Secondly, every agent that I hire I truly believe that they have the mindset for success, but are lacking the tools for success. It is my job to provide those tools to them. I try to have a dynamic training approach; I take the time to sit with an agent and try to figure out the best way to get them to perform better. I don’t consider my model exceptional, but I do believe in some counts I have been very blessed with the hires that I have made so far.

What do you offer that makes agents want to join your team and then stay?
Since my mentality has always been in investing in my agents, my individual agents’ failures I consider my own. I don’t believe an agent ever wants to leave their brokerage unless there is a disconnect somewhere. Our market is saturated with brokerages that feel that their training or services are more than adequate for most newer agents. Unfortunately that is just not true—it is evident with the number of agents leaving real estate in their first year. My personal opinion is that most newer agents already have skin in the game by trying a new career field, but most brokerages do not have the same commitment to their agents. My model has always been about transparency, as well as providing a tangible increase in my agents’ business.

How do leads factor in—do you provide them, or do they source them on their own?
While a referral business model is obviously the least costly method of producing business, unfortunately without a consistent length of being in business, a referral business is just not attainable. Only by providing leads and having my agents diligently service them can I hope to build a team of agents that will develop their own referral business.

How essential is the® lead program to your recruiting and retention model?
RDC leads are completely essential to my recruiting and retention model. Like most large teams, my hires tend to be those newer in the real estate profession, and I don’t believe the majority of newer agents can build a sustainable business off friends and family alone. Without a consistent flow of leads into their business, those agents are the unfortunate agents with great promise that end up leaving the field.

As a team leader and someone responsible for the livelihood of my team, RDC leads provides me with a consistent quality and quantity. Based off this consistency, I can predict future performance of someone who has never been in real estate before. It is also the only reason that I can sleep at night after hiring someone who believes I can make them successful in real estate.

What are your success metrics for joining the team? What is the minimum standard, and how much should it take to achieve it?
Being a smaller team, I have the luxury of being able to say that there is no minimum standard for my agents. One of our key concepts is that there is something to learn from any situation and something to learn from everybody. We have monthly goals set for our agents based on where they are individually in their business. If I had to say I had a minimum standard, it would be that each agent be open and willing to partake in advice and strategies created for their business. Keeping an open mind and a motivated attitude will get you far in this business.

What are your ultimate goals for your team, and what would it look like to fulfill them?
My dream in building a team was a collective mind of like-minded agents that all work for one simple goal: to survive. This business is ever-changing, especially now in the age of the internet. Models that have worked previously will more than likely fail in the future. My personal goal in creating a team was to survive and possibly thrive in this industry. With the combined efforts and experiences of each of my agents, I hope that moving forward we can be dynamic with our approach and stay successful. To me, fulfilling my goals for my team is very simple: consistently providing a livelihood for each of my agents to be able to obtain their own dreams and definition of success.

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