8 Tips for Grooming Top Producers

Retain quality salespeople by being a strong leader. Here are eight ways to bring out the best in your agents.

September 26, 2014

Great leaders nurture and develop talent. But with brokers and managers pulled in so many directions, staying focused on the basics of agent development can be a challenge. Get a fresh start on bringing out the best in your salespeople with these tips.

  1. Treat your salespeople like clients. Gives the sale team the same caliber of service you expect for your buyers and sellers, says Bill Podley, CEO of Pasadena, Calif.–area Podley Properties. “People need to feel they are cared for. And that’s what really helps an organization stay together,” he adds.
  2. Celebrate success. Podley acknowledges success both one-on-one and publicly, hosting an annual January party for associates who produce $100,000 in gross income in the prior calendar year. When his associates hit a rough patch, Podley reminds them that tomorrow’s a new day.
  3. Don’t just say it. Do it. Roger Herman, CEO of the Herman Group, acquired Shorewood Properties, a Los Angeles County South Bay market leader with 270 agents last February. He says the implementation of technological tools and platforms within 30 days of the acquisition added value and helped increase the number of Shorewood associates to 290 in four months. “It’s important not to have breakage, meaning agent loss. With any transition, you have to bring value to the table. And the value can’t just be in the leadership. People get bored and disillusioned fast,” he says.
  4. Add value. In addition to financial rewards, provide resources. Podley, who has about 180 associates and six offices, says the company keeps the brand name and its people front and center by “spending more on print advertising” than its same-sized competitors.
  5. Educate and mentor. Whether through internal managers or outside resources, cultivate personal and professional growth with education and training. Podley, a name in Pasadena real estate since 1973, says his favorite external coach is Brian Buffini.
  6. Be generous. While healthy commission checks and regular bonuses might seem like obvious retention tools, brokers say, yes, money really matters.
  7. Define your culture. “Existing associates are constantly being wooed by other firms with business models that are far different than ours,” Podley notes. To retain salespeople, highlight the things that make your brokerage unique. “In our case, we have a strong family culture,” Podley says.
  8. Take stock. Self-evaluation is never easy. But Herman says you’re better off going backward to move forward. “You’re only as strong as your weakest agent,” he says. “If you have an agent out there doing a poor job, that person represents you in the marketplace.” Sometimes you have to look at your company and let go of people who are “hanging around and taking up time and space and not committed,” Herman says. “It’s not fair to the people who are committed and producing. Those are the people who deserve your partnership.”



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