Joan Allen is a co-owner of Windermere Stellar and cochair of the Windermere Foundation. As co-owner of Windermere Stellar, Joan provides overall strategies for management, marketing, and company direction. Joan works with multiple nonprofits in the region as cochair of the local Windermere Foundation, which supports charitable organizations that assist low-income children and families. She also serves on the board of directors for New Avenues for Youth, Bridge Meadows, and Providence Portland Medical Center, and is an advisory board member for Girls Inc.
Uncertain Times Are No Match for Seasoned Agents
Train your team on how to deal with stressful situations while maintaining their professionalism and composure.
December 15, 2016
We all react differently to a sudden change that causes upheaval. Whether it’s a personal, political, or economic disturbance, there is no singular way for coping with the anxiety it brings. But real estate professionals must not allow the turmoil of an uncertain time to permeate their daily routine.
Emotions are part of life, and real estate salespeople have more experience than the average Joe in handling other people’s emotions. I’ve been a leader at Windermere Stellar through some uncertain times, such as 9/11, the 2008 market crash, the death of beloved agents, and the closing of an office. Today, agents are working with clients who are anxious about where housing is headed — particularly following the presidential election, which has generated a lot of questions.
It’s through hurdles like these that I’ve discovered ways of helping my agents work through nerve-wracking situations. These are tactics that other brokers, managers, and owners can emulate. As a leader, your team relies on you to be there for them every day — to be their rock. So, here are some ways for staying rock-solid in times of uncertainty and inspiring your agents to do the same.
Agents Are Here to Help
Buying a home in a stable climate is stressful enough without the addition of a shaky situation. Remind your agents that they navigate the choppy waters of selling and listing homes every day and are in place to smooth out any wavering nerves, especially with the new wave of first-time home buyers. Windermere’s chief economist, Matthew Gardner, detailed their entrance into the marketplace in a recent article. Some clients might be feeling uncertain about the economy, a lack of empowerment, or even socially marginalized. Agents should approach each workday with confidence and the tools needed to educate their clients, knowing that their job is to help people who are in a multitude of life circumstances.
Don’t Suppress the Emotion, Work Through it
We all need space and time to process stressful events. Sometimes your agents might need a safe place to vent and cry. If you give your agents that space to express what they are feeling and instill your faith in them, they’ll feel grounded and supported and will jump at the opportunity to prove their resilience. We all strive to overcome adversity, so give them the tools to come back stronger than ever.
There Is No Fixed Reaction, Remember?
Understand that you and your agents should judge the proper way to handle a situation based on body language and interactions in the moment. Train your agents to be sensitive to how their clients are feeling, because everyone reacts differently to stressful events. The way an individual feels about certain issues can be complex. Tell your agents that their job right now is to help their clients handle fears and emotions one step at a time.
Get Out, Work Together as a Team
Fundamentally, real estate creates community and feeds from it — and as professionals, real estate agents cherish their counterparts. The act of doing something as a group, like helping prepare a memorial service following the loss of an agent, brings everyone closer and allows people to heal. Remind your agents that since their work helped build a community, that community will be strong, united, and supportive through anything.
Uncertain situations breed exactly that: uncertainty. As humans, we will feel anxiety from time to time because we care and are passionate about the issues at hand. But as salespeople, therapists, and communicators all bundled into one, real estate professionals are expected to weather the storm and keep everybody going. If you’re available to answer questions, listen, and comfort, your agents will gain the inspiration and confidence needed to move forward. You want your office to be the place agents turn to during uncertain times because it is safe. But it all begins with you setting the example.