Some words on ’employing sales people’ in commercial real estate today. Over the years I have worked with many different agents and brokers. Some I have employed and some I have removed from employment (i.e. some just shouldn’t be working in the industry).
The fact of the matter is that there are many individuals out there wanting to work as brokers and agents in the industry; the attractive commissions pull them in (if life was only that easy in attracting the deals and commissions).
Soon after starting however, they then see and understand the real work, knowledge, and commitment required to get the property business……. and that is before the commissions come in… From that point on fractures can then occur in their personal real estate plan and the momentum.
FACT: The ‘hard workers’ are however generally well rewarded for effort over time; they learn from taking steps forward and improving skills. They learn from their mistakes and their successes.
So what can you do with this? It commonly takes time for a team leader or broker principal to fully understand and see the personal traits of individual people; those traits that will strengthen or weaken a real estate business. There are ‘top agents’ and there are plenty of others; some can be improved and some not so.
My guess is and experience here says, it takes only about 4 weeks to see if someone has the skills, knowledge, and commitment to make a ‘go of it’ in the commercial property industry.
Whilst I am talking about the traits of ‘top agents’, or what their skills should be, ‘trust’ is another important factor that I will mentioned here.
Some people in the business I wouldn’t trust to ‘wash my car’; they are obviously that fragmented in skills and focus. If you know you can’t trust someone to get the property job done efficiently and correctly, how could the client? There is a message here for team leaders!
Clients really do know when they are talking to a skilled agent and broker; they also know when they are not doing so.
Some of these poor quality agents couldn’t ‘close a paper bag’, let alone a multi million dollar property transaction.
Trust is part of closing a deal with a client; that’s a fact. Skill development will assist a hard working agent to improve over time. Our clients want to work with top agents. That’s a fact all around the World.
The Sales Equation
It is an interesting equation this ‘thing’ about skills and employing new property brokers and agents.
You could say that there are many different characters in the industry, and that statement would be correct. The fact of the matter is that if you are a commercial real estate sales team leader, you want to work with the right people that you believe in and can see are committed to making things work; they also have to fit into the team (‘sour lemons’ in the team really don’t work, they will frustrate others, and upset the team momentum). When the people in your sales team are committed, you can be as well.
Move the brokerage business forward with skill development and well selected individuals; take your time in employing people and do have a ‘probation period’ of 3 months where you can ‘test the skills’ etc. of individuals. Set your rules of employment and be very selective in who you employ and why. Monitor progress across the team, and give guidance where it is deserved. Remove or improve the weak links in the team.
In Support of a Top Agent Plan
Here is something to help you and finish off on this point.
If you have a sales team working a location, put them on to this matrix of ‘sales skills’, and then ask them to rate where they think their property skills and knowledge would be right now in each of the categories. Find their strengths and identify their weaknesses. Use it in next weeks team meeting. You will get some interesting responses.