Staff retention in commercial real estate is an ongoing problem for many brokerages. That being said some brokerages do little to support their agents on the ground in the market place, so they get what they deserve in that case.
Commercial real estate can be a very lonely career, because everything centres on personal performance; some agents don’t know how to sort out personal performance issues and need a lot of help in doing so. That doesn’t mean to say that the agent is doing many ‘wrong things’, but rather they need help in doing more of the ‘right things’, and their sales manager or team leader may not be a very good role model or skilled enough to help shape new people into top agents.
Here are some ideas to help with staff retention and personal performance in our industry:
- New people without experience need guidance. To do this effectively they should pair up with a proven performer for at least 6 months in a ‘cadet’ role. They can then see how things are done and not done. Learning from the best agents in the team will also boost confidence and market knowledge.
- Set goals and targets for new salespeople so they have something realistic to work with from the very beginning. Those targets can be set in ‘performance categories’ that have something to do with growth of market share. The best ones to use are database prospects, prospecting calls, prospecting letters and meetings made, confirmed clients, signboards, listings created (open and exclusive), marketing, and closed deals. All of these categories link to the others in some way. Each week the new salesperson can tell what they are doing and how they have improved in each category.
- Establish a training program for any new person in the team. The training should focus on the core elements of the job as the following; prospecting, presentations, listings, marketing, negotiating, and documentation. In each category there are so many things to be learnt.
- Every person will be motivated in a unique and special way. Finding the right motivators will always be important and that is the job of the team leader. Travel rewards, bonus commissions, and recognition strategies are all different ways of looking at the issue. Find the right motivators for each salesperson and use them.
- Junior agents or salespeople should be put through an induction program. As part of that process you will require an induction manual of standards, together with a training and development plan. At the end of each month the newer members to the team can sit down for a meeting with the team leader to discuss progress.
Staff retention in commercial real estate is really a reflection of good business practices and personnel management. As I said earlier, it can be a very hard industry for those that do not have much experience. Provide the strategies similar to those mentioned here and you will find the retention ratios improve; that can then have a reflection on market share and commissions over time.