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Times come in life when it is time to change. Whether it’s your deodorant, your home, a relationship, or your brokerage, everyone encounters key moments in their life when a change is needed. The question is, however, “What are the valid reasons for changing?” »
An agent in our area who ran the #1 team at a major regional brokerage approached his office manager and said, “We want to keep growing – I’d like to add a few more members to the team and I want to discuss the potential terms with you.” Without batting an eyelid, the manager replied, “Why do you want to grow? You are already the No. 1 team in our company.
Wrong answer. The director then described a structure that would inhibit growth instead of paving the way for further expansion. “If you keep growing,” they explained to the team leader, “you will be competing with our brokerage.”
Leaving the director, the agent returned to his office and told those present, “We are out of here. I don’t know where we’ll go yet, but we can’t stay here any longer.
In this situation, the need for change was evident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. How do you know when it’s time to switch brokers? Here are our top five indicators.
Nothing is more important in a company than the right culture. Bacteria is a quick way to consider culture: good bacteria can make awesome cheese. Bad bacteria can kill. Indeed.com defines the corporate culture as “the set of behavioral and procedural standards that can be observed within a company – which includes its policies, procedures, ethics, values, employee behaviors and attitudes, objectives and code of conduct. It also constitutes the “personality of a company and defines the work environment.
A healthy corporate culture allows for diversity, freedom and promotes growth opportunities. Unfortunately, some brokerages have a culture that could be described as “toxic” – an authoritarian hierarchical environment that stifles creativity, limits opportunity, and sees the purpose of the business as a way to improve the life of the broker at the place to exist to provide opportunity for agents.
Brokerages may also have a corporate culture that is not conducive to your modus operandi: You may be a laid-back person who focuses on personal relationships in a brokerage that emphasizes intensity and production – one that puts results above relationships. If your personality and business style do not match the general style of the office, frustration will ensue for all parties involved.
If you feel threatened, abused, blocked, inhibited, or stylistically incompatible in your current brokerage, it’s probably time to seek a better cultural fit.
Like a baby learning to walk, it needs to be nurtured, encouraged and trained to keep things going in the right direction. While some brokerages are great at providing training for beginners, agents and teams that have been in production for a while need training on a whole new level.
Some agents and teams solve the problem by reaching out to outside sources such as The Buffini Company or Tom Ferry’s coaching organization. Other brokerage firms provide access to coaching within the organization, such as Keller Williams Maps Coaching.
An important consideration is that large brokerages often provide comprehensive training opportunities inside the organization which are, in many cases, either free or at a lower cost than an independent outside group.
Jim Rohn, a well-known motivational speaker, once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Although some may disagree with this statement, the truth is that you need to surround yourself with people who will inspire you to greater heights.
If you want to build and lead a high performing team, it helps to be part of a team or to be in an office that has a few high performing teams that you can emulate. If you are the first producer in your brokerage but want to continue to grow, you might want to look for organizations that have no upside limits.
Your target can be even higher – some brokerages offer leadership opportunities and some even offer a path to ownership.
If you have reached the point where you can no longer find the type of training, coaching, mentoring or environment you need to grow and develop your business, it may be time to look for a new brokerage. which provides the opportunities required to get you to the next level.
Leadership is everything – a quick glance at any business section of a bookstore will reveal an endless array of books designed to help aspiring leaders succeed. While inspired leaders can galvanize an organization to continued levels of growth and development, lackluster leaders can bog their business down in a quagmire of mediocrity, and toxic leaders can not only destroy any prospect of success, but also cause permanent damage. .
Although effective leadership skills can be learned, truly inspired and dynamic leaders are rare, so if you have the opportunity to be part of an organization with such a leader, you should consider the jump.
If your brokerage’s leadership isn’t inspiring, motivating, and providing you with the opportunities you need to take it to the next level, you may want to start looking for a brokerage with better leadership.
The pandemic has changed everything; this has been very apparent in the real estate brokerage environment. While some brokerages have managed to unite and even galvanize their agents to continue production in the face of extreme limitations, other organizations have left their agents in the proverbial wilderness.
As we work towards a new normal, brokerages are struggling to find ways to support their agents in the new reality. Some agents are eager to return to their offices while others are quite happy to stay at home.
Many brokerages have dramatically improved their communication capabilities by installing video conferencing equipment to facilitate meetings that are simultaneously in-person and virtual. Others are changing office fee structures for agents who are no longer “in-house” and, with the dramatic decrease in printed materials, others have eliminated printing costs and more.
If you feel like you’ve been left out to fend for yourself during the pandemic, you might consider finding a brokerage that will be able to provide you with the kind of support you need in the future.
I’ve left that for last as I think it’s the least important reason for a change. If your brokerage provides the culture, training, leadership and support you need to become a top producer, your future prospects will be far greater than if you went to another office that simply offered a higher distribution. As someone once said, “Do you want 90% of a grape or 50% of a watermelon?”
A significant number of agents only focus on the split. In fact, if you’re looking for lists of questions to ask when checking out a brokerage, the first question on most of them is about splits. In my opinion, it is completely upside down.
While money is important, many brokerages use higher splits as a carrot to entice agents to join. Personally, I’ve never used money as a reason to move – instead I’ve looked for environments where my team can grow and thrive. I know that if the team is in such an environment, the money will follow.
I would also caution against promises of “stock options” or other “incentives” – read the fine print very carefully – what might look like a bargain is often a gimmick and just a rearrangement of a classic split.
Also watch out for signing bonuses – while some brokerages offer upfront bonuses for switching, they may require these to be repaid on future production and in some cases I’ve seen agents end up reimbursing more than the original premium.
If you are unhappy with the splits or financial arrangements at your current brokerage, but are happy with the culture, leadership, training and support, consider sitting down with management and negotiating a better financial conditions. The truth is, you might get better financial terms elsewhere, but you might lose things that will actually provide the environment you need to grow.
A vibrant culture, unlimited growth opportunities, dynamic leadership, superior support, and a strong financial package should all be in place for you to become everything you were made to be. Are you missing one or two? It might be time to consider a change.