Article Courtesy of: Inman News
by: Rainy Hake Austin
As agents adjust to changing realities, brokers and team leaders should make it clear that opportunities for growth don’t go away just because the market is in a transition
As leaders in the real estate industry, it’s our job to keep agents motivated. When the market slows, our ability to inspire and encourage team members becomes even more of an asset. Your team will look to you for guidance during these periods, and you have the power to keep them progressing forward.
As markets fluctuate, a slower season provides some breathing room to prepare for busier times ahead. Agents can use the time to strengthen client relationships, explore new niches, and reevaluate marketing strategies. Team leaders should make it clear that opportunities for growth don’t go away just because the market is in a transition.
Here are some ways you can motivate your agents to maintain forward momentum during a slower market:
1. Encourage networking
It can be challenging to expand your network when you’re preoccupied with showing and selling properties. Slow times are perfect for making new connections and getting prospective clients into your pipeline.
Encourage agents to take advantage of this moment by attending networking events, following up with contacts and engaging with the local community. I always encourage agents to visit the office to connect with colleagues and meet additional members of the brokerage in person. Nothing is more powerful than making connections in person. Connecting with fellow real estate professionals will keep your team and entire organization feeling inspired.
2. Work on your office atmosphere
The office environment can affect mood and overall performance. Consider reinventing your space to include an area with couches and small tables where agents can meet with clients in an informal, cheerful setting that feels welcoming. At The Agency, we were founded with the mission of collaboration. From our very first office in Beverly Hills where our CEO Mauricio Umansky and all agents have walls of glass and a completely open design to our over 75+ offices today, we have envisioned our offices to be a place to foster connection, collaboration and inspiration.
An inviting atmosphere — think open spaces and natural light — will boost morale and encourage connections among agents and staff.
3. Acknowledge high performers
One of the best ways to motivate your agents is to publicly acknowledge when they do well.
Create a chart or leaderboard to visually remind your team of their accomplishments. You can also give individuals shoutouts during meetings or via email. Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. Spotlighting agents’ success stories will encourage them to keep moving and inspire other team members to follow their example.
4. Have one-on-one check-ins
During slower periods, check in with each of your agents to get a sense of their goals. Asking what you can do to support them will show that you care about their personal growth. Identify areas where team members have done well and let them know you’re taking notice.
You should also discuss how they can improve and suggest potential learning opportunities, such as training programs.
5. Share resources
When business slows down, you can reinvigorate your team by encouraging them to expand their knowledge base. Share book recommendations, podcasts and articles with your agents, or have them attend conferences and lectures. For example, we host educational content on The Agency’s University platform regularly, with sessions on everything from social media, the economy, to other tips for business. Your team will appreciate your commitment to providing the resources they need for success.
6. Create incentives
Another surefire way to stoke team motivation is to introduce reward incentives such as financial bonuses, complimentary dinners or trips, and other perks. It never hurts to give agents a reason to keep their eye on the prize and amp up their efforts when others might be slowing down.
7. Foster an encouraging environment
Having a strong, supportive company culture allows firms to weather slow seasons with ease. When you show your agents that you care about their growth, provide them with tools to succeed, and reward their accomplishments, you’ll find that your team is motivated and energized no matter what’s happening in the market.
Effective leaders know how to inspire. By employing the strategies mentioned above, you’ll ensure that your agents continue to thrive amid a slow market.
Rainy Hake Austin is President of The Agency in Los Angeles.