4 ways to be the managing broker your agents need

by James McClister


If agents are the soldiers in the field, then managing brokers are the generals. Maybe that analogy is a little militant for real estate, but it’s not a bad way of illustrating the relationship between the two.

Agents expect a lot from their managing brokers. They expect providers, communicators, mentors and educators. And if a managing broker can’t live up to those expectations, they’re failing their agents.

Here’s how you can fulfill all of those roles and keep your agents on track to meet their sales goals:

  1. Provide – No, you don’t need to spoon feed your agents leads, but you should provide them with an adequate work space, a competent administrative staff and the tools to stay relevant in a marketplace dominated by innovation. It’s not a tall order, but it’s an important one.
  2. Communicate – There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to communicating with your agents. Some agents will require more attention than others. It is the managing broker’s job – your job – to assess those needs and proceed from there: how often should you check in? When is it appropriate to text, email, call or meet in person? By providing reliable channels of communication, you can make yourself accessible to agents who may need your assistance, and keep them accountable.
  3. Mentor – On the surface, a mentorship may seem most appropriate for newer agents, but agents of all experience levels can appreciate the guidance of a mentor. Unfortunately, unless you’re overseeing a small office, being an involved mentor to all of your agents is an unrealistic endeavor. Effective mentorship requires attention, personal interest, and time taken to share learned skills and expertise. Instead of spreading yourself too thinly attempting to mentor everyone, facilitate mentorships among your agents by connecting experienced agents with less-experienced agents, which can be an enriching experience for both.
  4. Educate – In a conversation with Chicago-based agent Carmen Rodriguez of Coldwell Banker, she said that training is the one area in which brokers “fail miserably.” In her words: “No one ever teaches anyone how to do business in this business.” Adequate training, like mentoring, doesn’t require you to bear the weight yourself, but rather orchestrate a training regimen that allows new agents to learn the business, and experienced agents to improve on their skills. That might mean holding seminars, developing classes, enlisting the help of experts, or carving out a block of time to do some training yourself. Of course, training is a lot like communication in that certain agents will require more than others. The most important thing is that it is available when it’s needed.

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