I’m consulting with a real estate company about their onboarding procedures. Besides our wanting to assure that the procedure is as close to perfect as it can get, we want to assure, too, that the agent who’s joining understands his/her responsibilities to the firm and to the whole team. Does that sound fair to you?
You Know What They Promised–What Did YOU Promise?
When you interviewed, I bet you asked your manager what that manager and company were going to do for you. Did you find out what the expectations were from you to the company? I’ll bet not. So, in these next two blogs, I’ll tell you what I think the agent should do for the company. Why?
To get the best from your manager, you must give your best. It starts with expectation sharing, and that’s what we’ll discuss here.
Good Managers: Always Working on Getting Better
Managers study how to attract and keep agents. They learn how to do recruiting presentations that they hope are mesmerizing to their candidates–so mesmerizing that they’ll say yes when offered a position in the company. They don’t rest on their laurels; they hone their skills so they’re better managers, trainers, and coaches. In other words, good managers are always working on how to be better resources, coaches, and trainers for their agents.
What’s the Company Getting from You?
My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Taylor, had wonderful sayings that she would drop on us at opportune times. These either kept us attentive or scared the you-know-what out of us! They included, “Time passes. Will you?” and “to each his own, as she kissed the cow.” (Well, some were better than others). The saying I’m remembering now, though, was, “Turnabout’s fair play”. In other words, if you mess with Mrs. Taylor, you will get the appropriate treatment! And, if you cooperate and get your work done, you’ll get appropriate treatment, too. So, let’s apply that idea to the relationship and expectations of agents and managers.
Did You Exchange Mutual Expectations in the Interview?
The real estate industry is the only industry I know that hires with a “trust me” from both the manager and the agent. No mutual expectations here, just promises! It may have worked in the past, but it won’t work in the future. A challenging market and/or challenging clients mean we’ll have to do things differently. Managers should have a list of what the manager and company will do for the agent–and what is expected from an agent. This is the Mutual Expectations agreement. As a new agent, you should have gone over that agreement in the interview. (There is an example mutual expectations agreement in Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s business start-up plan).
Consequences of the Mutual Expectations Agreement
Managers are constantly concerned about retention. Providing a mutual expectations dialogue and agreement is one of the best retention tools in the world–hiring agents who promise to go to work! Experienced agents love the fact that the manager is not hiring deadwood to just get in their way and pull down the reputation of the company.
What’s In It for the New Agent?
In my book What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I surveyed hundreds of agents in the business less than three months. I asked them, “What number of transactions do you have to complete in your first year to avoid being terminated?” 71% did not know! Now, would you take any job where you didn’t know the expectations? Yet, most managers avoid telling those expectations–if they have them. And, agents avoid asking because they don’t want to know. However, if you don’t know what’s expected of you, how will you know if you’re achieving? How will you know if the start-up plan your manager is using with you (your manager is using a start-up plan, I hope….) will get you to your goals? And most important, how will you know if what you’re doing is going to get you to the goals YOU want to achieve?
Lack of Expectations Is a Bad Thing…
If your manager didn’t discuss expectations with you, what does that mean? Probably that anything you do will be okay. That is, you can fail. You can fail to achieve your goals. You can avoid doing the work that needs to be done–and there are no consequences. You know that’s not a good thing. So, if you don’t know those expectations, go to your manager right now and get them. That’s a good thing!
In my next blog, I’ll give you 10 commandments that agents should learn and follow to assure they get the best from their company and manager.
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