Do you know how to get the best from your manager? If you’re new to an office, one of the first things you’ll want to do is to figure that out. Why? Because you want your manager to eagerly work with you and coach you to success. You don’t want your manager to provide a chair and a desk (or not…) and then leave you alone to founder!

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. So, I’m going to turn the tables, and ask you agents: Do you know how to get the best from that manager? 

Turnabout is Fair Play

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.     

What Did You Find Out in the Interview about What was Expected of You?

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 means we’ll have to do things differently. Right now, managers, make a list of what you expect—and have a right to expect—from an agent. Draw up a Mutual Expectations agreement. Go over that agreement in the interview. Get it signed. Doing it after you’ve hired the agent is way too late! (There is an example new mutual expectations agreement in Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s business start-up plan).

Consequences of the Mutual Expectations Agreement

A note to agents: Are you worried you may not meet the expectations of your manager? Yet, you don’t know what they are? Here’s the time to find out. Some questions to ask:

1. How much money do you expect me to earn my first year (or this year)?

2. What other expectations do you have of me? (meetings, training, coaching, etc.)

3. How do you expect me to contribute to the office?

How to Work with your Manager

After you’re hired, you need to find out how to get the best from your manager. Here are the areas you need to explore with the manager:

1. How can I (the agent) get the best from you (the manager)?

2. How do you want me to report/give input/be accountable to you for my daily/weekly/monthly work?

3. How would you like me to interact with you? (call first/email first/get on your schedule)

4. What DON”T you want me to do? (What annoys you?)

5. What behaviors from me would make you think I am really committed to success in this business?

6. How will I get referrals from you (or, will you get referrals)?

7. How do you expect me to work with the other agents in the office?

Readers: What questions do you wish you would have asked to your manager at the beginning of your relationship?