Everybody Chris Pollinger here just wanted to give you a quick 10 minute overview on the idea of retention.
One of the things that we talk about a lot is population. Our population can either be controlled by recruiting or retention. At the end of the day you want net population when it comes to your brokerage to your office or team. How many people you’ve got now, and how productive those people are. Those are the two really variable things that we can do something about everything else.
The other things you can only adjust on a micro basis. You can adjust the commission rate. You can adjust the time of market and just fallout rate. You can adjust those things but they’re really miniscule adjustments and they make a big difference. But miniscule adjustments.
The two things that you can really control, are the population of the office. How many people are on your team and what is the average productivity of each person. You can take the average productivity, from 10 transactions a year to 12 transactions a year. That may not sound like a big deal, except to the person you know that they’re going to make 20% more than a year. But if you can double your population and go from 10 people to 20 people. Or 100 people to 200 people and you can add two additional transactions, you have multiplier effects can make a big difference.
I want to give you eight things that are killing your retention rate, right at the moment. When we talk about natural attrition. We need to have some benchmarks and one of the benchmarks that we need to have is, first and foremost, 7-8% of our seasoned agents are going to move, retire, die and turnover every year. Something that we can’t control. When we’re talking about attrition we’ll talk about the retention aspect about people leaving your team or your to your office and going to a competitor, those are the things that we can avoid. Either we can avoid them by not hiring or we can avoid it by making sure that we have really great retention and people aren’t being seduced to go somewhere else.
7-8% is normal for seasoned agents seasoned agents are going to be defined as people have been in business for two years or longer. If they’ve been in the business for less than two years. Our attrition rate is going to go up. Reality is, brand new agents that come into this business it’s pretty simple business is great, but it’s not an easy business. And so when they come into this business we need to go ahead and just have a marker that’s different.
If we track brand new agents, and we don’t have them into a contract within the first 45 days, 30% of them are going to be checked out. Either going to be checked out physically, physically, mentally, or financially. At the end of the day, they just don’t have the wherewithal to get from here to there. Now, that can be a contract. That could be a lease. It could be anything. So the first order of business is make sure that everything you do is to get them into a contract in the first 45 days. If you’re working with brand new agents, past the first 45 days, you have to get them into a contract that they have some kind of a closing within the first year. They have to have some kind of tangible something that helps them pay for the first year. They can only survive for so long. Now this is going to be a little bit different depending on the type of where you are in the country, the support that they have at home and what kind of financial wherewithal they came into the business with.
However, with all of that said, we’ve got to plan on 30% attrition for brand new agents. So if I have brand new agents, and I’ve hired nine of them, expected 30% are playing two or three of them are going to flush out the first year. Three of them are going to flush out the second year, and I’m only going to have a handful of them left at the end of the second year.
The first thing that I want to talk about is what is killing our retention is weak recruiting. The truth is that people want to be in a place that is hopping. They want to be in a place that’s really growing, and is the place to be. If you’re recruiting game is off, you’re not attracting that talent to you and you’re not really attracting those people to you on a regular and consistent basis, you’re going to have retention problems. People on your own team are going to wonder why people aren’t coming over. They’re going to wonder if they’re stupid. And if they shouldn’t be there as well. And those recruiting things can be used against you.
There is a caveat on that. There’s going to be a balance point. If you’re really good at recruiting, and you have a big retention problems sometimes we need to focus our attention on some of the other seven points that I’m going to go over here.
Don’t forget, the first and foremost thing you have to ask from recruiting and recruiting starts with your own people. We re-recruit, every day. We are in a unique business that is unique in the fact that we have a volunteer army that continues to show up every day. We need to create reasons for them to come in and create reasons to keep showing up and we need to create reasons to keep them motivated in that process. So, to keep your recruiting game strong and it starts with within.
Treating everyone the same.
The second assassin kills retention is treating everybody the same. Truth is that we don’t need to be equal. We don’t need to treat everybody. What we need to do is treat people fairly, and what we can do with that is as a brand new agent is going to take a lot more time than an experienced agent. So for time blocking our schedules and say “I’m going to give Joe, who’s brand new, half an hour because that’s what I give Suzy who’s been in the business for 25 years and is the top performer on the team, the same amount of time.” I’m treating them equally and the same. But I’m not treating them fairly. What I need to do is to invest the time in each person, according to what each person needs in order to help them be successful. Keeping in mind the stage in the lifecycle of the business that they’re currently in.
So, assassin number two. Don’t treat everyone the same. Don’t think you have to. We talk a lot about equality in today’s world. The reality is that everybody is equal of value from that standpoint right everybody is created by God and we all value them as human beings. But how much time and effort and expense do I spend with each person? I do that on a fairness basis or quality basis.
The third assassin for killing your retention is going to be unfocused training. Let me give you an example of unfocused training in real estate. We spent a lot of time talking about door knocking cold calling, things like that, those hard prospecting methods. With the hard prospecting methods, there’s a science to them, and they do work.
Let me give you an example of the unfocused training, if I have my training all over the place and I do a cold calling night. And I have an office of 100 let’s say just for round numbers. I invite everybody to come in. I give away an iPad. I’m going to have food and drinks. I’m going to make it fun. I’m going to be lucky if I get somewhere between eight and 12 people to show up at 8-12 people are going to show up on that night. I’m going to give them a script. I’m going to give them some phone numbers. And I’m going to sit them down with a phone and say, “for two hours, you’re going to make calls.” I know, after those two hours, I’d be shocked and surprised that not everybody walks out with some form of lead. Some form of listing appointment. Or some form of buyer leads. They will all have some kind of lead. They’re all going to walk out with some form of lead, some of them are multiple a two hour span.
The interesting fact is we invited 100. We were going to give away food, drinks, and an iPad. We’re going to make it a big event, for those eight to 12 people show up. That means that the vast majority of your office hates cold calling so much, that they’re not even going to show up the first time.
Another interesting fact is that two weeks later if I do the same cold call night, and I talk about in those two weeks, all the success that we’ve had the new listings that are going on the board, because these people did cold calling you know many people are going to cold call night? Two or three. That’s it. Two to three.
That means of those eight to 12 who went the first time and picked up business from this day, didn’t like it. Even though they had business proof that it works. They won’t come back and do it again.
When we talk about really focusing our training, not only on each individual and what’s going to work for them. But we’ve got to focus for training on stuff that’s actually going to be pragmatic and actually work in today’s world. Don’t spend a lot of time banging your head against the wall. Nor focus only on what worked for you. The reality is what worked for you is is not going to work for everybody else on your team. You’ve got to have pragmatic prospecting that’s based on people’s different personality types. That’s the only way that you’re really going to move the needle move. If you’re unfocused in that and you make people do stuff they hate. They’re going to leave the team, and they’re going to leave the organization, they’re going to find somewhere else to go. It’s just not a friendly place for them to be.
Useless Sales Meetings
The fourth reason for turnover is useless sales meetings. I’m a big believer in doing sales meetings, and sales meetings can be done once a week or can be done once every other week depending on the size of your office organization. Whether you’re doing them virtually, or whether you’re doing live.
There’s a really big power that comes to sales comes from a standpoint of one motivation to education. We need to keep people motivated educated, but if you have a useless sales meetings, people are going to start looking to go elsewhere and are held for more values and morals.
At the end of the day they need to know that there is more transactions with you. More on your team and in your organization than they will anywhere else. That’s going to be something that’s going to be really key for you to focus in on. The litmus test is if you don’t have your top performers showing up for your sales meetings. That’s a good indication that your sales meetings need more value. Always talk to the top performers and do the remedial education to those people that are in the lower tiers later.
That’s going to keep people as salesmen and keep people coming back to the sales meeting, always deliver value. Value, value, value. If you can’t do to deliver value, go to every other week and a less frequent sales meeting schedule so that each meeting is really valuable and everybody is showing up.
The next retention killer is setting unreasonable expectations. If you have unreasonable expectations, either too high or too low of people, they’re going to look for other places to go. The expectations really should be based on them. One of the things I’ve learned over time is, if we set the bar too high, people will blow out. If we set it too low, people will be uninspired.
One of the things that we really need to focus on, especially if we have team members or buyer’s agents, is their family situation. Some people really only want to make $80,000 a year. Some people want to make $800,000 a year. Those expectations must be to be fair, and have to be adequately positioned for each of those different people.
We’re not going to be looking to try and make the $80,000 person into a $800,000 person. Truth is, if they go much over $80,000 and they get a spouse, who’s making $75k or $80k. You can cause family dynamic problems at home if they start outperforming their significant other. You may start to run into some sabotage when they when they get home and behind closed doors. You don’t want that. So really make take the time, take the effort, to help understand each person’s situation. Find what each person is looking to do and set reasonable expectations of each one of them. Use what they have said, their goals become part of your goals. They become cumulative in what you’re trying to accomplish.
Keeping the relationship “Business Only”
The next retention killer is going to be keeping the relationship business only. There’s this old school of thought that says a personal life is my personal life my business life is my business life, and I don’t want to mix the two. The reality is we live in a glass world at this point in time. Our entire lives are on display.
One of the things that I have found is that if you keep the relationship, one sided, you’re going to miss out on so many of the really important things that need to take place in order for you to have an adequate ability to speak to another person, and really help them grow. When it comes to coaching. One of the things that we need to understand is their business problems. Most often, especially for people that have been in this business for a while, are stemming from personal problems.
You see one of your top producers going sideways. There is probably something going on in their personal life. It could be health, it could be relationships, it could be a number of different things. But we need to make sure that we’re being holistic and how we how we care for people. And we want to make sure that we understand what’s going on in the dynamics that we’re working with we can help coach them we can help guide them appropriately and we can help plan our business around the things that are really important to them. So we can keep them for longevity. If we forget that, or keep it all one sided, we’re going to have people moving to another brokerage or another team. Because there is not, they don’t think that you care about them as individuals and human beings.
The next step is going to kill our retention is ineffective leadership. If our leadership is just not happening, which means our team needs to be moving in the right direction each and each individual needs to be moving in the right direction. How we’re communicating that and how we’re portraying that and seeing what we’re doing. We don’t have that effective leadership and we’re kind of all over the place. The reality is that we lose the trust, we lose the confidence of our team members organization. And what they do is to choose to move up to other places.
Now, does that mean that I need to go out and be a leader in the local board or I need to be a leader in the industry? Not necessarily. Some of that stuff can be a huge time suck, some of it can be really productive. You have to tailor that to you and what’s really important to you.
Poor Time Management
The eighth killer of retention is going to be poor time management. If you have poor time management, you are going to kill your retention. And the reality is your business boils down to moving each person forward so that the entire team can move forward. And we do that in different rates and we do that in different places. But if your time management is all over the place and we get stuck in to the “got a minute?” the kind of questions or, we look at our calendar we realized we didn’t really do much to move the ball forward this week. We’ve done a lot of firefighting. Which is something that’s very easy for us to fall into. We need to check ourselves. There is part of every week that needs to be dedicated to recruiting. There needs to be a part of work that every week is dedicated to performance. To making sure that we’re increasing the performance of the team training on that aspect.
Realize that our business, at it’s very core, is boiled down to personal conversations. If we don’t have personal conversations with people. The reality is we don’t get anything done. All of our business is done in personal conversations. Some of those online, some of those can be over the phone. But it’s two human beings talking to each other. So make sure that when you look at your schedule, you’ve got a lot of personal conversations going on with different people. That’s going to make a big difference.
The other aspects of brand awareness and as a CEO of your company or the CEO of your team. You need to make sure that you realize your job is to made sure everybody feels good. Everybody feels great about you and your brand. That you feel good about it. Your team feels good about it. Your consumers and your competitors feel good about it. that becomes your core value and what you need to accomplish. Hopefully those retention tips will help and look forward to catching you next time.