How to Retain Agents Part 3

Agent Retention:  How to Retain Agents Part 3 Accountability

Always remember:

  1.  “It’s easy to get ‘em, it’s tougher to keep ‘em.”
  2. “They leave me based on how they joined me”

The highest form of love you can show a human being is accountability.

How to Retain Agents - Tension vs. StressYou’re saying, “Wait a minute Jon, we’re talking real estate agents, independent contractors, one of the biggest reasons they got into this business was the desire for autonomy and you’re telling me accountability is a part of retention?  My agents are being romanced by every broker in town so I have to walk a tight-rope.”  Well yes you do, it’s a tight rope of tension and stress.  Tension facilitates creativity in a human being (aka productivity), stress shuts a human being down.  This is a craft you must master to be a great leader.

Here’s some food for thought; agents hire a coach to enhance their skill-sets, but the biggest reason they hire a coach is someone to hold them accountable.  As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts there is much to be learned from the coaching models in our industry as it is very parallel to how you lead and recruit agents.

Here are some of the issues with accountability and where it doesn’t work:

  1. It’s not done right and feels like condemnation.
  2. There is judgment in the process.
  3. Follow-through by leaders gets abandoned and it fizzles.
  4. Leaders back off right at that place of tension that will facilitate change in fear an agent may get upset and leave.
  5. There is lack of a specific process.

How To Recruit Real Estate Agents Part 3Before I get into the critical steps of accountability that will serve your agents at the highest level, you need to make a choice.  Am I ready to step up and step into my leadership or not?  If not, you are going to live in reaction mode, experience no growth, and eventually burn out.  It’s like being a clown in the circus juggling balls.

Ok, we got that out of the way. Here are the critical steps to accountability.

  1. Eliminate the word “why” in any interaction with those you lead.  It immediately puts a person on the defense.
  2. Abandon the term “goal” and become an organization of “commitment”.  Commitment is pretty cool, either ya did it or ya didn’t. 🙂  A “goal” is a good idea people typically get close to.  Commitment also causes tension which facilitates creativity.
  3. Start leading an organization of  “How much by when?”
  4. Become very conscious of the language people use around you.  Watch for words like “try”.  When we hear “try” we know there is failure from the outset.  We are looking for an experience of being committed or not committed.  Stop allowing gray, your people will thank you in the long run.
  5. Here are the steps of accountability that facilitate self-discovery and avoid judgment:
    1. They make a specific, measurable and actionable commitment with a deadline.
    2. It must be their commitment not one you created or it will fail.  They will not take ownership.
    3. It must have a deadline.
    4. You must check in:
      1. Did you have a commitment?
      2. Did you keep your commitment?
      3. What got in the way?
      4. In the realm of all that’s possible could you of kept the commitment?
      5. What did you learn?
      6. Do you want to recommit?
      7. Acknowledge for what they did accomplish.

This is serving those you lead at the highest level by facilitating tension which will in turn facility creativity and a choice to change behavior or not.  Remember, you can’t make someone productive, you can only create the best condition for them to choose to be productive.

Let me close by painting a picture to bring these principles home.  Have you ever watched a sporting event that comes down to the final minutes or seconds?  Some of the greatest most miraculous feats in sports history have taken place in the last seconds of a game.  Why?  Because there was a deadline, tension, and the player(s) chose to change their behavior in those final moments.  It’s your responsibility to support your players to change their behavior.

You may want to go back and read:

How to Retain Agents Part 1

How to Retain Agents Part 2

More On How To Retain Agents? Start Here

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