In commercial real estate brokerage there is always a degree of movement when it comes to sales agents. Some don’t last in the role, some move to other brokerages for perceived better ‘deals’, and others stay for the long haul. If you are managing a brokerage team, you will know what I mean. Staff volatility can be quite high within the industry. Unfortunately the success of a commercial real estate brokerage this largely geared to the balance between the sales activity, leasing, and property management. You need good people in each of the rules to make the brokerage a success.
Strive for Stability
Ultimately you need some stability in the brokerage with agents; the property market will change in many ways, and the agents working for you have to adjust and work through those changes whilst bringing in the new business. It is a fine balance to work with. The very character of a sales agent is sometimes a real challenge to manage at the best of times, and even more so within the team.
Successful sales agents are usually a mixture of egos, knowledge, skills, and motivations. In a large sales team, the individual agents must be balanced, encouraged, and rewarded. Without those three particular attributes being active within the brokerage, an agent will usually leave for ‘greener pastures’ when the time is right. That can then expose the brokerage to a significant loss or shift in income. Volatility within the team can also be a problem.
The Facts to Remember
So you want your brokerage business to be successful. Here are the basic facts to remember and work with in any commercial real estate team:
- You will lose agents for reasons that you cannot control, so prepare to find others. You can do that through a number of different strategies including personal contact, career nights, advertising, and team development.
- Education and training will help your retained agents grow their skill base and performance. Understand the difference skill needs of the people within your team. Assess their strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis.
- The management of a sales team is totally different to that of a property management team. Each team should work autonomously but the business opportunities should feed between each.
- Other competing brokerages in your location will be looking to attract your good people away from your business. Be aware of the competitive commission packages and salary opportunities offered to top performing agents. Adjust your commission and marketing packages to retain your best people.
- The changes within the property market throughout the year will present challenges and different requirements in property skills and knowledge. Be prepared to train your people in an ongoing way.
Given all of these facts, you will need an ongoing plan of staff attraction and staff retention. The success of the commercial property business will generally hinge on the performance of the team and also that of the individual agents or brokers. Individuals will be motivated in different ways.