What do you do when a star agent is ready to leave the nest? This past week, Workman Success Systems CEO Verl Workman hosted the Infinity Real Estate Group for a conversation about how they retain their top talent as their team expands. They focus on transparency, spotlighting expertise and achievement, and fostering a culture of fun — things any team can do to not only improve retention but elevate every team member.
At the helm of the Infinity Real Estate Group is Christy Buck, a third-generation real estate pro with over twenty years in the business. Over the last decade, she went from being a solo agent to leading a team of over twenty agents and admin staff. Her team is familiar with rapid growth and the benefits — and friction — that come with it.
Broker associate Samantha Knoerr explained this growth, while great from a business perspective, came with challenges familiar to anyone who’s led a team but that too frequently go un-discussed: frustration and burnout for top performers. As teams grow, agents who have been with the team for a long time or who bring in higher amounts of business can start to feel unappreciated.
The Infinity leadership team recognized that if they did nothing, they could very well lose some of their best agents and team members. So they decided to open a dialogue. What were the sources of friction their agents were feeling? What might be done at a company level to ease some of that tension? The solutions that they came up with contain wisdom for any team experiencing growing pains. Here are some highlights:
Agents are given titles to denote their particular area of expertise and experience level. These are also associated with dedicated training. By acknowledging experience in this way, team members feel their contributions are more valuable.
Production Levels and Perks
Creating levels or tiers based on agents’ annual production is another way to acknowledge expertise. Each level should come with accompanying perks for the agent, such as waived brokerage fees, access to dedicated admin staff, and even giving them ability to create their own team within the team. This tiered structure inspires everyone on the team to elevate their performance and improve their skill set continually.
Gifts, Spiffs, and Parties
At the beginning of each year, the Infinity team gets together to “graduate” team members to higher production levels, and spotlight their achievements with gifts. This annual event brings the team together and allows them to celebrate each others’ victories.
In addition to formal recognition from team leadership, everyone on the team gets to vote for admin and agent “stars” — team members who go above and beyond and who best exemplify the team’s ideals.
Having fun together is one of the best ways to build a team people want to be on. Monthly contests, regular nights out, and even team trips are great ways to build camaraderie and keep the work atmosphere light and enjoyable.
Leading a real estate team through a period of growth can be complicated. On the one hand, you want to do everything you can to keep the team on its current successful track, and that means retaining your A-players and top producers. On the other hand, you want the best for those you lead, and that might mean letting them spread their wings and go off on their own.
Being a leader means creating a space where every team member can succeed and meet their full potential. Greeting their concerns with an open mind and shining a light on their work and accomplishments are just some of the ways you can create a space in your real estate business where everyone can fully thrive.
Workman Success Systems is the real estate industry leader in team development. Schedule a free business consultation to learn how you can better lead and grow your team.