When times are hard brokers have a tendency to scream at the agents to do more cold-calling. It’s an endless cycle. Agents won’t do cold calling, brokers scream at them to cold call, and agents still refuse to cold call. And yet brokers still do this again and again! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Get over it! They’ll never cold call!

Education. For real results, stop screaming and start educating. Many agents (especially your lowest performers) lack clear goals. Instead of randomly placed cold calls, they should have a fully thought out marketing plan that will turn prospects into paying clients. Agents can often be offended if a broker attempts to strong arm them into an educational presentation. Instead of making it mandatory, consider adding these presentations to the end of your regularly scheduled monthly sales meetings. It will keep defensive attitudes at bay.  Check out our 5 Essential Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

Understanding instead of enabling. Sometimes brokers don’t want to give sympathy to agents who aren’t performing in fear that “the economy” will be used as an excuse to all poor performance in the future. Let your agents know that it’s a tough economy, but with the correct strategy, it’s also a great opportunity! Most of the commercial real estate nobodies have left the market, leaving only qualified agents. With an effective marketing plan and a clear strategy you can collect all those abandoned clients. It’s harder than it used to be. But with clear goals and a plan, it will get better.

Clear financial goals. Most agents don’t realize their own financial success also affects the business, the staff, and the amount of services / materials the firm can offer its agents. Giving them clear goals may feel pretentious, but it will allow each agent to understand what’s expected of his performance. “Please make $XX,XXX per year, or you are not profitable to the company.” It sounds harsh, but I guarantee it will give your agents at least one clear goal to shoot for.

Understand the role of a broker and an agent. Sometimes an agent thinks a broker should bring him leads so he can follow-up and make a sale. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A broker has two responsibilities: (1) bring in new, productive agents and (2) help current listings turn-over as fast as possible. Developing a plan to bring in prospects and turn them into hot leads is an agent’s job.

List clear goals and job duties in the interview. A broker can get carried away in selling his firm to a new agent. Sometimes a new agent may feel like he’s going to join this new firm and be an order taker – calls and clients will come to him easily…after-all, that’s what the broker promised! Be sure to write down exactly what materials you offer agents, what services staff will provide, and anything extra you’ll be throwing in. Also make sure to write agent job duties and expectations on that same piece of paper. A working relationship is the same as any other relationship, it requires both give and take.