Today I Fired An Agent. Did I Fail?
Not a great week. I had to do something no manager likes to do. I had to fire an agent. Where do I begin? Well, first off there should be some information about my brokerage. We’ve been around for a while and consider ourselves a full service brokerage. I believe we have a sterling reputation in the city as an ethical, knowledgeable, and respected firm that has smart and successful agents. I hope I’m not pumping up my firm too much. A few years ago this agent approached us to enquire about joining our firm. At the time we had some reservations about her commitment so we were unable to offer her a role with our company. A year later she returned and pleaded her case to join our firm. Her current brokerage was not providing the support she required. Well, I thought, we are all about support. Perhaps all this agent needed was a guiding hand and a base from which to learn. I welcomed her with open arms under the condition that she attend our six-week training classes (known as Bosley U), committed to participating in our weekly office meetings and make an effort to come out once in a while to a Mastermind session.
For the first few months everything seemed okay. She came out to meeting, although often late, and was in and out of my office to talk about farming, websites, etc. I happily discussed her direction and offered suggestions and scheduled follow-up meetings. The wheels fell off the bus shortly there after. At Bosley U she seemed lackluster at best and wasn’t able to complete the basic homework. She didn’t spend much time at her desk or out touring homes and she seemed relatively oblivious to our emailed meeting minutes. As it turns out she wasn’t getting company emails because she hadn’t bothered to set up her (required) email address. As they say, you can lead a horse to water…..
I could go on, but what’s the point? It was clear that she was not interested in working in real estate. She just wanted a place to hang her license. The experience got me thinking about the brokerage business and the various business models out there and I wondered if one was better than the other. While some companies do everything to support your business; supply leads, provide training and skills development and give added value to the agent in exchange for a larger piece of the commission pie, others are content to take nothing and offer nothing. Then there is every variation in between. The truth is, whether we like it or not, every model has a place in our Real Estate World. I just wonder if agents are making the choices for the right reasons.
So in the end, my reasoning was simple. I would rather have an office with 40 hard-working professional agents who care about their careers. There is another, more self-serving reason too, if an agent isn’t coming to meetings they aren’t keeping up to date on current affairs, and that scares me. I smell liability.
A small part of me believes that I failed in keeping her engaged and motivated but the other part of me thinks I did the right thing for my office. While I can’t speak for other brokerages, our model presumes that you are in the business to work full-time.