Onboarding agents and supporting them through transactions is only part of the puzzle and therefore will only take you so far as a brokerage. Accountability and keeping agents actively growing in their business is critical to boutique brokerages.
“Whether it’s opt-in or cohort groups or whatever—it can be a book club,” says Adkins. “But you need some sort of culture-building thing where people in the office who might not normally be linked up can connect.”
He’s created “mastermind” groups for agents at different levels so that they can feel comfortable asking questions in front of peers. “Here’s a team of more than ten people; let’s put teams of more than five people in another group; and all the solo agents in a room. They’re the ones who are terrified to ask a question in the room, and they don’t want to ask how to use the CRM in front of the top-producing team leaders.”
Cohorts or peer groups can also be set up as office hours, he suggests. “It’s not rocket science, but those are the things that you can’t just install in a brokerage.”
Staub at West + Main has created some accountability groups for her agents in the wake of the coronavirus (a bit more about that later), and she’s also created an “agent pro” program that includes blog posts, a regular newsletter, and a calendar with educational opportunities for agents, whether or not West + Main is hosting them. However, her Genuine Hustle events have been an organic recruiting tactic for her brokerage, and a good number of new agents she hires find her through the event, which features speakers from all across the real estate industry sharing tips and hacks.
The focus at Middleburg Real Estate | Atoka Properties tends to be “partnering with agents on a one-on-one basis to guide them,” explains John Showalter, the brokerage’s Technology and Agent Success Director.
“Long-term, we work with agents on more of an individual basis,” he says. “We email everyone and announce it on calls and say we want to help you with your business plan, and we'll book time to go over your year plan and figure out what that looks like for you.”