3 Ways To Keep Your Team Invested

In our last blog, we wrote about how to handle an employee who becomes a competitor. While there are steps you should take if this ever happens to you, there are also ways to prevent it from happening. Employees and team members who feel valued and respected don’t feel a need to leave.

Keep The Focus On The Team

As the head of a successful team, there may be a temptation to view your own position as the most important. The truth is, your position relies on your team members and employees for growth and continued success. Almost everyone has been at the mercy of a boss who didn’t value employees and it typically ends in separation. Know what is going on with your team. Respect their time, skills and obligations and recognize their achievements so they can see how important they are to the success of the whole.

Make Room For New Leaders

Just because you can do a job doesn’t mean you’re the best person for it. If one of your team members excels in a certain area, look to them to lead the other members of the group. By placing them in positions of leadership, even just by the way you treat them, you are transferring a bit of ownership. That sense of ownership turns into investment and, in the long run, your employees will understand their value.

 

 

Speak Clearly

If you’ve ever worked with a boss who didn’t make their expectations clear, you’ll recognize the importance of this point. Without strong communication, employees are left feeling confused and disconnected, unsure of how to please you or make improvements. Be direct and clear about what you need to see so they can see how they’re contributing to the big picture.

 

When An Employee Becomes A Competitor

It happens a lot. Your business is growing, you add a newer agent to your team and show them the ropes, and share with them the inner workings of your business. And when they’ve earned their wings, they strike out on their own, to start their own successful team as a competitor. Now the secrets that made your business great are being used to help a competing agent.

What can you do?

Not a lot. While non-compete agreements may discourage former employees from poaching your clients, the agreements are hard to enforce. In fact, the cost of doing so may outweigh any money you may lose when an employee jumps ship. The problem is also one that entrepreneurs in most industries face.

However, even if you can’t do much about it, there are some steps you can take.

 

Talk To Your Team

Let your other team members know what is going on (without being petty and gossipy of course – that won’t help build your team’s confidence in you). Talk to each agent one on one to keep the problem from spreading. In these meetings you have a chance to see how the rest of your team is feeling, helping to ensure that there aren’t deeper problems in the way you run your business or that others aren’t planning to strike out on their own as well.

Get In Touch With Your Clients

Before your new competitor has any chance to reach out to your client base, do so yourself. You don’t need to explain the situation – in fact it’s better not to do so. But this is a good time to check in, especially if you’ve developed relationships with any of your clients. It will serve as a friendly reminder that you’re still available when needed.

Make Better Hiring Choices

When you’re focused on growth, it’s easy to get blinded by quantity over quality. As you hire a replacement for your lost team member, be extra focused on finding someone who fits your goals and values. And if your employees feel like they can grow along with the company, they’re more likely to stay.

Protect Yourself

As stated above, non-compete agreements can be hard to enforce, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Staff members should sign a simple confidentiality and non-competitive agreement, limiting what team members can do for a reasonable and specific period of time. You may ask an employee to agree not to use a particular vendor for a year, or to agree not to contact clients earned through your team.

The best way to stop employees from leaving is to create an environment and working relationship that they don’t want to leave behind. At the same time, make smart decisions that protect you and your business and you’ll be happy you did.

Download Now: Branding Worksheet

Do you ever feel aimless when it comes to planning your next step? Never fear – we’ve developed a branding worksheet you can use to help define your both your goals and your branding. Use this tool to put some serious thought into the why and how you provide the service you do.

Your brand extends far beyond just a logo. Your brand is everything about your business, from the way you answer the phone to the postcards you send out to even the way you dress. It is what clients say about you and it’s what others will expect from you.

While this worksheet isn’t meant to solve every problem, it’s a great place to start thinking about your business. Defining your personal brand is the first step to creating consistency and clarity for your client base, leading to trusted relationships and solid referrals.

DOWNLOAD HERE: Frontier Title Branding Worksheet

Top Qualities of the Most-Referred Agents

In the world of real estate, referrals are crucial. Most people tend to turn first to their network of family and friends when they’re choosing a professional to work with. The opinion of someone a potential client can trust carries a lot of weight. The best way to earn referrals is to develop strong working relationships – and sometimes even friendships – with your clientele. So how do the most-referred agents do it?

Anna Johansson of Inman.com writes that the top skills are:

Genuine Care

Johansson writes “There’s no artificial substitute when it comes to caring about your customers.” People can sense insincerity a mile away. When you have a true commitment to your clients’ happiness, it shows in the work you do and the service you provide.

An In-Person Connection

There’s a lot that you can automate and handle virtually, but having a face to face connection with a client is important as you build a relationship. Part of this is because emails and text messages cannot convey tone of voice and the natural warmth of your personality. Skip the text every once in a while and take the time to have a real conversation.

Accommodation

Each client has different needs. Some will require your full attention and some will want a hands-off approach. Some will need to see every listing in the MLS, and some will make up their minds right away. Your attitude toward their preferences will make a huge difference. As Johannson writes, “Your job is to empower your clients. If you do so, they’ll want to spread the word about it.”

Follow Up

You hear this advice often enough, but here it is again – don’t let them forget about you! There are many ways to stay connected in your clients’ lives, from remembering birthdays and anniversaries, to throwing a housewarming party, or sending a personal note to remind them to file for their homestead exemption.

Openness

Now more than ever, consumers want and expect transparency. Let them see the real you and help them understand the ins and outs of the home buying or selling process. They’ll appreciate honesty so much more than a sugarcoated picture. Openness translates easily into trustworthiness.

 

Marketing Your Business In April

How is your marketing plan shaping up this year? Here are some ideas to focus on for the month of April.

Get Ready for Upcoming Holidays and Events

As we head closer to summer, there are some obvious holidays to pay attention to like Mother’s Day (May 14) and Father’s Day (June 18). We also can anticipate the end of the school year, Armed Forces Day (May 20), Cinco de Mayo (May 5), Memorial Day (May 29), and even a slew of summer weddings (growing families may mean a change in housing). If you want to have a little more fun, find a way to focus on Star Wars Day (May 4), Teacher’s Day (May 6) or National Gardening Week (the first week of June).

Social Media Focus: Family and Children

With the school year coming to a close, families planning vacations, looking for summer camps, and more, family activities are on the brain for many people. Highlights family-friendly events in and around town, day trip ideas, etc. Your audience will begin to see you as a resource for their family needs.

Social Media Challenge: Social Media Takeover

Try offering a social media takeover for your Facebook or Instagram feed to increase visibility and relationships. A takeover usually involves a day of access to your platform. Allow a representative of the group you’re trying to connect with to post to your social media for a day. The swim team can post pics from a race, a PTA Association can highlight what they’re doing for the community. They get to promote their group. You build relationships and show your followers that you’re involved in the community. Everyone wins!

The Resource: April 2017

We often hear our real estate friends say they’re short on time and can’t handle regular posting to social media. So, each month, we collect a full month’s worth of posts for you to pass along to clients, friends and family.

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