Elite AgentOPINION

Avi Khan: Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go? The answer for an agent always boils down to leadership.  

Undoubtedly, 2021 was the year of the agent and the first quarter of 2022 appears to have consolidated this belief.

The number of movements within our industry has been enormous.

From agents changing brands to even creating their own – the choices have been immense, and often associated with extreme risk.  

There are several reasons for making a change and each agent will attest to a different motivation.

However, I believe the primary mover for where agents decide to base themselves almost always comes down to leadership.

Above all else, agents are attracted to successful leaders. We look for someone to lead us to our goal.

This may mean finding a leader who lets us be agents, and do our primary job, without complications or barriers.

I recently met with an agent who said to me, “I just want someone to either help me, or get out of my way.”

A good leader motivates, supports and upskills agents. A bad leader does the opposite.

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but here’s what I do know, agents are shunning principals who fall into two personas. 

1. The History Channel leader

Experience is crucial in our industry but so is the need to change and adapt to market realities and technological advances.

There is nothing more demoralising than attending training, meetings and one-on-ones with a leader who preaches about how good they were back in ‘their day’.

This is not an ageist category, more so a reflection of a leader who is not willing to move with the times.

Agents don’t want stories of what used to work, rather demonstrations of what suits the climate we now live in.

The best leaders are experienced but they also listen to and implement new methods.

More often than not, agents are closer to the grassroots of real estate than their leaders so it’s vital to offer agents a voice and to work with them.

The History Channel leader almost always is an oxygen thief. You can’t breathe and grow in this environment. 

2. The Kim Kardashian leader

Many of you will laugh at this tag but most know of at least a few people who fit the Kim Kardashian leadership mould.

Agents are escaping offices where everything is about their leader. How do you breathe when all the oxygen is consumed by your leader?

How can you establish your own brand within their business? Drive around an area of a Kim Kardashian principal or business owner and you’ll see their face everywhere – billboards, bus advertising and even trailers.

Office social media only promotes these principals and/or owners, without mention of their agents.

They consume all air time, leaving their agents with only very basic promotion to gain traction in a highly competitive marketplace.

It’s all about the glamour, with agents fighting for visibility scraps.

There’s nothing wrong with working for a principal who is dominant in the area – in fact it can make an agent’s career.

But ask yourself, will my principal, who is dominant in the area, take me on the same successful journey?

My advice to you is to find a place where you can build your brand within your leader’s brand.

The best agents thrive when they are given the tools to grow and compete with local agencies, not their leader. 

The top five questions to ask yourself if you’re considering making a change:

  1. How often does the business conduct training sessions?
  2. Is there productivity growth with the agents currently in the business and has the business grown in the last three years?
  3. Is there a strong and stable team without massive turnover?
  4. Does the leader promote their agents and what type of agent marketing do they carry out?
  5. Do they have a strong property management business?

Analysing these questions will help you decide whether it’s time to stay or move on.

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Avi Khan

Avi Khan is the Principal of Ray White Marsden, Ray White AKG, Ray White AKG Commercial, and Ray White Daisy Hill. He is also a partner in a Sydney based law firm Sell & Buy Legal.