Elite AgentProductivity & Best Practice

How to build better relationships with your agents

Barry Plant’s newly appointed Head of Strategic Growth says success in the new decade is about building real relationships with your people while encouraging them to focus on what they can control.

A new year generates a feeling of a clean slate; a time to reset and reboot.

Traditionally, business owners and leaders take this time to plan their goals for the coming year – mainly financial.

But we are coming off nearly two years of a market that has been incredibly challenging – not just for business owners but for agents.

All the media hype and the boots-on-the-ground experiences have been enormous distractions, eating into everyone’s optimism, energy levels and efficiency.

As leaders, you need to understand the challenges the market has given your team and work to mitigate the impact, motivate them and build the mindset for success.

This will require you to put time into gaining their confidence so they will open up to you and admit the challenges they are having.

How many times have you looked at one of your agents, known in your gut there was an issue, but when you asked what was wrong they evaded the question?

You need to break that down and build a relationship where an agent can be confident that if they admit to a problem, you will help them, not dismiss their concerns.

It’s about nurturing and understanding – roles that some leaders aren’t automatically comfortable with.

Encourage your agents to think about their Circle of Influence.

Get them to concentrate on improving what’s in their control and those things that they can influence rather than worrying about (or blaming) what isn’t in their power.

Even the best agent can refine their work habits to be more productive once they gain this mindset.

Initiate better time management.

This doesn’t mean the traditional A, B and C to-do lists. It means establishing a balanced workday.

You’d be surprised how much more effective a mentally and physically healthy agent is.

Encourage them to look at what tasks they carry out when. There’s an optimal time mentally – and from a fatigue point of view – to do certain tasks.

Encourage your agents to take regular breaks – whether that’s for meditation, listening to music or just going for a walk in the sun – these small time-outs really do rebuild energy.

Lastly, the hard message.

There are three As in conversation that most effective leaders use:
1. Accountability
2. Affirmation
3. Assistance

Accountability is obvious.

That’s making sure your team follow the plan and meet their KPIs.

Affirmation is about letting your team members know when they’ve done a good job.

It’s about encouragement and building self-belief.

Assistance is providing your team with what they need to achieve.

That might be training, technology tools, admin assistance or greater flexibility around work hours to provide a better overall balance in this market with all the bruised and burnt agents.

Leaders need to focus on affirmation and assistance and back off (a little) on accountability.

If you build self-belief and take away any practical reasons for someone to fail, then success should follow.

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Nigel O'Neil

Nigel O’Neil is the Head of Growth at Barry Plant. For more information go to www.barryplant.com.au