Real-life lessons from managing brokers

by Timothy Inklebarger

It can be tricky business transitioning from real estate agent to managing broker. Imagine going from covering the responsibilities of one to overseeing dozens of real estate professionals.

Thankfully, up-and-coming managing brokers don’t have to reinvent the wheel upon taking the lead at their brokerage. That’s why we spoke with three managing brokers about the hurdles they faced when they were the new kids on the block.

Here are a few items they suggest checking off your to-do list as you enter the world of leadership as a managing broker.

Make yourself available.

Tamra Wade, broker and owner of RE/MAX TRU in Atlanta, said to start by evaluating the different types of agents in the brokerage to get a better understanding of their experience and knowledge.

“Line up one-on-one meetings with each agent to determine their goals and challenges and help them build a business plan,” she said.

Mayar Burton, managing broker at Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage, encourages new managing brokers to “always have a servant mentality” when it comes to working with agents. That means being available, always answering the phone and getting a good time management calendar, she said.

Cary Blumenfeld, who manages more than 30 agents for Compass, tells Atlanta Agent magazine that “patience, patience, patience” is key. “Be prepared to answer absolutely ridiculous questions at all hours of the day and night – it’s ok, it gets better,” he said. “Working 60 hours is the norm, but creating successful agents is more than worth it.”

Establish an action plan and rely on the experts.

Take a close look at the courses your brokerage offers agents to ensure they are providing value, Wade said.

Make sure agents are in compliance with various rules and regulations and create an actionable plan with flexible systems that “create consistent support but can also work with different types of agents,” she said. “You need to have a transaction management system and coaching platform.”

Burton encourages incoming managing brokers to rely on their industry counterparts for support as they get their footing. “Luckily, I had a great support system from my fellow managing brokers,” she said. “Also, attend classes, sharpen your saw and always be open to learning. Listen to your agents, understand their challenges and help them overcome them to achieve their goals.”

Lead by example and be honest.

Blumenfeld said honesty, encouragement, attitude and confidence are central to success when overseeing agents. He also emphasized the need to lead by example.

“If my agents are not motivated by my behavior and attitude, their ability to follow my guidance will be significantly reduced,” he said. “Honesty is very important in regard to training and performance. It’s OK to be friendly and friends, but when it comes to business, the ability to separate feelings and get to work is paramount.”

As a top producer, Blumenfeld said he can show agents how to get to where he is on the leaderboard: “People listen to you if you’re successful, and that puts you in a better place among the agents when coaching and training.”

Wade said having a passion for the work will also inspire agents to follow your lead. Managing brokers “need to have a dream and a vision that will better their society of agents,” she said. “Without passion, a leader will not make the necessary courageous and difficult decisions and then carry them to action.”