New Agents: Ask To Read Your Broker's Policy Manual
by David Fletcher
"Last week I interviewed 12 brokers," Nick, a new licensee, said.
"How many asked you to join them on the spot?" I asked.
"All twelve," he said. (not surprisingly).
"Did any of them ask you to read their policy manual before you joined them?"
"Only one. I wish I had known what to ask before I started my interviews."
"Why do you feel that way?"
"Because I don't want to go with an office just because it has a higher commission split. I need training and support," Nick said.
Frankly, I was stunned. Not so much at the number of interviews, but at the fact that Nick was invited on the spot to join every company he interviewed. He wasn't as proud of that fact as he was dismayed.
Is it any wonder agency retention rates are so horrible?
Yes, I'm upset. Yes, I am on a stump. No, I don't understand why a broker would even think about bringing a new licensee into his office without making sure the agent understood the company policies and procedures.
My guess is that most if not all of the independent agents in the business signed an independent agreement that said they read, acknowledge and understand the broker's policies. Do you think new agents read the manual before signing this document?
I certainly don't.
Nick had the opportunity to place his license with 12 brokers on the spot during his first interviews. What if he had done so? What if, after joining the company, he found he didn't agree with the broker's exit policy or the way commissions could be increased? What if he misunderstood about the training and the training cost? Or thought the floor was "open" when it was "closed?"
I could go on with the "what if's," but the fact is, agents are brought into real estate without knowing what to expect, and they are being unwittingly set up to fail.
I don't know where the high turnover ends. But I know where slowing it down starts - it starts with making sure the agent understands company policy and the company's philosophy behind the policy.
A word to new agents:
Don't get caught up in high-sounding discussions about commission splits. Ask to read the company's policy manual. Commission splits, exit commissions, referral fees, desk allocation, training, and a lot more will be spelled out in the company manual.
Read the manual with a pen in hand and make notes about areas of the manual that you don't understand or with which you might have an issue.
After you have read the manual, you will have good pertinent questions and comments for the broker or sales manager and you will get answers that will help you select the best office for you.
As a result, you will be able to make good decisions about your future. And you should be able to cut your interviews down to three or four.
Lakeland Realty Of Iowa has a very thorough policy and procedures manual covering every aspect of our company. The manual is available to prospective new agents during the interview process and upon employment with Lakeland Realty Of Iowa.