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How to Foster Better Communication with Agents – Part III

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RISMEDIA, July 12, 2008-With all of the options brokers and agents have to communicate with their clients these days, it’s important to take a step back and see the best way to keep in touch with each other. While texting and e-mail might be suitable for clients, is it the right way to keep agents informed and up-to-speed on company happenings and strategies? Here, in part three of this six-part Viewpoints series, Bill Lublin, CEO of Century 21 Advantage Gold, says daily interaction is key…but how?

  • lublin_bill.jpgBill Lublin
    CEO
    CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold
  • www.c21ag.com

Success in the real estate business is all about good communication. From brokers to lenders, title insurers to customers, we must not fall into the trap of being less than stellar communicators by hurrying, taking the easy way out, giving in to bad habits and a lack of conscious thought. In the ever-changing market of today, I have found that the first line of communication that needs to be foolproof is that between broker and agent.

The broker/agent relationship is built upon a foundation of trust, support, dialogue and informed decision-making. Without an understanding by all parties of the business goals and core objectives, communicating will ultimately be less effective. So how, you ask, can brokers better communicate with their agents?

The answer is obvious: communicate frequently and use every opportunity, plain and simple.

Make sure that there is an open line of communication between the broker and agent. Because the two of you are part of a team, encourage your agent to keep you informed in their day-to-day activities. Get involved by offering suggestions and being responsive to their questions and requests for assistance. Having a dialogue will prevent miscommunication with each other and with the consumer. The added benefit of this approach is increased retention because good agents do not like leaving a team-focused environment.

I have seen time and again that the more interaction brokers have with their agents on a daily basis, the better the agents can position themselves with the customer, and the more consistent the agents’ performance is in line with company policy and best practices. These factors make a more successful agent who is less susceptible to last-minute problems with their transactions and their relationships with their customers and clients. Not to mention, customers feel important when they have the attention and concern of the management of the company.

Brokers must also take responsibility for sharing important and relevant information with agents, and providing them with the tools they need to best do their jobs. As a broker, you need to become increasingly more knowledgeable about how the market is changing. Learn how to handle new business in the foreclosure market; learn what’s changed in contracts and legal; and understand consumer feelings and perceptions. By arming yourself with the right tools and skills, you’ll bring a whole new level of guidance to your agents, and help them turn the market conditions into opportunities for their clients and themselves.

Especially in times of economic uncertainty, brokers and agents must be on the same wave length to better succeed at their jobs, educating customers and helping them make the right decisions.

Below are some of my additional tips for furthering the right kind of communication between brokers and agents:

When brokers communicate, make it as easy as 1-2-3:

• Tell people what you are about to tell them.
• Tell them what you need to communicate.
• Review with them what you just told them.

Use feel, felt, and found:

• I know that you feel…
• And many other (agents, sellers, buyers) have felt exactly the same way
• But when they tried what I’m advising you to do, they found…

Use as many forms of communication as often as possible. In our firm, we use:

• Posted calendar on the company resource center
• Weekly agent e-newsletters
• Quarterly printed newsletters
• Voice-mails to all agents
• E-mails on a regular basis
• Flyer distribution and posting at individual offices

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