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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Why Your Agents Are Not your Customers


man with hair in airDo you say your agents are your ‘customers’? Many brokers call their agents their ‘customers’. We thought that, by calling our agents our customers, we would please them, create loyalty and forge recruiting tools. This trend of calling agents ‘customers’ was a reaction to the old-style ‘father knows best’ top-down management. Not a bad thought, but, unfortunately, too limiting. We assumed that, if we provided the services agents wanted, everything would be wonderful. If you’re considering your agents your customers, has it worked out the way you expected?

Who is Your Real Customer?

That thought process has sure gotten us into trouble. Why? Because we forgot that the person who actually pays commissions is called a ‘buyer’ or a ‘seller’—the end user. If the end user is unhappy, they vote with their feet. The result of our lack of focusing on the end user is plummeting commissions and alternative ‘agent-lite’ companies, relying much more on technology than personal service.

The bigger business world got it long ago. When is the last time you were asked about the level of service in a business you were using? I’ll bet you are asked at least once a week. The bigger world of business discovered long ago that they had to satisfy the needs of the consumer-and that those needs were escalating by the minute.

How do we put the real consumer first, providing the services that make them so happy they would never leave us?


  1. Quit hiring non-committed agents. They simply will not do the work, create a business, and serve consumer needs to warrant a ‘generous’ commission. If your agents don’t go to work, it doesn’t matter what you do for them or the services you provide.
  2. Establish standards of production for your agents. What do you expect of them—and when? What do your standards say about you?
  3. Accept that a low-producing agent cannot and does not provide excellent service—and the consumer knows that. If you have many low-producing agents, what level of service are they providing? What does that say about you and your company?
  4. Pretend you are a consumer. Which of your agents would you want to work with? Which of your agents wouldn’t you want to buy a home from?

If your agents aren’t your customers, what are they? Perhaps partners, as one very successful franchise has termed them. You decide. If, in fact, you’re leaning toward ‘partners’, you must establish communications, culture, and values that reflect a partnership–not just call your agents ‘partners’!

LM CoverCould You Use some Help Refining your Leadership Style?

What is your leadership style? How well is it working? Do you want to expand, refine, or re-define it to reflect your values and those of the kind of person you want to recruit today? It’s difficult to do that on your own, and you also need the systems to back up your works. Leadership Mastery Coaching can guide you through the process.

Why not have a complimentary consultation with Carla Cross  to see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you?

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