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Create a Transition Plan and Retain More Great Agents


man jumping through paperIn my earlier blog, we discussed the importance of transition plans, and the first part of the plan–I call the ‘pre-transition’ plan. Now, let’s go to the post-transition plan. This is the plan the agent (and staff) follow to assure the agent hits the ground running, and feels valued and supported in his new office.

This plan assures the agent isna��t busy with support work, and can actually keep her business going as she transitions. For the agent, it should include:

  • Detailed checklists for weeks 1 through 100
  • Schedule of the office (meetings, coaching, team lead generating, etc.)
  • Schedule of any required courses or courses recommended for that agent
  • Names and contact information of office leadership
  • Codes and passwords
  • Company vision, mission, and values

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

One of the mistakes I see in these post-transitions plans is the absence of priorities. Look at any checklists you have now. Are they prioritized in importance to that agenta��s success? Or, are they just laundry lists of all the things you believe an agent should do?

Always start with lead generation. At the top of each day, should be lead generation. Why? Because you want that agent to hit the ground running, gaining business, not losing it getting bogged down in details.

Separate the Business Plan from the Support Plan Checklist?

Ia��ve seen transition plans that mix business producing activities with business support activities. That is, they have a checklist item of a�?see the inventorya�� followed by a checklist item a�?call on 10 people you knowa��. I believe the two checklists are best separated. Why? You want the agent understanding what is in a business plan, and how to implement it. If you need a prioritized start-up plan, see Up and Running in 30 Days (4th edition).

a�?Dangera�� Zone

Leaving an office where youa��ve been affiliated for a number of years is like losing your best frienda��or even a divorce. You can feel lonely, depressed–and unsure you made the best decision. These feelings are strongest right before and right after you affiliate. (I know. Ia��ve been there!). So, managers, herea��s where you step in. Take these actions:

  1. Call the agent the day after they agree to affiliate with you. Be sure the agent is feeling okay.A� Tell the agent how excited you all are about the agent joining the team.
  2. Write the agent a personal note expressing how happy you are to get to work with him.

These two actions will relieve some of those feelings the agent has of loss.

Next Danger Zone: First Day to First Week

What are you doing to make the agent feel a huge welcome by you and your team? Remember that ita��s difficult for adults to embrace change. Your job is to make the transition not only painless but exciting and warming. Here are some ideas:

  1. Put flowers on the agenta��s desk with a personal note from you and the staff.
  2. Use a voice mail/email to welcome the agent to the office and ask that everyone welcome her.
  3. Create a a�?buddy systema�� where an agent new to your office is assigned a buddy who meets and greets the agent, takes the agent to coffee, and generally serves as transition buddy for a couple of weeks (no pay, just friendship).
  4. If you have an office meeting coming up soon, as the buddy to introduce the agent and offer some little-known, pertinent facts about the new agent (fun and informative!)
  5. Introduce the agent in your office newsletter, with pertinent information (not just who she is, but her specialties, what she did before real estate, etc.)

In other words, do all you can to create a warm, inviting, friendly, and open atmosphere. I know you dona��t think it happens in your office, but I have heard of two powerhouse offices that made a point of ignoring the agent new to them! How would that make you feel if you were in a new environment? Make sure that doesna��t happen in your culture!

How to Assure a Transitioning Agenta��s Business Growsa��not Shrinks

One of an agenta��s most common objections is that his business will suffer with the change. Herea��s how to anticipate or handle that objection. Ask the agent for his database of present/past clients and circle of influence. Offer to send emails and cards to up to 300 (or you decide on the number) of people in his database immediately after he makes the change. Your staff prepares the cards and/or emails. The cards/emails state the agent has made a change and that someone will be following up with a phone call. A few days after the cards/emails are sent, one of your staff members follows up with a phone call. Provide a script that simply reiterates the agent has made a change, and asking how the agent can assist the client at this time.A� Generally, the agent will get additional business, instead of creating downtime with no lead generation.

What you may find with the strategy above. Unfortunately, even the best agents frequently had sloppy, un-purged databasesa��or none at all! Be prepared to have to clean up the database or construct one!

The good news is that youa��ve modeled for the agent how to re-contact his best sources of business, and youa��ve helped him recreate or create that invaluable piece of businessa��his database.

What Your Transition Strategy Accomplishes

Through helping transitioning agents before and after the transition, youa��ve created more teamwork, camaraderie, support, and enthusiasm for your office. Youa��ve helped the agent conquer the challenges of changing offices. Best yet, youa��ve proven you care more about the agent than just a�?snagginga�� another license!

P. S. Dona��t forget to get my pre-transition plan. Click here.

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