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Archive for managing Gen X and Y

In the blogs that preceded this one, we discussed the shifts owners and managers must make to recruit and retain Gen Y (and Gen X). Here are two more shifts.

1. Design (or Re-Design) Your Company Structure as Collaborative

This is a really, really big shift for most companies.

In most real estate companies, ita��s still a�?every man for himself (or woman)a��, with someone ‘at the top’.A� Gen Y doesna��t like that. In fact, they are much less interested in getting ahead of the next guy. Theya��re much more interested in joining a collaborative, supportive TEAM.

What is your company structure? Is it top down? Wherea��s your collaboration? As a write this, I will have just finished a three day symposium for the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. In it, I help managers go from a�?top downa�� to a�?spiderweba��, or collaborative structure. This sounds easy, but ita��s a very challenging paradigm switch. Why? Because it concerns

  • How we recruit
  • How we select
  • How we train
  • How we coach
  • How we weigh the value of our agents
  • The configuration of our offices
  • The services we provide

We must go from father/mother knows best, hiring those who understand they will have to kill or be killed, each man on his own–to manage in a non-hierarchicA� company structure (I call it ‘spiderweb’), where our associates collaborate.

2. Stop Relying on Company Training to a�?Fix Thema��; Start Coaching

Even though wea��ve been talking for years about segueing from the company training a��fix all the problems in five daysa�� type of schedule, most companies are still relying on the a�?talk to them until theya��re sick of youa�� type of training. Gen Y just doesna��t buy it! Instead, break down your training into small segments. Add a�?alternative delivery methodsa�� (stop talking and start facilitating). Provide action plans, self-discovery, and collaborative exercises. In other words, stop training as the real estate industry executes it.

Proactive, Practiced Coaching Develops People

Most important, add a real coaching system to develop each agent. That means you

  • Train yourself as a real coach
  • Have a reliable coaching game plan and implement it with each agent
  • Dedicate time each week to pro-active coaching each agent (not just solving problems/crisis management)
  • Create a peer coach/mentor system that you actively manage

We Cana��t Avoid Moving Forward any Longer

Ita��s difficult for brokers who have owned their companies for years to make these changes. Most of them are truly a�?mind-seta�� changes:

  • Drop the a�?top-downa�� father/mother knows best thinking
  • Stop trying to manage and motivate a group (those boring sales meetings!)
  • Decide to develop the talents and skills of each agent you havea��and develop the skills to become a competent coach
  • Develop alternative training skills (NOT lecture) and switch your training from I tell them and then they know ita��to we work together to establish processes, systems, and dialogue and solve problems
  • Start communicating via new mediaa��and have fun with it!
  • Decide that younger people can lead YOU in some instancesa��and enjoy it

Be flexible and excited about re-inventing your company. Those who do will reap the benefits of hiring and retaining committed, creative, energetic agents.