When Leadership Fails

Education & Training with TEAM Hughes Real Estate School REI#ZH1003093

Many real estate agents enter their practice with exuberance and great expectations.  They’ve been promised a rose laden path to success with assurance of a brighter tomorrow.  Unfortunately, many agents are not told the truth up front.  This is a numbers game, and when leadership fails, it’s usually because leadership has its head in the wrong game.


I’ve witnessed agents with lots of potential hang their license with a brokerage, only to find them disillusioned within a short time, and they either change offices or get out of the business.  The high attrition rate of first-year agents can be, in part, a result of what happens when leadership fails.  If leadership recruits agents with only numbers in mind, leadership is a sham.  It doesn’t take long for agents to realize they’ve been duped.


I remember years ago being in management.  I had a recruiting goal to reach each month, and my broker expected me to recruit, recruit, recruit.  Years later, as Director of Training and Recruiting for a large independent brokerage, my functions were stated in my title.  Somewhere there should be a title “Director of Agent Retention,” who devotes 100% of time to helping agents.   When leadership fails, agents fail.


Believe me, I do not blame leadership for every agent who quits; but I do not blame every agent who quits without placing some of the blame on failed leadership.  Leadership cannot recruit, recruit, recruit without paying attention to training these agents, being up front with these agents, making sure agents understand bottom line figures and facts, and calling it what it is.  Too many leaders recruit and then either drop the ball or pass the recruits on to unqualified agents for training.  Recruiting is all about numbers, but retention is all about people.  Just recently I saw an example of what I believe was failed leadership, and unfortunately, agents pay the price and the leader moves on to bigger and better green pastures.  This is not the way our industry should be!


If you want to grow your business with good agents, you need to put yourself in their shoes.  Sure it’s about training, but it’s also about you being there when they need you, not passing them on to staff who knows nothing of their plight.  If you are a leader who has practiced real estate, you should understand some of the needs that arise with a new licensee.  If you are a leader who has never practiced real estate, it may be difficult for you to understand new agent problems. 


When leadership fails, newer agents suffer, staff suffers, and seasoned agents lose accountability as they are allowed to do their own thing.  If your company doesn’t show signs of your failures, you are one lucky leader!  TEAM Hughes is here to help teach agents what to look for when they get their license.  Let us know if we can help your business retain those you recruit.

Comments (3)

Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

You are correct. The abysmal success rate of agents reaching their 2nd year anniversary should be considered 'criminal.' This established failure system has existed for decades and as brokers and franchises chant 'We got train'n' the failure rate remains unchanged.

Those who perpetuate the 'system' chant 'raise the bar' to reduce competition from newbies, NOT improve the system.

Until BROKERS are held accountable, hope for change continues to look bleak..

Sep 22, 2016 10:24 PM
Carrie Hughes

Thanks for commenting, Annette.  I can tell you've seen some of the things I've seen, and I agree change will not be coming until Brokers and/or Leaders get with it!

Sep 22, 2016 10:29 PM
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Great post. We have a franchise in town that will add 1-3 members each week (we are in a tiny market). The newbie hits the roll, then you never hear from that person again.

As a broker, people ask me all the time what it's like to be an agent. I attempt to paint an accurate picture. Sure wish others would do likewise.

Sep 22, 2016 10:25 PM
Carrie Hughes

Thanks for sharing, Doug.  I'm with you 100%!

Sep 22, 2016 10:30 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I have to agree with you 100%. Too many agents do not know how to pick great leadership.

Sep 22, 2016 10:34 PM
Carrie Hughes

Thanks, Harry.  Sometimes those put in leadership really aren't good leaders at all!

Sep 23, 2016 04:53 AM