My Do-Over in Real Estate

By
Real Estate Agent with Redfin AB95346

My early real estate career was pretty magical.  My first company had an amazing training program, my managing broker was a master at picking and mentoring new agents, and I had a center of influence any newbie would kill for. 

Everything worked very well. Even better than very well.

Then, into about my sixth year, I got a little bored and wanted a change.  I decided I wanted to try to manage an office for the company I worked for.  By this time, my first broker had been replaced, and her successor was just not working out.  While I no idea there were problems, I called the district vice-president and told him I’d like to discuss the possibility of managing one of the firm's offices.

They gave me a battery of aptitude tests, had me interview with the entire senior staff.  Then they offered me the job of managing my old office. 

My predecessor was the mother of eight children, and she had attracted a large group of mostly unproductive agents who were attracted to her “parent-child” management style.

My new boss called a meeting of the agents, and he made the trip into town from the Maryland suburbs to make the announcement of my appointment, and to introduce me to the troops, most of whom I did not know.

They were standing and sitting (one on the floor), and when the show was over, new boss left me there with my charges.  

Then one of them crawled across the floor like a little kitten, looked up at me, and said, “It’s our New Mom!”

My response was most inappropriate - I must have recoiled with horror.  Then I shared that I might not have a single maternal molecule in my entire body (just check out my official manager photo - does that look like dear old Mom?).  I explained that I viewed my role to be their coach, and I promised to walk over hot coals if that’s what it took to help them be successful.

But many didn’t want a coach.  They wanted a mother!  And I made them wrong in the way I reacted.  

I should have listened to my gut in that moment and gone back to reclaim my desk at adult office where I’d been an agent!  But I was determined to make this new challenge work.

By the end of the first day, I had run off most of my “children”, and they found shelter in the neighborhood Long & Foster office until they left the industry.  But the people who were left were a good core, and I immediately focused on hiring new agents.

But bottom line?  I was a terrible managing broker!  I knew what a good manager looked like, and the hiring and training part went quite well.  But looking after the paperwork and budget and details?  Not my cup of tea!  And because the managers at this company didn’t sell, I had enormous amounts of business that I referred to my agents - and the referral fees went to the office - not to me!

So after about a year and a half, I decided that managing was not the highest and best use of Pat, and I wound up in a cushy semi-private office in the branch I’d left.  It was like heaven!  All I had to do was list and sell, and the managing broker got to do all of the nitsy work when it came to the budget and dealing with all of the crazy personalities in this high-powered office.  

But bottom lie, I’m glad that I gave management a try  because, among other things, it cured me of the urge to try it, or (God forbid) to open my own shop!  And I went back to what I do best, listing and selling, with a much clearer understanding of what works and what does not, and also of what works for me in terms of a managing broker!

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Diary of a Realtor
Addicted to Active Rain
Bananatude
Bartender, Make it a Double

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
3,447,227
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I so get it, Pat... I am licensed as a broker-in-charge in North Carolina, but your couldn't pay me enough to be one... it's like herding cats! As I get older, I have less and less patience.

Dec 09, 2016 09:08 AM #7
Ambassador
2,984,723
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Pat OMG a mother figure in a real estate office?  Yuck.  That would have driven me nuts to have a boss like that. I used to have a bunch of agents and we don't want to manage agents anymore. It's just the two of us and it works a million times better without all the managing and 'cat herding' as Nina Hollander calls it!  Like you, it's good to know what you really want!! The one thing I do still like to do is teach agents as it's fun to share the experiences and get them thinking outside the box.

Dec 09, 2016 11:10 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,177,946
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I t takes a while to settle into what best fits us in this business. I was never on to do the whole office thing and never had a desk. I always worked independently and worked out of my home, still paying fees until I got my broker's license and now am where I need to be. I can only imagine the pressures of managing an office and am glad you went back to what you obviously do best.

Dec 09, 2016 12:50 PM #9
Ambassador
2,803,708
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Pat - Great story. Trying something totally new is sometimes the only path to real discovery, even if it's only to find that it isn't your path. Have a great weekend!

Dec 09, 2016 01:02 PM #10
Ambassador
2,820,552
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Pat, Back in my manufacturing days I filled in for managers at various points and learned it wasn't where I was happiest.  I'm better at the individual contributor level where I get to work and not have to worry about what others are or aren't doing.  Bill

Dec 09, 2016 01:49 PM #11
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Chris Ann, I've never worked well with a parent-child management style, and I probably should have picked up on the basics for the agents who did respond to it.

Dec 09, 2016 07:56 PM #12
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Will, the company had wonderful training for its managers, and I did learn a lot that came in handy when I went back to sales.

Dec 09, 2016 07:57 PM #13
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Alexandra, this one must have packed the office to meet recruitment goals, with the spaghetti on the  wall approach.  And this company wasn't into that.

Dec 09, 2016 07:58 PM #14
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Larry and Sheila, there were fun things about the job, but sales is so much better. And I got it out of my system.

Dec 09, 2016 08:00 PM #15
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Nina, as I wrote this, I started to remember some of the stuff that could have made me crazy.

Dec 09, 2016 08:01 PM #16
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Anna, I love to teach, and it was more "cat herding" than teaching.

Dec 09, 2016 08:03 PM #17
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jane, I really like my office.  When I try to work at home, there are so many distractions!

Dec 09, 2016 08:04 PM #18
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Dick, even though it turned out not to be my cup of tea, I'm really glad I did it.

Dec 09, 2016 08:05 PM #19
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bill, yes!  That sums it up!

Dec 09, 2016 08:06 PM #20
Rainmaker
2,143,592
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Patricia Kennedy - thanks for sharing your story.  Not everyone finds that management is their calling but you are much better for having tried it.  This is a great story to share.

Dec 10, 2016 06:20 AM #21
Rainmaker
3,625,765
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Pat -- while I did the "management" thing in a different career, I know the obstacles that can exist especially in a field where everyone should be his/her own boss.  Good for you in giving it the ol' college try.  

Dec 10, 2016 06:03 PM #22
Ambassador
1,706,647
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

You were a brave soul to try to ride herd over agents productive or not. Like you that is not my forte. I am glad you found your rightful place in the real estate universe.

Dec 10, 2016 07:01 PM #23
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Grant, part of it was that my first managing broker was pretty amazing and made it look like great fun!  It was fun - for her!

Dec 14, 2016 03:03 PM #24
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Michael, if I'd had a management background of any kind, I might have done better, or I might have understood more about what was involved before I jumped in.

Dec 14, 2016 03:05 PM #25
Ambassador
3,694,641
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Joe, it was not my forte at all!  But it was a great learning experience, and I still use a lot of what I learned to manage myself!

Dec 14, 2016 03:06 PM #26
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Ambassador
3,694,641

Patricia Kennedy

Home in the Capital
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information