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!