What Do You Deserve as a Real Estate Agent?

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

What Do You Deserve as a Real Estate Agent?

Congratulations!  You have passed your real estate licensing exam and are about to affiliate with a brokerage.   What brokerage you pick is up to you.  Maybe you value education and chose a brokerage with lots of resources, training and a mentor program.  Maybe you got taken in by promises of a big split.  Whatever you chose, you are most likely an independent contractor and not an employee of the brokerage.  You set your own hours, pay your own taxes and are responsible for generating your own business.

Wait...what?  What was that last part?

You are responsible for generating your own business.  Let it sink in.  That's part of being an independent contractor.  Your future business depends on YOU.  What are you going to do to generate leads?  Will you hold open houses?  Set up a farming area?  Cold call For Sale By Owners and/or expired and withdrawn listings?  The choice is yours.

Too many times, in every real estate office I have worked in, there will be agents who feel they deserve office leads.  You'll hear statements about the fairness of how office leads are handed out.  This is something that really sticks in my craw.  It probably comes from a combination of my management and sales experience.

As real estate agents, we are in a sales business.  Leads are golden eggs of opportunity.  Those agents that have proven to their broker that they can generate, incubate and close leads are the ones that are most likely to get office leads.  Sure, we are all licensed by the same entity, and in the eyes of that licensing entity, we are all equal.  However, when it comes to handing off an office lead, which are fairly rare compared to the number of leads you should be generating yourself, the managing broker would be foolish to trust all the licensees in their office equally.   That probably sounds harsh, but that's reality.   

Managing brokers are responsible for the bottom lines in their offices.  If they hand an office lead to an agent that is a consistent or top producer, the broker knows that every opportunity to turn that lead into a closed transaction will be taken.  If they had it to someone who has been licensed for a decade and only closed two deals, well, the odds are not great that the lead will turn into a closed transaction.

"That's not fair.  I deserve leads too."  That's a statement you can hear in any office.  The profile of the agent that says this is an agent that shows up to the office every week day for at least four hours, but only closes one to three deals a year.  What reason does the broker have to trust you with a lead?  In the words of Janet Jackson, "What have you done for (them) lately?"

Past performance is the best indicator or future results.   If you feel you deserve leads and aren't getting them, what does your past performance tell the broker?  

Those who get office leads are the ones that are not whining that they don't get them.  Why?  They are plenty busy generating their own business.  Fair?  Well, offices where managers  are held responsible for bottom lines are not socialist environments.  Every one does not get a chance at bat, or a trophy if they waste a lead.  Producing agents are the ones that can continue to improve the bottom line of the office and it should not surprise any agent that they will, more times than not, get an office lead.

Baby bird agents who wait with their mouths open for mama bird to feed them are not the strongest agents in any office.  If they fall out of the nest, they would starve.  Managers who run offices with healthy bottom lines understand.  They will give the lead to the hawk any day of the week.

Want more office leads?  Prove your worth to your broker.  Not sure how the hours you are spending in the office aren't resulting in more lead generation and closed business?  Go to your broker and set up a business plan chock full of income producing activities.  Your broker will know you are serious when you stick to that business plan and income producing activities.  That is the point where you will find yourself with one of those golden office leads.




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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

A truth that I think isn't explained nearly enough to new agents.  If you're dependent on your brokerage to hand you business, you're at their whim as to your survival.  Make your own business.  Build reserves.  Keep monitoring what works and what doesn't.  Treat it like a business.

Mar 07, 2019 03:30 PM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I like to be always be transparent that way and straight forward with how J feel.

Mar 07, 2019 03:42 PM #14
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Chris Ann,  another great post!  The business of sales is always about generating your own clients.  Waiting for a transaction to fall into your lap isn't going to happen very often.  You need to be out there finding the transaction.

Mar 07, 2019 05:47 PM #15
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Earned and it's yours! Fantastic post that shows a false sense of entitlement gets one nowhere in this industry Chris Ann.

Mar 07, 2019 06:50 PM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Chris Ann:

I suspect too many new agents don't get this, understand it, or have not be told it in as clear a fashion as you have done. And that sense of entitlement doesn't mean squat!


Mar 07, 2019 08:19 PM #17
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Be direct about what you need and what you expect and kind of everything falls in the place do you have a sense of poise and respect about it. That’s what I find anyway.

Mar 07, 2019 10:33 PM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Proving your worth is definitely given when you first start out and even when you first start a new process with somebody else.

Mar 07, 2019 10:35 PM #19
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Interesting post! I agree the broker should give the best agents the best leads. Any suggestions on what to do when you know the broker in charge is playing favorites?

Mar 07, 2019 10:48 PM #20
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I totally agree that agents are responsible to generate all their own leads, and if they happen to get some from their broker, that is icing on the real-estate cake! And if a broker does provide leads, they should be given to agents who will service them well.

However, I did want to add that what is described above is a brokerage and process that is working well. There are those brokerages (hopefully they are rare) who actually do act unfairly to their agents. For example, the same six agents get every single listing lead and other agents, who are generating 20+ deals a year and have proved they certainly can sell/close/service, get none. And the broker then states they distribute leads in a round-robin way to all agents, which is not true. So there are unhealthy broker business models that do not work as they should.  In that case, hard-working agents might want to consider moving to one that is healthy.

Mar 08, 2019 03:11 AM #21
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Chris Ann... I've been in this business for 25 years and have worked in several brokerages... I've never expected any one of them to give me leads. Where did that idea come from any way? Every so often I'd get a lead from my brokerage and I see it as a "bonus" and not something to support my business long term.

Mar 08, 2019 05:11 AM #22
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

A person who can get things done is never without something to do...richfuscious

Mar 08, 2019 06:32 AM #23
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Never even occurred to me to consider thinking this way, but based on the comments I guess some agents feel entitled to hand outs.

Mar 08, 2019 10:35 AM #24
Faith Marshall
"If it's on or near Beaver Lake, WE sell it!"

Whoever has duty day in my small office receives the leads. You need to help the agent make theirselves a success, not the Principal/Owner. I am sure you are speaking of big offices. Just remember! If you are a small office, treat your agents well. It comes back ten-fold.

Love your article and insights.

Mar 08, 2019 10:46 AM #25
Mark Davis-Cote
The HomesFinder Realty Group - Beaufort, SC
Broker-in-Charge, The HomesFinder Realty Group

Such a great post!  As a Licensed Real Estate Instructor, I make sure I send this message to students.  I'm often surprised how many of them are shocked that they will have to generate their own business.  As a BIC, part of my hiring interview process is asking agents what their marketing plan looks like.  I'm often surprised how few agents have a written marketing plan.  I'm never surprised that we seldom hire agents who ask "where do my leads come from" during the interview process.  

Mar 08, 2019 01:09 PM #26
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

New agents cannot depend on others for leads--esp some of those lead services you can buy.  It takes a while but repeat business and referrals are worth it!

Mar 09, 2019 09:47 AM #27
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

What I want to know is the story rhat prompted this post. Something obviously happened in the office. Lol. I agree with you. We all need to learn to generate our own leads

Mar 10, 2019 04:16 AM #28
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
klm Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

The brokerage I started with offered desk time to agents who completed certain training requirements every month. That was the closest thing to getting a lead that a new agent could expect. One huge lesson I have learned in my five short years is there is no "right" way to do lead generation other than choosing something and being consistent. 

Mar 19, 2019 02:56 PM #29
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Success is totally up to you in this business.  Very little falls in your lap.  

One of the first things I learned is not to take it personal with friends.  Everyone here knows a ton of Realtors.  Folks I thought would call and others who I never thought would call, DID!  

Experience is key, building a long term business and referrals are critical.

All the best, Michelle

Mar 21, 2019 02:59 PM #30
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

great explanation of what we all needto do to generate business! 

Mar 28, 2019 04:35 AM #31
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

That is right...reality is often times harsh. Funny, life it that way.

Great post...congrats on feature!

Mar 29, 2019 10:26 AM #32
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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