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Anthony: Are you loyal to a fault? Or on the flip-side, are you expecting too much loyalty, an unrealistic amount of loyalty that you might be expecting when you are in leadership? Let’s tackle it from both sides. Anthony Lamacchia here with a question in real estate, and I want to talk about this important subject. I think it’s an important subject in business, and I think it’s something that needs to be discussed openly, and that’s why I’m here to talk to you all about it.
First part, part one, I’m going to tackle, “Are you expecting too much loyalty as a leader?” Are you expecting too much loyalty as a leader? I find that many are. I’ll tell you a story, I was in Aruba, at our president’s club trip, out to dinner with two of our best realtors sitting right across from me. We’re having a great dinner, husbands there, wives there, and we’re talking about the company and the progress we’ve made over the last decade, and this, and that. One of them said, “I’ll never leave, no matter what. I don’t care.” The other one said, “Same with me.” They meant it, they genuinely meant it.
I looked across the table and I said, “Guys, I appreciate that so much, but if we ever don’t provide you with the products, the services, the tools, the support, the technologies that you need, you should leave.” They were like, “Huh?” while we were eating at Gianni’s in Aruba. This conversation stuck with me because I remember the look in their face, but I meant what I said.
Now, I don’t go around talking about this on a podium, or anything, but when you’re running a broker’s business, realtors are essentially your customer, and the buyers and sellers are as well, but it’s somewhat of a customer relationship. I view it more as a partnership because if I provide enough value to them and they bring sales into the business, it’s two ways. We as a brokerage, as a company, me as an owner, I’m giving them things that are helping them with their business, and they’re giving things to me that are helping me with the company. It’s a two-way street, it’s a partnership, but truth be told, they’re somewhat of the customer.
As a customer, you should not be loyal to a fault. I know our realtors are going to see this video, and I don’t care, and I don’t fear it whatsoever. If we are not providing the things that they need to grow their business and giving them the support, then who can blame them if they want to move on? I get it. We’ve had cases over the years, we’ve had a wildly high retention rate, wildly high, especially with our top agents, and I love it, I appreciate it, but that’s because we earn it, that’s because we’re investing.
We just had a top realtor join with the team some months back, and he said, “Look, I don’t mind paying a marketing fee off the top because you’re actually spending it on marketing.”
Think about that as a leader, don’t over-expect loyalty. These people that are with us, we just crossed the bridge to 500 realtors now, I don’t expect them to stay around just because they’re loyal to me. Now, of course, there are cases– [sound cut] It could be more of a personal fashion or something, and that obviously in my executive ranks, management ranks, many staff ranks, that’s a little different as well. We’ve been working together, we’re working together for a big picture, I get it.
I understand when owners of companies expect that a little more from people they’re working hand-in-hand with to build something, but it’s different with realtors. Realtors should not be loyal to a fault, they should be loyal to an extent, but if you’re not getting what you need to grow your business, you should make a change because the only one you’re hurting is you.
Now, let’s go to part two. It’s going to be a long video. Part two is, what I just started touching on, how loyal should a realtor be? Well, look, it’s a touchy subject, it’s a tricky subject, but if you’re not getting what you need from your company to grow your business, you should move on. Again, I know our realtors are going to see this. Perhaps do it in a very respectful, honorable manner. Go to the owner, go to the management, and say, “Hey, maybe it’s me, but I’m not feeling like I’m getting what is necessary for me to improve my business. I feel like I’m missing out on this. I’m missing out on that. I’m missing out on that. What can I do to get those things? Can and will you offer those things?”
If they won’t, and you think you need them, that’s business. That’s the way it goes. Don’t punish yourself because you want to be able to stand on a soapbox and say, “Loyalty.” When I was at RE/MAX, I started my career there, great company, but when I left there, the owner said to me, “This will be the biggest mistake you’ve made since you’ve been in the business.” Never forgot it. I actually respect him. He’s a good guy, smart guy, but one-off comment, maybe he was aggravated. I don’t hold it against him at all. We’ve traded cards over the years. If I’d stayed there and I stayed loyal, would I have built the company that I’ve built? No. No chance, I wouldn’t have. You need to move on sometimes.
We had a guy some years back, great guy. Told us, not in a real loud fashion, but just, “Hey, I’m thinking of going on my own. I’m getting my broker’s license.” No problem. Went on his own, we helped him. I went to his grand opening, I brought flowers. I can’t knock someone for doing that. How can I do that? I did that. I can’t go knock him for it. I just think that this is something that should be thought about a little differently.
When I said that to those realtors sitting across from me, I don’t even mind saying who it was, it was Paul and Joseline, I said, “Hey, if we ever get to the point that we’re not providing X, Y, and Z over a period of time–” If we went through a slump or something was wrong, and then they up and left, I’d be like, “Guys, what the hell? You’ve been here for years, and you’re leaving because we had a rough month or something where something was wrong?” Okay, I get that, but over an extended period of time if we’re not providing what our realtors need, screw me, to hell with me, it’s your business, it’s your life. You should do what’s best for your business and for your life. You can’t be loyal to a fault.
We see that. We see that in our recruiting efforts. We see some agents, “I know I should leave, I know I’ll be better off, I know this, I know that, but I can’t.” “Why not?” “Well, I feel bad.” “Well, feeling bad ain’t going to get you nowhere in life. It’s not going to get you anywhere.”
Think those things through. I wanted to talk about it from both sides, and I hope that provides clarification for people out there that are thinking of potentially making a change, or maybe some owners out there who, maybe, you’re expecting a little too much. We’re going into stormy waters, folks. The market’s changing, there’s already more movement. There is going to be more movement with realtors from different companies, and we’re already seeing a difference. We’re seeing a lot more top agents reach out to us. Great. If we earn it, hopefully, they come over, if we don’t, they don’t. That’s how I view it.
When people leave, if it’s someone that we really didn’t want to leave, or someone that normally wouldn’t leave, I’ll look at the situation and say, “You know what, we should have did better. What should we have done differently to change that outcome?” That’s the way it goes.
I just wanted to talk about that. I hope that’s helpful. I hope you’re all doing well. I got a busy day, I got four kids, so I have four different games and practices, and things to get to. I wanted to say hi to you all, and I wanted to talk about this loyalty subject. That’s it. Happy home-selling, my friends. Talk to you soon.