Some turnover is inevitable, writes Livian’s Erin McCormick Torres. Watch out for these changes in behavior that indicate a split from the team is on the horizon.
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Your gut alerts you that an agent or a staff member might be looking for greener pastures on another real estate team or at another brokerage. When you can see the early signs that someone may be contemplating a move, you can bolster your overall team retention by heading off any departures.
Yes, some turnover is inevitable, yet what changes in behavior should you watch out for that indicate a split from the team is on the horizon?
Here are 7 telltale signs
1. They start focusing on commission splits or complaining about their compensation
Whether with an agent or a staff member, when money becomes the focus of seemingly every conversation, an exit is likely inevitable.
Regularly focus agents on their net income and how their accelerated business success through the team is helping them to achieve their personal goals. Showcase how the team is supporting their business growth with data. Provide them with high-level leverage, so they no longer have to do the things they don’t enjoy (contract compliance, marketing campaigns, transaction coordination, etc.)
2. They question the team’s value proposition
“I didn’t convert any team leads yet this year.” “I still do the bulk of my transaction management.” “I don’t need marketing to sell my houses.” When an agent begins to push back on core components of your team’s value proposition, they could be heading for the door.
Consistently showcase how you are innovating on your agents’ behalf. Cast the vision. Celebrate their successes. Roll out new tools, lead generation levers, and workflows that make their lives easier, allowing them to do more units in less time with less stress.
3. They stop engaging at the same level
If your agent or staff member goes from being highly engaged — that is, on every team meeting, arriving early and with their notebook out, ready to participate — to showing up off camera and only half of the time, they could be on their way out.
Regularly take attendance and monitor engagement, including participation in meetings. Use AI tools to assess facial affect and overall engagement to see gradual and sudden changes. If you see engagement slipping, have a proactive coaching conversation about how you can be serving them at a higher level to allow them to feel seen, heard, and appreciated.
4. Their habits change
If any agent is super consistent with a daily habit like submitting their lead generation data (dials, contacts, appointments set), and overnight, the habit is dropped, the agent could be thinking of making a move.
Likewise, if an agent who consistently follows up with their database stops logging into their CRM at the same frequency, a change may be coming. Monitor where agents are routinely habitual and if there are any sudden changes to these habits. At the first sign of a change, come from curiosity to see where you can step in to redirect them back to their core habits and the team’s value proposition.
5. They start making demands
If an agent goes from being over-the-moon happy with the team and then suddenly wants to dictate how the team spends their money, picks apart marketing materials, complains about the quality of the leads, and seems like nothing is good enough for them, an end could be in sight.
Always be open to agent feedback and ensure their requests are being heard. If an agent becomes overly toxic and demanding—which could impact culture—there may be no reversing course, and a mutual parting of ways might be the best option for all parties.
6. Things start falling through the cracks
If an agent whose transactions are always buttoned up starts losing deals, taking fewer listings, or pending fewer deals, take note They could be holding deals for their next team or brokerage if you notice an agent’s production starts backsliding. Likewise, if a staff member suddenly isn’t as responsive, they’re making more mistakes, and they are clocking in later and out earlier, they could be looking for another role.
Hold regular coaching calls — and never miss them—and ensure you’re reviewing their pipeline consistently to monitor any ebbs and flows and address them head on.
7. They start spreading seeds of negativity with other team members
When an agents’ negativity starts festering and impacting other agents on the team, it may be time to release the agent into the industry and off of the team.
Remember that not all agents are going to be a fit for your team. An agent who spreads negativity throughout the team likely will do more harm than good and cast shadows of doubt into other team members as well.
Erin McCormick Torres serves as COO for Livian at KW. She is an author, business coach, Realtor and content creator who runs the popular blog Travel Like a Local: Vermont. Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.