Keith and Howard knew when they started Round Table Realty that they would never give their agents volume based awards. This decision was born directly from their own experiences. “We watched brokerages and companies awarding the same agents every month, and it was usually because those agents had the most experience, wanted to work that much, or landed a great community. Those of us who were green, or those who only worked part-time, just grew resentful and irritated with seeing those same names again and again,” Howard said.
“Selling the most doesn’t mean you’re the best to us. At least not in the way we want to be the best.”
Here are the top three reasons Round Table Realty doesn’t hand out Volume Awards:
1. Volume Awards Breed the wrong kind of Competition
Competition is awesome, especially in business. It’s what the agents are competing for that really sets RTR apart. “Our brokerage is based on putting people before property so the agents have to be willing to share with each other.” If agents feel pitted against each other right there on the placards of the office walls, it breeds an air of competition amongst agents instead of cooperation. The competition and the most effort should be exerted against the hurdles keeping people from reaching their goals, not against each other.
When we explain to the agents who join our brokerage that everyone shares information, tools, and experience, most of them don’t believe us. “They’re used to squirreling away their secrets so that they can ‘win’,” Keith says. “But when you encourage agents to help each other grow, your brokerage as a whole flourishes. The brokerage wins. When the brokerage flourishes, we can offer more and more to our agents. It’s cyclical. And our agents can see how it benefits them to focus their competition on growing a stronger brokerage.”
The overall goal of the brokerage is to be the most respected in the city. That’s the goal we’re competing for together.
2. Volume Awards Focus on the People, not the System
Not every Realtor wants to sell millions of dollars in property each month. Some have goals of five or six transactions per year. Some even less. How do you know if your Realtors are performing well if you’re comparing apples to oranges?
“Instead of measuring people, we measure the system. If the newer agents grow and learn as a result of working alongside seasoned agents, that’s a marker that the system is working. If the quality of what is being produced is apparent in the feedback we get from clients, title companies, and mortgage lenders, then the system is working. That’s far more important to us than any one agent selling the most,” Keith said.
3. Volume Awards can Discourage Agents from Focusing on the Client
Every week, at least one agent comes into our office to tell us they knew they could make a sale, but they also know they wouldn’t be able to sleep because the home truly wasn’t right for their client. If volume awards are the focus, it can supersede the intention of doing what’s right for the client. Because Round Table Realty prides itself on ethical practices and Single Agency, it’s a conflict of interest to then reward the agents who bring in the most money.
Real Estate is a business, and Round Table Realty is interested in becoming the best. However, their measuring stick is slightly different from some other brokerages in town. “We want to be measured by how well we serve our clients, our partnerships, and each other. If we’re the best in that category? Well, time has proven that it translates into being the best in a lot of other categories, too,” Howard said.