#8 How To Keep Sales Agents and Employees Around (with Pat Hiban)

Show Notes

Sales-driven and technology industries are known for high turnover amongst employees. People constantly come and leave for a myriad of reasons. What are some ways to make them feel valued and ultimately keep them for the long haul? Find out in this episode with the real estate rockstar, Pat Hiban! The Five Love Languages: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/2018/06/the-five-love-languages-defined/ Check out Pat: https://pathiban.com/  https://freesixstepsbook.com

For more resources, visit https://www.reallifeleaders.com/podcast

Have a leadership question you want answered? Email [email protected] and you might even be in an episode!

Transcript

Chantel Ray:                 Hey guys, welcome to the Real Life Leadership Podcast where we share real life stories from real life leaders to help you become a better leader in your organization. Today's guest is one of my amazing friends, I love, love, love. He's a New York Time's best selling author. He's the host of the Real Estate Rock Star Radio which is one of our favorite podcast to listen to, I think it's number one, isn't it, Pat?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, depends what you look at, but yeah we're definitely ... I believe we're the number one podcast for-

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, for real estate right?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 But he has made millions in the real estate world, leading a team of 50 people but now he's super passionate about training and mentoring and just pouring in other people and that's what I love about Pat so much. Is that he's always like, "How do I grow people to take them to the next level?" And that's what this show's all about. So, welcome.

Pat Hiban:                     Thanks, man fun to be here.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah and we also have our co-host Heather [Roemmich 00:01:05] here, welcome Heather.

Heather:                       Welcome and I just have to say real quick, Chantel your hair is exceptionally large today.

Pat Hiban:                     Oh my God.

Heather:                       It's very nice and we're talking about retention so that might drive some people away, so we're going to have to bring that down a notch.

Pat Hiban:                     Speaking of retention, Heather you've been with Chantel a long time I remember meeting you like ...

Heather:                       I have.

Pat Hiban:                     ... 15 years ago or something, right?

Heather:                       Yeah, I have. I've been with her since almost the beginning.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, from-

Pat Hiban:                     How long have you been with her?

Heather:                       It'll be 10 years next month.

Pat Hiban:                     Wow, that's awesome, that's ... There you go.

Chantel Ray:                 We've only been in business 12 years.

Pat Hiban:                     Well, we should be interviewing you then.

Chantel Ray:                 That's right, that's a-

Pat Hiban:                     What made you stay? You know what I mean? What retained Heather?

Heather:                       That's a really good question. The thing that I love most about this company is opportunities for growth and I started as a $10.00 an hour employee, I was an admin when I first came on. I literally got to do almost every single job in the company and just continue to grow. Whenever I felt like I had hit a ceiling, Chantel was like, "Oh, I've created this new position. Learn it, grow it, do it." And I've been able to grow, grow, grow and it's leadership. I mean, Chantel does an exceptional job growing us as leaders and that's just .... I've never even thought of looking somewhere else, I mean there's just so many opportunities in this company. I've just loved, loved working here and I've always felt appreciated and wanted, so that's just my-

Chantel Ray:                 Oh, that's sweet.

Heather:                       Yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, we are going to be talking about retention and keeping the right people around because if you're not doing what you need to do, you don't want to keep those people. You want to keep the right people around and when it comes to real estate, Pat, I know you know this, but the studies out there are staggering. They say, that 75% of brand new agents will not make it, so that's 75% turn over and 35% of seasoned agents will move. It doesn't matter how great that company is, you could have the best one ever. But 35% of those agents are going to turn over. So, that's staggering, so why do you-

Pat Hiban:                     35%? I'm surprised that number's not ... I've been at four different brokerages and then if you include my own company that I had, that's five. Now, that's over almost a 30 year period, but yeah there's an avis, there's always someone that's willing to try harder, you know what I mean? And come up and get in the agent's face and try to [crosstalk 00:03:42].

Chantel Ray:                 Something new, we'll give you 10% higher, right?

Pat Hiban:                     Especially today. Today more than ever, there is a war between brokers, more than any time in history, there's a war between brokers fighting for agents.

Chantel Ray:                 You're right, you're right. So, actually if you take that combination of the two, so if you take the 75% of new people, and 35% ... That means if you had 50% of your agents start at the beginning of January, if 50% were brand new January one and 50% were seasoned, what it's saying is, 75% of those new agents and 35% ... If you combine the two of them, that's talking about more like a ... I should know this off the top of my head but because [crosstalk 00:04:31] ...

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, no it's worse-

Chantel Ray:                 ... it's about 45%-

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, it's worse than an internet lead.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, that's so true. So, why do you think in real estate the turn over across the country is so awful?

Pat Hiban:                     Well, okay first of all it's a two part question. First of all, let's talk about the turn over of new agents and then we're going to talk about the agents going on from brokers to brokers, sound good?

Chantel Ray:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Pat Hiban:                     The turn over of new agents is because it seems like an easy job and it's hard as hell, I mean you really get your head kicked in as an agent and the rejection isn't like the rejection you might get working in a retail store where you say, "Is there anything I can help you with?" And someone says, "No, I'm just looking." It's not that sort of rejection, it's a rejection of ... Man, I showed you 15 houses and then you bought a house at an open house from an agent you never even met before and I just lost $6,000.00 of money that I was counting on. It's really really strong upsets and I think that really drives people away. Also, I think that agents get in this business thinking they're not going to have to be, "Salesmen-y," that they're not going to have to be aggressive in their prospecting and everybody is just going to know they're an agent and automatically come to them because one time they mentioned at church they got their real estate license. The fact of the matter is, it just doesn't happen. And then they just quit, I guess the bottom line to the part of the question is, it's harder than anyone thinks.

Pat Hiban:                     The second part of the question is, why do agents move? This is interesting, why do agents move? There's a couple of reasons is what I found, the first reason and the easiest reason to talk about, let's say. It's not why everyone moves, it's economics, right? There's an economic play, first ... 25 years ago Re/Max invented ... I won't say invented, Re/Max was the first one to come out with, on a large scale, a different economic model and they to the 100% split because everybody was 50/50 or something up until then. So, they really scratched a record, so they've changed since then but nonetheless, my point is that Re/Max came out with an economic model that was attractive to top producers 25 years ago. Now, since then we've had all kinds of if economic models pop up. Right now especially you have a lot of companies that are like, "All you got to do is pay us a flat fee per transaction. All you got to do is pay us a flat fee every month."

Pat Hiban:                     That sort of thing and those are economic reasons why people would move of course, the age old economic reason is, hey you're on a 60/40 split, with this company I'll give you a 70/30. I mean, that's basically just going tit for tat on money, which can be done.

Chantel Ray:                 I think it's also about leadership though. It's that maybe the manager of that office they were not ... They didn't feel like they were helping them grow and taking them to another level, that's another piece of the puzzle.

Pat Hiban:                     That's a great point because I felt like that, I help all my past managers [crosstalk 00:08:16] ...

Chantel Ray:                 Because you need a leader-

Pat Hiban:                     ... again.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, but you want a leader that's going to take you to the next level and as soon as you start feeling like, this guy doesn't care about taking me to the next level, they're not pushing me and driving me. I had a personal trainer that I had a while back and he was ... Every time I'd complain like my knee hurt or this, he's like, "Let's not do lunges, let's not do squats." He wasn't pushing me at all and guess what? I was like, "Okay, I'm going to find another trainer." Why? I loved him, thought he was the nicest guy but people need to feel like they're being pushed and they want to grow. So, if there's anything the manager's doing to make them feel like they're not taking them to the next level, that's another piece of the puzzle.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 So, what do you guys think is the difference in managing and retaining independent contractors versus managing and retaining salaried employees? Because people listening here, they've got people who are salaried employees, they got people who are independent contractors and they're totally two different beasts.

Heather:                       Yup.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, go ahead, you talk Heather.

Heather:                       That's okay. Well, one is required to come to work to get paid, so they have to ... I mean, they're coming, so-

Pat Hiban:                     They can get fired.

Heather:                       They can get fired and the other ones don't necessarily have to come in, they don't have as many guidelines. So, you have to ... The people that are independent contractors have to find value in you, in your company. Whether that value is economic or growth, you ... Everyone has different reasons, there are some people that are very highly economic driven, and we do this test when they first come in and we want to find out what are their drivers. So, are they a 99 out of 100 on the economic scale? Then we know when we talk to them and when we give them different programs or incentives, they're going to be motivated by money. So, if we want to keep them, we have to continually find ways to help them make more and more and more money. There's some people who are only motivated by growth in the company, growth in positions, growth in their leadership. So, throwing bonuses in front of them is not going to motivate them at all. So, you have to find the different ways to manage them.

Heather:                       Salaried employees are just a whole different beast, I mean they come in every day and you're paying them to do a certain task and they're working hours. And finding ways to appreciate them while not just appreciating them for doing what we're already paying them for, but appreciating them for doing it ... You know, being a good employee, are two different kind of ways you have to look at that.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, I agree.

Chantel Ray:                 What do you think is the biggest mistake that you've made, Pat? Or that you've seen other people when it comes to retention? You were like, I knew this guy ..." or even for you personally, you were like, "We lost a couple of agents because we did X, Y, Z." What was that for you?

Pat Hiban:                     I mean that's a great question. I think that the answer to that question is easy, it's vision. There was a time where I lost my vision, when the market started getting crooked and I was emotionally lost in vision. So, for years I had a vision, "Okay, we're going to do this much, this is going to happen, we're going to storm the enemy." You know what I mean? We're going, "Ya-hoo." And I had this vision and people followed my vision and it was awesome. But as soon as I lost my vision like I didn't care anymore, I was kind of wondering if I should get out of the business, wondering if I should ... Why I'm even ... get the point where I'm wasting my time because I'm working all these hours and I'm not making any money. As soon as the people caught wind of that, especially the agents, they left. They rolled out because they were like, "I want to go to the guy or the girl that has a vision." Even if that vision was delusional or that vision didn't come to pass because of the market which is what happened.

Pat Hiban:                     There were other teams and companies out there where the leader had a vision, he or she was like, "Yeah, we're going to do this and we got to do this every day." You know what I mean? Energized and optimistic and the market still sucked, but they went to that person because they had a vision and I had lost my vision. So, I would say that, you got to have a vision. If you don't have a vision to give people of where they can go and where the company can go together, you're not going to retain them.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, for me personally, this was quite a few years back, probably seven years ago. I realized our commissions splits were just ... They were just too high, so I had changed them and I had reduced them down and as soon as you reduce your commission splits it was like mass exodus. So-

Pat Hiban:                     You can't take away the money from people you-

Chantel Ray:                 You cannot, you can't do it and do that was probably the biggest mistake I ever made but then we went back and increased them and that sort of thing. We have different plans and we finally have, I think, a great recipe for our commission plans. But that was hands down, the biggest mistake I ever made. In my opinion, if you're going to make a big change like that, you need to grandfather the people in that are already there and so that's one of the big leadership rules we've done is like, if we're going to do any kind of big changes that isn't beneficial, you grandfather the people in and only move forward with any new people that in place.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, that happens all the time, you can't ... There's an old saying like, "People will work harder to keep someone from stealing their money than they work to try to earn their money." So, whenever you pull money away from people psychologically, it causes post traumatic stress, you know what I mean?

Chantel Ray:                 Yes.

Pat Hiban:                     They can't get over that, they just ... It causes anger, you just can't do that. So, it's just something that you need to keep in mind when you're beginning something, like Steven Covey says in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, "Always begin with the end in mind." Begin with the fact that ... Begin with the vision that you're going to have 100 agents and when you have 100 agents, are you going to have them all on 90/10 splits? You got to begin conservatively from day one, and I know a lot of [crosstalk 00:15:19] ...

Chantel Ray:                 Yes.

Pat Hiban:                     ... out there and a lot of them come on the show that unfortunately, the agents are making money profit than the broker or the team leader and they just began with a vision, they began-

Chantel Ray:                 Too high.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, too high.

Chantel Ray:                 That's so true because you can always give more ... We've actually increased our commission split several times and created different plans and created a 100% plan for those agents who are more independent, they want to do their own brand, that sort of thing. But you can always increase the amount of money but you can never ever go down. Can you tell a story where you felt like, man, I made a mistake one time but I know have really learned from it and this is how I've done things different on appreciating people and really valuing them and making sure that they really feel appreciated?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah. First of all, first and foremost, the best way to appreciate people is to turn off your phone or leave it on your desk in a drawer or something and go around and talk to people one on one about their kids or about the pictures that they have posted up or whatever. How's it going? As much as you can, that is so important because employees-

Chantel Ray:                 I think also ... Hold on, I'm going to add to what you're saying. But also within that, is to talk to them about what you do appreciate about them, so not just hearing about what's going on in their life but that one on one conversation saying, "Pat, you know what I love about you? I absolutely love that you really genuinely care about me growing to the next level and I really feel that with you. And the way that I feel that is because the podcast that you do, you give out so much free content." Just going through very very specifically, but keep going.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, leave with a gift. I think that ... I mean, my advice would be to engage in conversation to show that you care but then leave with a gift like you said and give them some assertive appreciation when you leave. I think if you start with that, it comes off too superficial, you know what I mean? Like, "Oh, Chantel, she just goes around and lobs these cliches." You know what I mean?

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Pat Hiban:                     But yeah. My mistake ... I made a ... One of the things I did in trying to retain people is, I created a board of directors on my team where I took the top person from marketing, the top buyer agent, the top listing agent and created a board of directors of six people. We met every week and discussed what was going on and that was a great, great retentions tool for the top people. It kind of backfired on the people underneath because they began to resent them because they would go back to their department and they would see them as normal people but then they'd say, "Oh, well they're in that room making these decisions." Unfortunately, some of the decisions we made were negative decisions like, this person needs to be fired or reprimanded or whatever so, it became almost like we would meet and the purpose of the meeting was a witch hunt, like who's screwing up?

Chantel Ray:                 Oh my gosh, I love this story. This is hysterical.

Pat Hiban:                     It's true, rather than, what's right? What's going right? It was, what's going wrong and how can we fix ... And it became this constant solution oriented meeting which, on the surface sounds good, but it was bad. So, what happened was, to give a specific example, I had a mother daughter team that worked for me and one was a client care ... The daughter was a client care coordinator and the mom was in a managerial position and the mom had been with me for like eight years. She was very very very valuable, she was one of the best I had. Her daughter was young and she was new and I guess she had been messing up, I didn't see it first hand because she ... There was 50 people, so I didn't really know whether she was doing a good job or not, but some of the board of directors were complaining about her. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would have sat her down and talked to her myself and then moved her to a different position, or just found a way.

Pat Hiban:                     I mean, she was a $35,000.00 employee, it wasn't like we couldn't afford to move her to a different department or find something better for her or different ... But instead what we did is we fired her and it was really stupid-

Chantel Ray:                 And then did the mom leave? Then the mom left, right?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, yeah, within a couple of months, the mom left to our biggest competitor. When I talked to the mom in an exit interview, I was like, "You've been with me eight years." She goes, "Well, my motherly instinct, I just couldn't ... I couldn't stay." In hindsight, I respect her for that. If I was a ... If I worked at a company with my daughter and someone fired my daughter, I'd probably leave too. I'd be like, "Well, that was mean, that was ..." It's just hard, it was just almost an impossible feat for her to stay because of what had happened to her daughter. You're either going to not higher relatives like that or if you fire them, they almost have ... It almost should be an egregious thing. If she came in high on crystal meth, then you can be like, "Well, we have no choice." But if it's just she's not working out in a certain department, I think I would have been better off moving her to another department and just ... It's just alienating. Your employees and your team build a community with or without you and you just can't go around-

Chantel Ray:                 That's a powerful statement, that's actually a very powerful statement, what you just said right there.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 Keep going.

Pat Hiban:                     I think also, you tend to have people and you really have to watch personality because you tend to have people that get a little power hungry if you give them power. I noticed, there are certain personalities ... I don't know if this exists everywhere, but my life, I've seen this exist more than once, let's say three times with people, either agents or staff or just people that I know personally in my family and friends who create what I call, an enemy of the month. It's like they have to have someone that they're complaining about ...

Chantel Ray:                 That is hysterical.

Pat Hiban:                     ... at all times.

Chantel Ray:                 The Enemy of the month club.

Pat Hiban:                     Enemy of the month and they'll have this enemy of the month and they'll complain about the person until they're fired or until they get a new enemy of the month. It's funny if you start paying attention to this you'll be like, "Who was she mad about last month? And who is she mad about this month? And who is she mad about next month?" You'll realize it's a pattern in some people, that they have to have a nemesis in order for them to exist. Tell me, have you seen this at all?

Heather:                       Yes.

Chantel Ray:                 I'm laughing hysterically because I'm thinking about on person in general that I'm thinking about. I think I'm going to have our staff all listen to this podcast but that is hysterical. What are some more practical ways, either of you, that you feel like you can make your team members feel very valued and important? Tell a story about it that's very specific.

Heather:                       Well, I think that you have to ... First, the first step above else, is find out how they're appreciated because everyone is appreciated in different ways. Not everybody is motivated by a bonus, not everybody is motivated by public recognition. For instance, I think getting to know your staff or independent contractors when they first come on is really important. So, finding out what's their favorite restaurant, finding out what's their favorite drink, finding out what's their favorite flower because something as small as ... We have someone on our team that loves Chik-Fil-A, he just loves Chik-Fil-A. If you don't know that about him, you can give be appreciating and you can give him a Starbucks gift card, you can give him ... Here's a Whole Foods gift card, whatever it is-

Chantel Ray:                 He doesn't like Starbucks.

Heather:                       No, he doesn't.

Chantel Ray:                 He doesn't like Starbucks, so you're giving a $5.00 Starbucks gift card and he doesn't even like it, of course he's going to say, "Oh, thank you."

Heather:                       Right, he's like, "Thanks." And he's like, "Oh great, what am I going to use this for?" So, I've recognized that he liked Chik-Fil-A, I've seen him eat it all the time and I think I've had a conversation with him, I was like, "Where do you love?" And he's like, "Oh, I just love Chik-Fil-a." So, even if I'm doing a staff appreciation day and I'm just picking up ... Most people love Starbucks, you give them a $5.00 Starbucks card. I always make sure that I pick him up a$ Chik-Fil-A gift card because ... And when I give that to him it means to much to him because it's the same amount, it's this little amount of anything but because he knows I took special attention to the fact that he loves Chik-Fil-A and I went out of my way to buy him a Chik-Fil-A gift card versus a Starbucks gift card. It increases their morale, it just means so much more to them.

Heather:                       So, I think first you have to figure out what motivates them, and what makes them feel appreciated and I think that should be part of your on-boarding process, is just kind of ... We talked about having them fill out a sheet, what's your favorite flower? What's your favor drink? What's your favorite restaurant? What's your favorite whatever? And kind of going from there.

Chantel Ray:                 Well, and I think another big one is ... Pat, have you read the book The Five Love Languages? Have you read that?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, yeah one of my favorite books on relationships, yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and I think that is really important because we have a guy on our corporate team, his name's Daniel and he's absolutely fantastic. What makes him feel the best is words of affirmation, so even though he may love Chipotle, me buying him Chipotle gift cards, that's not filling his love tank. So, you've got to figure out what is their love language because if words of affirmation isn't, then buying them a gift ... If number five is his gifts and you're buying him a gift every day, that's not the way to go.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, and I think you can even get around to even having to read that book as a team. I think there's a link, I don't have it ... But there's a link from the book that you go online and you take the test, it's like a 20 question test and you can make everybody take that test online and it'll tell you your love languages, their top two kind of like their D.I.S.C. score.

Heather:                       Right.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, and you don't even really need to even read the book because at the end of the day, it's so basic. It's like, "Hey, there is five languages. One's receiving gifts, one's words of affirmation, one's physical touch, one's quality time and one's acts of service." We'll put that link in the show notes for everyone that they can look and it'll give a description. What's your love language, Pat? If you had to rate them one, two, three, what would be yours?

Pat Hiban:                     I think mine came out to be words of affirmation and quality time.

Chantel Ray:                 Okay, gotcha.

Pat Hiban:                     [crosstalk 00:27:26].

Chantel Ray:                 Heather, what's yours?

Heather:                       Mine is ... Well, for my husband it's gifts, he should be giving me gifts regularly that makes me happy. But I would say acts of service too, I love when people do something for me, I think that's just really special. When somebody goes out of their way to do something, that really means a lot to me and then words of affirmation would be my other one.

Pat Hiban:                     See, and this is a great example, because we assume that people have the same love languages as us, but here Heather and I have absolutely different love languages. I can care less if someone does me a favor, you know what I mean? Or someone gives me a gift, I'm like, "What am I going to do with that? That's just going to take up space." You know what I mean? But it means so much to her, you know what I mean? So, you just can't assume, you need to really have people take the test or ask them or else you're going to get it wrong.

Heather:                       Yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, so let's talk about when a team member leaves because I've seen ... Right now, this past month, we've had three agents that left our company and then they came back and so there's a really important thing about just not burning any bridges. Any advice on that and have you seen anyone burn bridges that have kind of ... This is what they did and it turned out a disaster and no one would ever come back? Or any scripts that you can say to people when they are leaving, that makes them want to come back? Because a lot of people think the grass is greener on the other side and then they realize, oh my gosh, it's not. And you want that door to be left open.

Pat Hiban:                     yeah, it's so hard because I think natural reaction is to be like, "Oh my God you're making a mistake. You don't understand." And then the second natural reaction is to take it personal, as a manager or as a team leader or whatever. I know a guy who recently had ... A couple of days ago had someone leave him after 18 years and the way he handled it is, the guys sat down with him and said, "Hey, I'm leaving you, I want to talk to you about why. Just so you know and I can leave on a good term." He pushed his chair back and walked out of the room ...

Chantel Ray:                 Wow.

Pat Hiban:                     ... the guy that owned the company. It's clear that dude ain't coming back. And I think the best thing to do is to be like ... Like you said, just to stay ... First of all, yeah, you have to ask them why because they may not understand. I've met people try to leave for economic reasons or whatever and they're like, "Oh I can go here and the split is this." And I said, "Okay, well no, that's not right. Their split is actually that plus a franchise fee is 6% or 8%." And they're like, "No, no, no, I'm on a 70/30 split there or 80/20." Like, "No, no, no, no you're not. You're on an 80/20 plus a 7% franchise fee, so you're on a 73/27." And they're like, "Wait a minute, no, no, no." And I'm like, "Dude, look show me the paperwork. Look." You do need to talk it out and make sure that they're clear on what they're doing and try to retain them. Now, sometimes it takes giving them something better, I mean it's the American way.

Pat Hiban:                     If you really appreciate somebody and you don't want them to leave, you give them a freaking raise or you give them an offer they can understand. Now, the other way, if that doesn't work, then ... And if you can't do that or you want to set a precedent like, nobody gets a deal at this company, then you got to let them go and ... And then hope that they come back. I have people that have left me and still consider me a mentor of sorts and still would ... You know what I mean? I always said, "Hey, best of luck to you." Because I can remember the second company that I left in my career, held all of my listings and it was only like five but they meant a lot to me. I was in the business like four years, so I only had five listings and they held them and they gave them to another agent and then they gave me a reduced commission because they gave half to another agent. That was just dirty, they didn't need to do that, you know? And-

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, that's a really good point. So, I'm going to recap what you said and I think that you're exactly right. Step number one, when they say they're leaving is first just say, "Hey, I'm so sad that you're leaving. Question number one is, "Why? I just want to understand, will you share with me why?" Question number two should be, "Is there anything we can do differently? Have you already made up your mind? Is there something we can offer you or change or do to do differently?" And then the third piece of that is really saying, "Listen, we absolutely love you and we want you to know, the door is open. If at any time ..." And that's why we've had three people come back because we ended that conversation that says, "We're holding the door wide open for you, we want nothing but success for you. But if it doesn't work out there, we want you back." The other piece is what you just said. So, as a company when somebody leaves, we do not take any additional money from the agent, let me explain how we do it.

Chantel Ray:                 Let's just say that an agent's on a 70/30 split. The company will never make more than 30%, however, if you move to Arkansas and you can't finish out the transaction, we'll say, "You've got to negotiate something with another agent to finish that deal out and give 10%." And then-

Pat Hiban:                     What if they don't move to Arkansas? What is they stay in Virginia? [crosstalk 00:33:48] ...

Chantel Ray:                 If they stay, then they can-

Pat Hiban:                     ... survival.

Chantel Ray:                 Then they can go ahead and still work that deal, they can finish out the transaction as long as they still finish out the transaction and they're doing everything for it, they get all of it. Or they can say, "Look, I'll give you 5% to do this, this, this and this or 10%." But the company doesn't make any more than they ever did. So, it's only ... You're making that decision and then what we do with listings is we say, "We charge a small fee because we pay for the pictures and the signs and the ..." So we charge a couple hundred dollars. You can take the listing if it's yours to ... As far as ... Just to cover the cost we've already spent on it and people are fine with that.

Pat Hiban:                     Cool.

Chantel Ray:                 Heather, any thoughts on that?

Heather:                       Well, I have an example of a time when somebody has left and they burned the bridge. They begged to come back two weeks later and we were like, "No." We had ... Gosh, it's been probably five,` seven years ago, I would say. We had two friends that were our ... We had two transaction ...

Chantel Ray:                 That was like nine years ago.

Heather:                       ... coordinators. Was it nine? Okay, so it was a long time ago.

Chantel Ray:                 That was like nine years ago.

Heather:                       Yeah and so they were admin for us and we had just ... They wanted to go to this concert, so we called the concert promoters and we got them concert tickets. We had done an admin appreciation and we gave them each a shopping spree at the mall, we gave them like $200.00. Go to the mall, buy clothes whatever you want to do, thank you for being you, admin appreciation day ... And we're loving on them and we wake up and at midnight they send an email that's like, "This is our resignation, we quit effectively, like right now. We're not coming in anymore." We were like, "What in the world has happened?" Basically they were like, "You don't appreciate in your day to day tasks. So, thanks for all those other things but we don't feel like you appreciate us." We were just dumbfounded, we were like, "What in the world?"

Chantel Ray:                 Because we just finished, it was like ... We were doing this huge appreciation campaign like she said, they did the shopping spree and the concerts and we were like ... Again, but we must have not been saying it with our mouths, we were given them gifts, we weren't saying-

Pat Hiban:                     Wrong love language.

Heather:                       Yes.

Chantel Ray:                 Wrong long language.

Heather:                       So, we were-

Chantel Ray:                 And we were dumbfounded. We were like, "What? You don't feel appreciated? This is ridiculous, we've given you so much."

Heather:                       Yeah, we learned our lesson from that, that we needed to figure out how to appreciated them but they weren't coming back. You don't do that, that was not the correct way to leave the company.

Chantel Ray:                 The funny thing is, at least or four more times, they begged to come back but because they left, they didn't give us any notice, they quit that day. Those-

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, that was just dirty [crosstalk 00:36:45].

Chantel Ray:                 No, we don't do that.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah.

Heather:                       But yeah, we learned our lesson and they must probably learned theirs.

Chantel Ray:                 We recently had Toby Harris from Movement Mortgage on the show and if you haven't listened to that, that episode, that's a really good one but we were talking about having tough conversations up front and he said something really profound. He said, "We found that if we have more up front conversations, that we will have fewer tough conversations later." So, I think this has a lot to do with retention and I think what happens is, when people start off, they're like, "Oh my God, this is the best place ..." They don't tell them any of those more up front conversations they need to have, can you talk about that, Pat? Is there anything that you go, "Hey, I wish I would have told people A, B, C before they started because they came in with a wrong expectation?"

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, that's a good one. How do you deal with that? I think you deal with it just to make sure that the ramp up process is crystal clear, unfortunately for the office manager, for Heather, what have you, she would need to sit down with them and go through the policy and procedure manual go through everything. Just don't assume people are going to read everything and pick it up. Kind of paint a worst case scenario before they accept the job of, this is what could happen. This is the bad side of this job, so you're not overselling then, you almost want to undersell them.

Chantel Ray:                 Yes, I love that, I love that. Heather, any advice on that?

Heather:                       Yeah, one of the things I think we do really well that I think helps with that is we do a three day trial. We do a trial before someone actually accepts the position because-

Chantel Ray:                 Now, this is for employees only, not agents.

Heather:                       For employees only, yeah, yeah.

Pat Hiban:                     No, I love this idea.

Heather:                       Yeah, so that way ... The last thing we want someone to do is think a job is one thing, quit their really awesome job they've loved for so many years and then come and then on day one be like, "Oh crap, this is not what I thought I was getting into." So, we have them do this trial ahead of time, so they can see who they're going to be working with, see what our expectations are, see what it's like to work with us, see our environment. And we get to see how they are in our environment, because sometimes we're like, "Oh, this was not the right person. Let's not move forward." But I think that helps set those expectations up from the beginning, so that they kind of know before they accept the job offer, what it's like being in our environment and if we think they're a good fit for our environment. Because we want people who are fun and just really add to us and add to our culture and grow. So, we can kind of see that in those first couple of days before they officially accept a job offer. I think that helps.

Chantel Ray:                 We have a job position that is just like your team leader, Pat at Keller Williams. We have a managing partner position, it's similar to the team leader and we've had people who we say, "Now, recruiting is the hardest part of your position." And they might be coming from ... Let's say Verizon or another company and they're like, "Oh, that's my favorite part of the job, is recruiting." And we say, "Wait, let me stop you right there, because recruiting a salaried person is a whole new ball game than somebody who's a licensed agent." We basically say, "Let me tell you how hard it is. This is some of the objections you're going to get, this is why it's so hard for an agent to move." And bringing those kind of worst case scenarios like you said.

Pat Hiban:                     Absolutely.

Chantel Ray:                 I've heard this a lot and it's really true, that most of the time people will not leave because of more money or more benefits, they really leave because of the leader, and what do you think that you can do as a leader to make it where the people want to stay? They're like, "I don't care if I'm getting $10,000.00 more at this other company. I don't care if I'm getting a higher split. This leader is why I'm going to stay here at this company."

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, two words come to mind. First is, respected and second is, liked, of course the third would be appreciative of me. So respected meaning you really can't be a false prophet, you know what I mean? You can't expect something out of your employees or your team and then not do it yourself, you know what I mean? Or just be ... You don't want to give people stuff to gossip about you. The second thing is ... That's respected and again it goes back to what you said about people want to work for someone else that they can look up to, you just can't be rude, you can be short. Looking back on my career, the people in the office used to have a joke that was like, don't make eye contact with Pat.

Chantel Ray:                 Oh, my gosh that's hysterical, why would they say that?

Pat Hiban:                     Because they would know that I would give them something to do, I would ... Sometimes the roles aren't defined enough, so you're wandering around like, "Who can get this done the fastest?" And there's four people that can get it done fast and you don't know which one to give it to and then whoever makes eye contact you're like, "Hey can you do me a favor?" So, they used to have that-

Chantel Ray:                 So, you're saying if they make eye contact, they must have time to even just make eye contact?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, yeah.

Chantel Ray:                 You've got extra time, I'm going to give you another project.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, I'm not going to interrupt them. So, you need to have some sort of system or some sort of policy and procedure on the projects or just have someone that's a project person, that ... That's kind of ... Goes into being liked, you need to ... They need to like you, they need to feel like you have their best interest at heart, you're not greedy, you're looking out for yourself.

Chantel Ray:                 But I think it goes back to the other piece that I love, that they need to respect you, they need to like you but I want to add that other piece, they need to feel like you can grow them. Because back to the example of the trainer, I respected him, I liked him but I wasn't feeling like he was going to get my body in the shape that I needed it to be and I didn't feel like he was going to grow me. So, that piece is another one. Heather?

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, I-

Heather:                       Yeah-

Pat Hiban:                     Go ahead.

Heather:                       Oh, yeah I think I realized this ... I had an epiphany moment, I was trying to recruit an agent who wasn't producing. They're a licensed agent, they may have done one deal in the last year and so she was like, "Yeah, I want to sign on, I see how much you can do." I was like, "Look how much our company can offer for you, look at all this." She would not leave her broker, she just wouldn't and I said, "Do you need me to call him? Do you want me to break up with him?" And she said, "You know? I just respect him so much and he's taught me so much, I can't leave him." Although, she was making no money ... She would have come to our company and probably closed ... I mean, she was closing one deal a year, she would have closed 24 a year with us but she ... And to this day, she is still that broker because she loves them and respects them so much that it doesn't matter how much money I could offer her or what, that person meant so much to her that she wouldn't leave them.

Heather:                       So, I was like, "Wow." How do you become a leader that it doesn't matter if somebody is ... It doesn't matter what flashy product they're going to show them on the other side, that they will look at you and say, "There's no way I'm going to leave." Personally, I don't know of what anyone can offer me that I would say, "Yep, that's worth leaving." Because I love this company so much, and how do you get your people to feel the same way? I think it goes right off of what Pat was saying, when the people underneath of me ... When I make a promise to them, I uphold it and I learn to lead them in the way they need to be lead and people need to be lead in different ways. In order to be a really great leader, you have to lead in different ways, you can't lead each person ... Everyone doesn't go down the same road. People take different paths and you have to be versatile enough to change, to take each person ... You have high performers in your organization and then you have just entry level people and you cannot lead them the same way.

Heather:                       You have to morph and transform to lead them or they will leave you. If you're a one type leader, they'll leave you.

Chantel Ray:                 I've got two more questions but let me ask you and ... This question's going to be near and dear to my heart because I feel like I'm going to give you a story ... We have an agent and ... I've gotten to the point now, we've got 185 agents, so obviously-

Pat Hiban:                     Whoa.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, so when we had 20 agents, my involvement with the agent levels was a lot different than now that we have 185, I don't have the kind of connection. I feel like ... There was one agent that we had that I was personal friends with, I felt like we did so much for them and they literally were like, "Oh my gosh, I love this company." I mean, literally, we would never leave, they were the kingpin and then somebody offered them a deal they felt they couldn't refuse. Marketing money each month and this and that and they decided to leave and so, how do you handle that as a leader? When you go, "Man, I just ... I feel like I couldn't have done anything different. I don't know what I could have done to make it different?" And to not let it affect you where you're just like, "Okay, it is what it is." Any tips on that?

Pat Hiban:                     Well, yeah, I mean that's ... The key is the second part to not let it affect you, they key is not the first part because you're going to have ... Any big company has wins and losses, I mean ... You know what I mean? There's people that have three agents and one leaves and they're like, "Whatever, I don't care." And you have 185 and one leaves [inaudible 00:47:57] make a difference. You know what I mean?

Chantel Ray:                 Uh-huh (affirmative), yeah.

Pat Hiban:                     So, my point is it's Chantel, it's not really the universe, it's ... If you have standards and you have a policy where everybody's on the same pay scale, there's nothing you can do. I mean, now if you have a policy that everybody's a little bit different, then that's okay and there's nothing wrong with that. Certainly, I did that in my career, if you wanted to keep them and they were valuable to you, you could figure out ways to add value to them and that's important too. I think whenever you have a high achieving person, the way to retain them is to constantly give them more value in the form of opportunities. Whether it be like a manager of the other agents where they can get an override or a way to become more of a leader or whatever, taking an agent from a buyer agent to a listing agent, getting them an assistant of their own. You know what I mean? Or constantly ... Or giving them a satellite office to run, or whatever, you have to keep throwing those things in front of them or they're going to leave.

Pat Hiban:                     It's just the natural phenomenon, it's the American way. You get big and you leave and you do something better, it just is what it is. I don't think you should get attached to it, it just is what it is. It's like losing a listing, you're not going to get them all and you're not going to be able to [inaudible 00:49:35]. There's always going to be somebody that's going to offer them more, especially nowadays, man, it's cut-throat out there. Again, it's a love language thing, you're thinking their love language thing, you know what I mean? You're thinking their love language was assertive appreciation and they can care less about about assertive appreciation, all they care about is money. So, unless you're running a model at the Chantel Ray Real Estate Group, that is economic driven, like we got the best deal in town then, you've just got to let them go.

Chantel Ray:                 Heather, any thoughts on that?

Heather:                       You know, we're human so it's going to hurt, especially when you feel like there's a connection there and especially when you don't see it coming. When you're like, "What? This just blind sided me." This person wasn't complaining, they were happy, everything was grand and all of the sudden you're like, "Wait, who?" But I think it's also important to understand that people do have a shelf life, not everyone's full of preservatives, they don't last forever and so-

Chantel Ray:                 I like that.

Heather:                       Yeah, so-

Pat Hiban:                     That's awesome.

Heather:                       But what you have to understand is, they'll have a shelf life there too and if you continue to have a great relationship with them, when their time runs out there, they're going to run back to you because they know you and they trust you. That's where you have to kind of just says, okay it hurts right now but we're going to continue this relationship, we're going to have a great relationship because I know that they'll end up coming back and we've seen that.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah, maybe or maybe not also.

Heather:                       Maybe not.

Pat Hiban:                     You left William E. Wood, right? And I'm sure he was butt hurt because of that.

Chantel Ray:                 You know what? That's not true actually, he came to me because I liked him so much. I was with him for seven years and so I liked him so much and I literally ... He came to me and he was like, "Chantel, it's time for you to go out on your own." He's like, "I love you but there is not enough room. You've taken over our company." He's like ... Let's say he had like 5,000 square feet? We were taking up 4,000 of it. He's like, "I can't grow because you're growing so fast."

Pat Hiban:                     On a high split, he probably wasn't making money on you either.

Chantel Ray:                 Yeah, he was like, "I'll love you and I'll support you." That meant the world to me and I won't forget that, that he did that.

Pat Hiban:                     So, you should be more like him, you know what I mean? If someone wants to ... It is the American way to work for someone else and then go out on your own, that is how every company starts.

Chantel Ray:                 Right, right, exactly. How do you challenge and grow yourself, Pat? If you had say, here's the five things that I do to kind of get my leadership up to snuff every day, I'm constantly doing A, B, C, D, what are those things for you?

Pat Hiban:                     First, I guess is read and learn, listen to podcasts like this because you're never at the pinnacle of leadership, I think. You know what it mean? You're just not and personalities change, you have different generations that think differently. You can have someone who has been an incredible leader for the last 10 years but all of a sudden, there's a brain dump in that there's no young smart millennials, or tech savvy millennials coming because he or she doesn't get them. You know what I'm mean? He or she doesn't know how to lead them and that's just a fact of the matter, I mean Keller Williams just hired a 37 year old to run the whole company. So, that's just where it's going and you got to ... I think that's a big mistake that people make is, they think that they don't have to grow as leaders. That they have to ... They can keep doing what they've always done.

Chantel Ray:                 They've made it.

Pat Hiban:                     Yeah. You got to change, you've got to constantly change as a leader.

Chantel Ray:                 Good, Heather?

Heather:                       Yeah, I mean I agree with Pat 100%, you always have to be learning, you can't get stagnant. When you get stagnant, it's over, you're done, you move onto the next thing because it's just not going to work anymore. But I think also just being amongst your people, don't get stuck sitting in your office. You need to get out and interact because that's how you see where areas need to be improved and who needs some extra touches and who is doing really fantastic. You won't know the pulse of your culture if you're just sitting in a box, so I try to make sure that we get up a couple of times a way, walk around, how's it going? You can kind of see what's going on in people's lives because that's how you ... You can steer the ship better when you're actively in it rather than just kind of laying on the deck sun bathing. Those are my analogies of the day here.

Chantel Ray:                 You are bringing the analogies, Heather. I think that ... One of the things I say all the time is, "If you're not changing, you're dying."

Pat Hiban:                     Whoa.

Chantel Ray:                 We see that all the time with companies like Blockbuster, Netflix came in and the taxi cabs, the Uber came in. So, if you're not growing and changing every single day ... The CEO is Blockbuster, Netflix came to him and said, "I want to talk to you about making a deal and doing some changes and adding and partnering together." And the CEO of Blockbuster said, "We aren't going anywhere, we are every person's Friday and Saturday night entertainment." And just cocky and arrogant and saying, "Hey, we're not changing, this is what we're doing." Where's Blockbuster today? And it's because of that CEO and I think you've got to constantly stay head of the curb. One of the things we've done, we've created a group called The Ahead of the Curve ... We call them The AOC, and it's called The Ahead of the Curve Club and we're just constantly going ... With an ever changing market, how do we just continue to stay above and above and ahead of the curve?

Chantel Ray:                 Well, Pat any last final thoughts on leadership that you want to present to our guest today?

Pat Hiban:                     I think we covered some great ground here, and leadership ... I think as leaders, you just have to be humble and totally learning based. It ties back to what you just said, you're constantly ahead of the curb, learning new things, learning new things about people, learning new things about personalities and what motivates them. That's it, just stay open minded.

Chantel Ray:                 This podcast is all about leadership, it's targeted to all kinds of different businesses. But I feel like you're podcast, even though it is very real estate based, people can get ... Even if they're not in the real estate industry. So, if you're listening right now and you're not on real estate, I would like to encourage you to go check out Pat's podcast because there's principles in there, even if you're not in real estate, that are going to help you grow and take it to the next level. Tell everyone how they can get tot your podcast, Pat.

Pat Hiban:                     Absolutely, Chantel thank you. It's called Real Estate Rock Stars and you just plug it in iTunes, Stitch or wherever you listen. I can be found anywhere. Just type my name in, I'm all over social media. If you want to read my book and you haven't read it, I've been given a free copy of my book which can be found on freesixstepsbook.com and you just go to free and then type out the word six, S-I-X. Freesixstepsbook.com, all you got to do is pay the shipping, it's a $20.00 book and you get it for free. It's a great way to get to know me and get to know how I went from zero to hero in a very short period of time as a real estate agent. So, feel free to pick that up [crosstalk 00:58:04] that one.

Chantel Ray:                 It's a fantastic book, you did a really great job on it. Thanks again for being on the show today, Pat. Heather as always, it's a pleasure having you on. We'll see you guys next time bye- bye.

Pat Hiban:                     Bye.

 

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