I have intended to write about this topic for several months, and today I stumbled across it on my “blog topics” list. There’s no time like the present, right?
As the broker and owner of my company, I have seen a number of agents leave over the years. Sometimes, the feeling is mutual and I think they are really saving me the trouble of doing it for them. Other times, I am sad to see them go. Either way, I often wonder why some agents feel the need to sneak out rather than calling me or speaking to me face-to-face.
I have never once exploded in anger at the office for ANY reason – I just don’t find it to be productive. I have never made anyone feel uncomfortable for leaving when they speak with me directly about it. Additionally, I haven’t ever tried to talk anyone out of leaving, because I figure by the time they speak to me, the decision has already been made.
So, I am left to wonder why certain agents have felt the need to leave without a word, note, or phone call. Recently, we had a small issue with our corporate license that required a trip to the TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) to fix. During the visit, we realized that one of “our” agents was no longer our agent at all. He had moved his license without notifying us in any way. I had another girl who left me a note on my desk, and one who sent me an email. On another occasion, I had a lady who left with no notice or notification whatsoever. To this day, I haven’t heard from her, although I know she is still actively practicing real estate here in Austin.
I have coined my own term for this over time. When agents leave in this manner, they are not just burning the bridge. They are “blowing up the bridge” entirely, much like in this video.
For those who have left on good terms, I always tell them that the door is open should they wish to return, simply because they took the time to speak with me. Because of this policy, I have had two of them return, one in the past week.
When I left my previous broker, who is much like a surrogate father to me, I had a tough time telling him, but I did it in person. We had eight years of history together, and it never crossed my mind to do it any other way.
I realize that we are all self-employed independent contractors, but it seems as though simple respect and courtesy should come into play. I am more than fair with the agents who work with me, and I truly care about all of them as people. I am also not driven strictly by money, and this is reflected in the way that I train, support and befriend my agents. You can ask anyone about this, even those who have left.
Am I wrong to expect agents to leave in a halfway dignified manner?
For any agents who may be reading this, if you are considering leaving your current company, I would beseech you to be upfront when you go, rather than skulking away into the night. You will feel better for it. Sometimes, this may require you to take a “big boy” or “big girl” pill, but it is simply the right thing to do.
However, I must also admit that if an agent is willing to leave on these terms, I am almost certainly better off without them, because they are likely to treat their clients even worse.
Thanks for letting me vent a little bit on this topic.