- Holding agents commission checks until they submit some needless form
- Not allowing agents the freedom to run their business in a manner that best benefits the agent ”“ and their clients
- Keeping minimum hiring qualifications of having a license and a pulse
- Charging agents exorbitant fees for Errors & Omissions insurance
And there are more.
But the one brokerage practice that annoys me most is the fairly prevalent convention of keeping an agent’s listings if the agent decides to change brokerages.
Let’s say an agent approaches their broker and says, “I’ve decided that due to <<insert whatever reason here>> I will be leaving the brokerage and moving to <<insert name of different brokerage here”>>.
The broker responds, “OK. You’re making a huge mistake, you don’t know what you are doing, but I can’t stop you. We will, of course, keep all your current listings and reassign them to another agent within the brokerage.”
What utter crap. Yet it happens all the time.
Yeah yeah, I understand completely that technically all listings belong to the brokerage, not the agent. But let’s be honest folks, what exactly did the brokerage do to secure the listing? Did the home seller decide to list with the brokerage, or the agent?
You and I both know that 99 times out of 100 the home seller lists because of the agent, not the broker. If you think otherwise, you are delusional, living in fantasy land, or clueless. That too strong for you? OKfine. Ask 100 home sellers who the broker is that holds their listing. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts they all name either the agent, or say, “I have no idea, nor do I care”.
Why would a broker keep a listing if an agent wants to leave?
Honestly, I have no idea. It would seem to boil down to three things: 1) unadulterated greed; 2) the ridiculous notion that if you trap an agent in your brokerage that they will just stick around and be happy; or 3) to spite the agent that has chosen to leave their brokerage (credit to Michael McClure for thinking of reason #3)
What other reasons could there be?
To better serve the client? Puhlease. You’re going to reassign the listing to some random agent in your brokerage ”“ an agent the home seller has no relationship with. Exactly how does that best serve the client?
Because “that’s our policy”? How lame. Change your freaking policy. It’s YOUR policy, you can change it.
Because “If I transfer your listings I’ll have to do it for everyone!” Wah. Sniff. Pout. Man up and do the right thing for the agent that’s been busting their ass, and making YOU money.
I. Don’t. Get. It.
Do you really think by trapping the agent into working for you that they will be productive, happy agents? You might as well just club them over the head and beat them into submission. This does wonders for employee productivity and morale.
Why in the world do you want someone working in your brokerage that doesn’t want to be there?
It doesn’t make sense.
It is wrong.
But it happens every day.
For the record
In the almost three years we have been in operation, we’ve never had an agent leave Thompson’s Realty for another brokerage. That’s a record I’m rather proud of. But I’d be delusional if I thought it would never happen. It will.
And when it does, that agent can take their listings with them. No referral fee, no strings, no gotchas. YOU earned the listing, it is YOURS to keep.
Have something in escrow? You’ll get paid at whatever your current split is. No games here of reducing your split because you chose to leave.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
Photo Credit: sindesign on Flickr. CC Licensed.