You ever hear the phrase, “how you treat your waiter reveals a lot about you”? To me, the same goes for your receptionist, administrator and anyone else in your office.
I have worked in every position a brokerage typically has, from receptionist to broker of record and everything in between. Because of my experience, I understand life on both sides of the reception desk and one big piece of advice I recommend you follow is, don’t be an ass.
The staff in a brokerage aren’t just people doing a job, they are your team. They are working together to ensure important parts of your business are running smoothly, from uploading listings onto MLS and contacting clients for appointments to invoicing for your commissions and cutting your cheques; this is why it is important to be aware of your relationship with them and to treat them well.
Conflict between staff and agents not only damages relationships but it also creates an incredibly uncomfortable environment – for the parties involved and everyone else. This tension is unnecessary and often very avoidable.
I completely understand that staff are paid to do a job competently and that a mistake on their end could cost you a lot of money. At the same time, I understand that most people who are the shortest with staff have never worked that position in their life. It’s easy to complain about someone when you only think you know a job. I also know that often when situations arise, the reaction is much more than what is needed.
Part of the problem is that, as agents, our stress levels tend to run quite high. There is a lot of pressure when you are commission based and client facing, which means there are times when our fuse is not as long as it should be. I get it. That doesn’t give you a license to take out your frustrations on the first person you see. At those times I suggest you take a few minutes, breathe and really consider the situation. If it is truly a large enough issue, speak to the manager and let them discuss the issue. Never do it yourself. As an agent and the person who is being impacted by the situation, it’s difficult to remain calm and impartial.
On the other hand, if you’re simply just impatient or easily frustrated, don’t be a jerk. Whether you want to believe it or not, the staff in your office is essential to both the culture as well as the success of the team and losing it on them because of a typo is just poor form, no matter how much money you make or how many deals you bring the company.
This doesn’t mean that mistakes, oversights and carelessness should just be tolerated and ignored, because that is not acceptable either. You should always be open with your office management to ensure mistakes and inconsistencies are kept to a minimum.
What I’m saying is that having some patience and understanding when dealing with your staff will go a long way. They are people trying to get a job done, just like you, and what they don’t need is someone who doesn’t know the job telling them that they’re bad at it.