The B-Word Podcast Episode 88: Creating Superfans with Brittany Hodak

Welcome to the B word, the podcast for women who wanna unlock the clarity needed to put your big girl panties on and rock your real estate career like the true boss. You are. I'm Joanne Bolt, your host, and together we'll dive into the things your broker doesn't teach you in order to own your own truth. Disown the things, getting in your way to finding your place and stop apologizing for the obstacles you have to overcome along the way.

My topic for the month of November is change and we will thread that through everything we do in the community there. There's kind of four things I talk about with change and one of them is obviously changing up your business. This is the time of year when people start to look around and they start saying, well, it either worked or it didn't work.

Was it lead flow? Was it systems? Do we have too many people in our organization? Are we missing people in our organization? So that's one of the topics. The other topic that really comes to mind when I talk about change is our emotional change. When our team structure changes, you know, and that's kind of what I was gonna start off with today.

As we change who we are in teams, we will have team members leave the organization. Or if you're a broker, you'll have 'em leave your office. Cuz an agents do tend to look around and you know, they change offices this time of year. If they leave a team, there's two reasons. One, they either need more opportunity and they're not getting fed enough on the team.

They are. So maybe they're looking for leadership or maybe they're just, there's something they're missing opportunity-wise. The other reason that they would leave a team is they're not doing the kind of business that they think they should be doing and they blame the team for that. And kind of what I wanted to get the mastermind sort of talking about was, yes, it's the fact that they leave the team,

but what I really wanna focus on is it's not the reason, it's our reaction that we need to have a discussion on. As women, especially team owners, we tend to do what we cry because someone left our team, we, we may take the blame on ourself, I should have done something differently. Or we may, and this is the one I see the most often.

We tend to cast blame out, oh they left the team but it was their own fault. They didn't engage, they didn't do this, they didn't do that because we, I mean it's just a natural instinct of, of females is we don't wanna take the blame on ourselves, we wanna cast it out. But we also inadvertently wanna make sure that everyone around us in our office environment knows that they left the team and it wasn't my fault.

And that I think is what creates a lot of our cattiness in our offices. And I've seen it ironically, and this is kind of what prompted me to have this conversation this month, is I've seen it multiple times recently. So two things that I've seen recently and both of 'em, I think we just need to have some open, honest conversations about.

One is a friend of mine business, like she had a team and she decided that she wanted to restructure her team because quite frankly in her phase of life, she just needed, she needed a change, you know, running the team, how she's been running, it wasn't working for her anymore. And it was, it was her seeking different opportunity,

not the team members. So she restructured the team, all the team members went their, her buyer's agents, they joined other teams within her brokerage. But her longstanding admin, I think for some reason didn't see that this agent needed just almost sound like a midlife real estate agent crisis. You know what I mean? Like she really just wanted a whole new everything and didn't see it coming that this agent was letting her go to Now as a team leader,

she handled it fan fantastically. She didn't make a big deal out of it. She offered that agent to interview on some other teams that she felt she'd be a good fit for. You know, she just didn't, she didn't create animosity. However, her admin left the brokerage, her admin went to a completely different broker, like changed broker flags altogether.

And I reached out to the admin just to find out, cuz I had a feeling I knew exactly what it was, but I did kind of wanna, you know, know that I was right in my thought process. And she said, Joanne, here's the deal. I've been with agent X for so long that I perceived that my office would talk negatively about us splitting up,

right? Because as women, what do we do? We tend to gossip, we tend to spread rumors either accidentally or not accidentally. And this agent was so afraid of it coming across to people in her office that it was her fault for leaving the team that she chose to change broker flags. Now here's what really got interesting to me and this is where I'm gonna drop the bomb for us to continue to have the conversation on my agent friend who blew up her own team,

let her admin go, these people didn't leave her. She changed direction and she blew it up. Still called me and got her panties all in a wad that her admin left the brokerage like it personally offended her. And I finally said, girlfriend, you can't do this. You cannot get offended when someone you let go feels that they need to go somewhere else to start their new opportunity.

And so that's kind of the conversation I wanted to start and, and really kind of dive in and get y'all's thoughts on, is as team owners, what, how do you handle it when someone leaves your organization, your office, your, you know, your individual teams. If you're running a team or you're running an office, you either have had someone leave or currently having someone leave or you're gonna have someone leave.

So again, what I pose to you ladies is it's more about the reaction and the response and less about the reason. How do we gracefully let someone go off our team and not curl up in a ball and cry emotionally over it cuz it's what we do as women. Or not get catty and tell the whole office that we fired them for x, y,

z reasons. Do you guys, have y'all seen that in your offices? No, it happens. It happens. Or leaves your team and goes to another team in your office. So yeah, it's, it does happen. We need to just wish 'em the best and just be very graceful and, and you know, want the best for them. Absolutely.

I Agree. I'm a firm believer don't burn a bridge. No. Cuz you never know when they, yep. You know, the grass wasn't greener on the other side, they may wanna come back at some point. And you guys stopped me. You know, I find it interesting that, so my husband is a manager in his company and he recently had a,

one of his best salespeople called him up and you know, she was switching to another group within, within the company. Now he just became manager of her group. So he knows that really he just didn't have enough time to turn the will around for her. Like she didn't see the path to promotion, she didn't see the path to the job. He couldn't have turned that around for her.

But, and, and we had a big discussion over a glass of wine, a glass of bourbon. The difference in men and women in my not so humble opinion is Jeff looked at her leaving his group and went, holy cow sucks because you could have been good, but how can I help you in your new role? What doors do I need to open for you?

Like he didn't sit down and cry about it. My other friend who let go of an agent and she like, she got her panties in a wad because women emotionally attach themselves to the outcome, right? Like it is, it is a little offensive to us to have someone leave our, our team or our organization. And that's the difference between men and women.

And so since we talk, you know, about how the women feel about things in real estate, that's kind of the topic of today. I thought, gosh, isn't that ironic that my husband just went through my topic and he, his reaction is exactly what I thought a guy would've done cheered her on. And whereas every female team owner I talked to,

they're like, oh my god, someone left my team. And they, I said, we tend to take it as rejection. We do, we really do. Yeah. How do we handle that, that emotion? Do you guys have someone that, do you have that really per close person to you that it's okay for you to have those conversations with when you,

you know, instead of spewing it out into the world of your office, do you have someone that you can sit down with and process the emotion? I don't, but I really try to think about it. You know, what did, is there something I could have done different? Absolutely try to process it in my mind or I talk to you.

So you do have someone to process it with. Not in my house. If you're gonna run a team, I think you do have to have an anchor person, right? That person that you know won't judge you won't talk about you bad in your office or in the real estate space, but that you can call up and say, so this is what's going on.

It really hurt me emotionally, or this is what I feel about it. And let you know, just kinda let the emotions flow because if we don't, then we actually react worse the next time because we didn't process it the first time. So I always encourage team owners, get your anchor person because your anchor person should actually have nothing to do with your personal business.

I, I never recommend that your anchor be in your team or organization, that there's someone outside your organization that you can call and say, I just need to process what the heck just happened and here's why I, and y'all can tell me, you know, your thoughts on this, here's why I don't recommend your anchor person be on your team. So my admin Katie is my anchor person for a lot of stuff.

What I'm not gonna do is go to her and tell her my emotional reaction or feelings If someone leaves the group, the team, someone says something negative about me in the off, you know, because I don't need to influence her opinion or her emotional reaction to the people in my organization. I can have her opinion influenced on what colors the new logo is gonna look like and are we picking the night,

you know, the, the right name for the new launch or what the topic of the month is gonna be. And she is my anchor person to process some of that stuff. Do we need it in our group? Do we have women who would appreciate this? But what I'm not gonna do is sit down and be like, well so-and-so just left our group and you know,

even though I want to, she can't be that person for me because then she'll look at them differently and I have to be responsible enough and accountable to myself enough to not put that burden on her. And I think that's what happens a lot in our offices. And you can par almost parallel this to someone that's going through a different point or some, somebody that is breaking up with someone you or having a problem with someone,

whoever you talk to, your friends, et cetera, and you get back with that person, then they're gonna look at 'em with a slanted eye or just, you know, you Can't help it. It's a human reaction, right? Because you talk to that person. So that's a great point that you need to go to someone you know outside. So I think it's part of why I love this little community that I've started is the opportunity to kind of say what's going on in our teams and in our world and like what's happening without having,

you know, the person sitting in the office right next to us down the hall, be the person judging us or looking at something different. Now we're, I mean, real estate's smaller community than people think it is. And so we might actually know people you might know who's sitting across the screen from you, but at least it'll give you the opportunity to,

you know, maybe find that anchor person or just that space where you can have that conversation. Because what we don't wanna do is create that environment where someone's not comfortable enough to come and talk to us about an emotional reaction they're having with a team member or a situation because they're afraid we're gonna go and talk to someone else on the team about it. You know what that also creates,

by the way ladies, is loneliness at the top. It's why having your people, your group of people in similar kind of roles in the business to talk about is so critical. Because if we can't sit within our own teams and kind of do the gripe that sometimes needs to happen or express the changes that we might want to occur on the team, you know,

then it gets super lonely when there's, there's no one to talk about. Cuz here's the other difference between men and women in general. We like to talk, we like to process things. We're, we're chatty Kathy's, whether it's a negative or a positive, we just kind of wanna talk it all out. And when we find that we can't always do that,

it gets lonely and depressing in real estate. I've seen some super fantastic team owners walk away from the business because they were just depressed all the time running their, and and they were doing like a hundred, 200 deals a year. But they were like, I'm running myself ragged and I, I don't feel like I have any friends, I'm lonely. And I'm like,

yeah, it's because you didn't find your group of women, your, your team owners to sit and have these masterminds with because you can't have 'em with your, in your own team. So yeah, I love this. Thank you. You're welcome. And I would suggest if I may be so bold and have permission from you to do so, is absolutely just make sure that you remain authentically candy,

you know what I mean? Like if you have five buyers agents and all of a sudden, you know, they can gang up on you like cow cow's in a, you know, a herd or whatever like cattle run and all of a sudden they're all going, well we need X, Y, z sit down and really process, does x y,

z fit my team? Does it fit my standards? Is it who I am? Can I lead to the X, Y, Z? And if you answer no to any of those, then don't give in to what they're asking for. Okay? And I will openly say fell forward, I had several of my team members at one point, they just wanted more leads.

I've always worked by sphere. I I can teach you how to work, you know, your database like a pro. They just flat out wanted more leads. So we bought Zillow leads, well then they got frustrated because I really, I couldn't, like, I could set up systems to remind them how to call the lead and I could hand them scripts,

but I wasn't gonna really teach 'em how to work a cold online internet type lead. It is not, it was not authentically me and it's not something I'd ever done or had any intention to do. So I ended up still losing those team members about eight, nine months later after I'd invested thousands into Zillow leads because I chose to go down a path to keep an agent on my team happy versus just saying,

hang on, can I lead to this? Does it fit my standards? Is it who I am? They join the team for all those three things. So if you have to, if you, if you say no to any of those and you can't go down that path until you're sure it's a path you can lead to, I'd rather lose a team member and put 'em on the right team,

then lose them anyway and then have them badmouth my team and my leadership abilities quite frankly. Right? And that's what happens cuz hey, you know, we're human. What do you do? Do Joanne with accountability. So I don't have the the production team any longer because quite frankly I sucked at accountability. What I found was that, and again it all goes back to are you being authentically you as a leader,

I didn't wanna hold them accountable. Thus I got frustrated when I got probably more frustrated than they did when they didn't actually follow up on the leads and they saw no increase in their business. And then I wanted to say, well you know, is it my fault? Is it your fault? And of course the natural tendency is, well you didn't follow up on the lead.

And I finally had to say, yeah but I'm not, I'm not following up with you to make sure you understand the process to make sure you really have a good concept of why we do this system. You know, and like you're skipping steps. Is it because you don't understand the steps or because I didn't teach you properly, but I finally had to it.

You know, it meant I really couldn't, I couldn't have any ramifications. Like I couldn't tell someone on my team if you don't, you know, call six times, then you'll no longer get lead flow. Because I really wasn't good enough with accountability to make sure I was having that conversation with every person. So that was a big, a big learning moment for me in the team world.

So the other thing I want y'all to think about as we talk about, just kind of looping, just just back a little, cuz next week we're really gonna dive into exactly that is our systems and how we're providing stuff and do we need to change them or not. But if we talk about team members and how we handle, you know, losing a team member,

I also wanna kind of put this nugget in your brain as a leader to always be looking for what's in the best interest of your team members. Do you have someone on your team that thinks that they're a buyer's agent but actually is a really hot diggity dog, fantastic spreadsheet loving systems, geer admin person and they just don't know it. And then you start really looking at like,

okay, does he fall more into the part, you know, the right disc profile for a buyer's agent? Or does he really fall into an admin or do I just want him to be an admin? Cause he's good at technology and if he really should be an admin, he's gonna long-term be happier there. Then I think part of part of the struggle is the conversation with them.

Because a lot of times agents become agents because they, they think it's glamorous, they think you make more money. And they also don't always look at the admins as the true movers and shakers and foundation of our, of our teams and organizations. And let's be honest, they are. So it's that conversation over probably over time of making him see that his value as the admin would be elevated here and he's only gonna end up being frustrated and happy here as an agent and not making him feel like he just took a step down on the team.

Because really in my world it's a step up, but agents don't always see it that way.

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