What Do “Love Languages” Have to Do With Agent Retention?

Much More Than You Realize

By Judy LaDeur

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought this post was perfect!

Most Brokers and Recruiters right now are focused on recruiting those agents in other companies who are not happy about their production and fearful about what market change means for them. But what about your own agents? Are they happy? Are they getting what they want and need from you as their broker? It’s not just about money; other factors determine why an agent leaves. The #1 reason that most agents leave a company is that they don’t feel appreciated or valued as an agent. This is the time of the year to focus on retention, ensuring that your agents do not leave.  There is a tool that I find very valuable as a Broker and Coach. It’s the 5 Love Languages Test.

I know. You are asking, why do you need to know their love language? The Love Language tells you HOW they want to be appreciated.  This is equally important in any relationship. Not all people show or receive appreciation in the same way.  By understanding how to best show your agents that you care, you will have better retention and a stronger sense of community within your office.

The 5 Love Languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

By communicating authentic appreciation in the language of appreciation most valued to each person, you are more likely to communicate appreciation for that person on your team or in your life.

I was asked to facilitate a leadership retreat once. When I asked what the goal was, the Broker said that the team was not working together and he was getting resistance.  By noon on the first day, I could easily see that there was a disconnect between him and his team. I had each person take the 5 Love Languages Test. Here’s what we discovered: The Broker’s love language was gifts, so he was constantly giving his leadership team expensive gifts to show that he appreciated them.  However, none of the managers had gifts as their love language. In fact, it was rated at #5, or least significant, on all of their reports. Every member of his team scored Words of Affirmation or Quality Time as what they needed or wanted from him. This Broker was very rarely available for one on one time, so they were feeling unappreciated and frustrated. He was amazed that all the gifts that he was giving them did not mean anything to them. They were given in a spirit of sincerity since it’s his language. If they were doing their job, he did not understand why they needed one on one time or affirmation that they were doing a great job.

I see this quite often in real estate. Many Brokers tell me that the person is being paid to do a job and that they don’t understand why they need to tell them that they are doing their job well. However, if they are not doing their job well, they need to be told.  Many Brokers think that if an agent is making a lot of money, they are happy. This is not necessarily true. Studies show that everyone wants to feel appreciated and told or shown that they are doing a great job.

I had a broker in Texas tell me that she and her husband went to a course on the 5 Love Languages. Her language was words of affirmation. It was essential to her that he tell her that he loved her, which he rarely did.  His love language was acts of service, which helped her to understand why he was constantly doing things for her.  Once she understood his love language, their relationship improved. When he came in and said, “Honey, I planted all those flower bulbs for you and trimmed the bushes, she would hug him and say, “I love you too!”

As a recap, the way YOU want to be appreciated is usually how you show appreciation to others, but if that is not THEIR Love Language, then your efforts to show that you care might go unnoticed.

Another important tool to understand those you work with is the DISC test. It’s a powerful assessment  tool in the recruitment of new associates, as well as existing associates.

Knowing a person’s love language shows how that person wants to be shown appreciation, while the DISC tells you what they want and how they will respond when they are unhappy.

When you know both how to communicate appreciation in ways meaningful to each team member effectively and what your agents want, powerful results can follow — improving your team’s sense of feeling truly valued and increasing the level of success throughout the organization.

Why not take the test today? You can give it to your team, as well as those critical people in your life.  For a free copy of the test, go to: http://www.5lovelanguages.com and click the button that says, Learn Your Love Language.

As a reminder, it’s far easier to keep a good agent than it is to recruit a good agent!

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