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How to Support New and Inexperienced Real Estate Licensees to Minimize Risk Exposure

In 2020, 17% of all real estate licensees had less than one year of experience, according to the NAR. You have to start somewhere, and recruiting and training inexperienced staff can be beneficial for real estate brokers. Inexperienced agents have a clean slate and are usually eager to learn your methods.

You have the opportunity to train them using your preferred ways of doing business. But, there are risks when you recruit inexperienced staff. They might say or do the wrong thing, they may overlook something an experienced agent would not, or they might even cost you money if something goes wrong.

Here’s what brokers can do to support new, inexperienced real estate professionals — and minimize your risk exposure…

1. Teach Your New Agents How to Respond to Client Questions Effectively

Inexperienced agents can get drawn into conversations that are not within the scope of their expertise. For example, when a potential buyer asks:

  • “Does the property have room for a tennis court?”
  • “Can I add a second story?”
  • “What do you think of the neighborhood?”

It’s important to teach your new real estate agents to only act within the scope of their qualifications and expertise. Failure to do so can get them (and you) in hot water and could cause a lawsuit.

2. Document Your Policies and Procedures and Run Regular In-House Trainings

Having documented policies and procedures is key to your success when dealing with new, inexperienced staff. It will also help to minimize your risk exposure. In these documents, ensure you cover not only how to manage client relationships, transactions, and closings, but also things like:

  • Ethical issues
  • Potential conflicts of interest situations
  • The pitfalls of referrals and/or helping family and friends with a sale
  • Codes of conduct detailing expected behavior and performance standards
  • Legal compliance
  • Time management

Having policies and procedures is one thing, but your new staff has to be aware of them. And, they need to understand them. Run in-house training about different topics frequently (many brokerages do this weekly).

Resources such as the ‘Pathways to Professionalism’ charter from the NAR also provides an excellent summary of professional standards that new agents should aspire to.

3. Emphasize the Importance of People Skills

For most real estate professionals starting out, finding clients is the greatest challenge. But finding and connecting with people, and maintaining those relationships, is key to a successful real estate career. This should be a focus of your support as a broker.

Whether it’s helping to set up their digital marketing programs or illustrating  the importance of follow-ups to boost conversions,educate your agents in the key success steps you expect them to use. Also, emphasize how they can minimize risk in their marketing and relationship-building activities.

To maintain a professional image for your brokerage and build strong relationships, new agents need to learn how to be diligent with the vast amount of paperwork involved with transactions. Clients and other stakeholders, such as title companies or escrow/closing  companies, remember unprofessional staff. Your new real estate agents are a reflection of your company. That’s an important responsibility.

5. Ensure They’re Cyber Safe and Aware of Potential Hazards

It’s easy for new, inexperienced staff to fall victim to cyber crimes and fraud attempts. Ensure your team is cyber safe and aware of any potential hazards. For example:

  • Business email compromise schemes
  • Phishing scams
  • Wire Fraud
  • Dangers of using unsecured WIFI

You can read more about cybersecurity scams real estate agents should watch out for.

6. Consistent Performance Monitoring

Inexperienced staff need consistent performance monitoring, as well as ongoing education and training. It’s time-consuming. But it’s an important investment in your staff that, hopefully, over time, will reap rewards for your brokerage.

It comes as no surprise that more than 80% of new real estate agents exit the industry within their first two years of employment. It’s tough in those early years. However, with a supportive broker, new agents can not only survive but thrive.

7. Protect Your Business With CRES E&O Insurance

To ensure you have adequate insurance protection for your entire team, contact CRES. The CRES team can tailor a real estate E&O insurance package to suit your business needs, complete with specific-to-real-estate coverages and even Cyber Coverage if you need it. We’ll also find you the best Business Owner’s Policy (and Worker’s Compensation insurance if you’re in California).

What’s more, CRES E&O Insurance + ClaimPrevent® gives you access to legal advice from qualified attorneys 7 days a week. It’s an ideal choice for real estate brokers who want to protect their business and minimize risk.

Contact the team at CRES at 800-880-2747 for a confidential chat today.


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