In Episode 37 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien continue their series on Team Building with Strategy #6 – Retaining Your Top Talent and Matt jumps aboard the Seattle Monorail for a trip back in time to the 1962 World’s Fair.

Key Points/Takeaways


Real Estate Team Building Strategy #6 – Retaining Your Top Talent

Company/Team Support

After agent recruiting, the retention of productive agents is the next critical function of a successful brokerage or team. Retention starts with providing an outstanding office environment and building a culture of positive energy.

Whether they voice it or not, most agents really want …

leader (broker, manager, team leader) they can trust and they know has their back, the support of an outstanding administrative team,a professional office space with equipment and technology that is reliable and an environment (culture) that matches their value system.

Special Inman Report: Real estate team risks and rewards (Survey conducted Oct. 12 and Oct. 16, 2017. 928 respondents)

Key Takeaways

  • Well-run real estate teams offer agents work/life balance and are ultimately greater than the sum of their parts.
  • Nearly 60 percent of real estate pros would consider joining a real estate team or starting one of their own.

Why Join or Start a Real Estate Team?

  • To expand your business opportunities (56 percent)
  • To be a mentor or receive mentorship  (56 percent)
  • To gain experience as a new agent/learn the business (53 percent)
  • To provide more effective representation for clients (50 percent)
  • To create an exit plan (35 percent)

Great Culture is your recruiting, attraction and retention secret weapon!

The most successful organizations have employees who are living the culture and can share it along with the vision of the future. 

“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand will just happen naturally on its own.”  -Tony Hsieh

Cultivation of Your Company | Team Culture

  • Only hire people that fit your culture. Does the team member share the core, common beliefs of the organization?
  • Ensure team members clearly understand and are in alignment with your team/company values and vision
  • Truly embrace the team concept that you are not a bunch of individuals
  • Acknowledge that good ideas and decisions can come from anyone
  • Recognition of a job well done
  • Consistent performance reviews – people like to know how they are doing
  • If applicable, give your employees a career path for growth
  • Think about your culture every day. Check yourself.  Make sure that you are not getting too busy or to detached from the day to day to keep it in check.  Remember – YOU are the culture.

Recognition and Retention Ideas

  • Publish monthly or Quarterly Top Performers Certificate (Number of sales, Total Sales Volume, Most Sales, Most Listings, Best New Agent)
  • Recognize agents at your office meetings and in Newsletters: First listing, sale, closing with your company; birthday; anniversary with your brokerage
  • Share success stories that highlight your agents’ accomplishments
  • Post your agents accomplishments /awards on Social Media channels
  • Annual awards and recognition event
  • Sponsor or participate in Community or Charitable Events

Coaching your agents to Success

Active Listening and Observation
Active listening is a communication technique used in coaching, training and conflict resolution, which requires the listener to effectively reflect back what they hear to the speaker, to confirm understanding of both parties.

Questions Attract – Statements Repel
Benefits of asking versus telling:

  • Establishing rapport: don’t try to impress people with your ideas, rather establish rapport and trust by eliciting ideas from them and thus expressing how much you care about them
  • Better listening, deeper understanding: all too often, while you are talking, your prospect is not listening but thinking about what he/she is going to say. When you ask questions, you make your prospect think in the direction you propose.
  • Higher motivation, better follow-up: the right answer will not be imposed by you, it will be found and owned by your client, who will be more motivated to follow it up

Provide insightful feedback, guidance, and advice

Empowerment through accountability

  • Customized Business Plan based on their specific goals, areas of expertise, niche
  • Tracking and accountability forms or procedures
  • Weekly/monthly coaching sessions

Use a 90-Day Onboarding & Training Manual

Create a 90-Day Plan to onboard and train your new team members.  The goal is to transition the agents joining your team over a 90-day period by having them simply plugin to your existing real estate business systems.

  • Administrative, Transition & Accountability
  • Business Plan & Goals
  • Database & Referral System
  • Buyer System
  • Listing System
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Lead Gen & Advertising
  • Escrow Process

The WBNL Coaching Real Estate Team Builder program includes an agent training manual to accomplish this key strategy for successful team building. Our turnkey, complete team building system includes all of the materials, supporting documents, checklists, and manuals along with the step-by-step implementation training delivered via our on-demand video coaching platform.

Visit to learn more about our “Team Building in a Box” system to build your profitable real estate team.

Here is what you’ll receive:

  • Online, On- Demand Real Estate Team Builder Training
  • Lifetime Access to the Recorded Videos and Documents
  • Complete Package of Documents, Admin Forms
  • Real Estate Team Builder Procedures Manual
  • 90 Day Onboarding & Agent Training Manual
  • Team Project management, accountability, communication system

Wandering Zen – Seattle’s The Alweg Monorail

Wandering Seattle_The Alweg Monorail


Wandering Seattle – The Alweg Monorail:   The 1962 World’s Fair or Century 21 Exposition, which it was billed back in the day, was opened via the airwaves by President Kennedy on the east coast to a crowd of 12,000 people in the stadium on the fairgrounds.  This was not only done because of the opening being on Easter weekend but also to telegraph the technology of the time.  JFK said in his opening speech,

“This manner of opening the fair is in keeping with the exposition’s space age theme. Literally we are reaching out through space on the new ocean to a star which we have never seen, to intercept sound in the form of radio waves already ten thousand years old, to start the fair…I am confident that as this sound from outer space is utilized to open the fair, the fair in turn will open the doors to further scientific gains by letting all see what has been accomplished today.”

Welcome to the Future

One of the cornerstone attractions of the fair was a new transportation system that linked the fairgrounds to downtown.  The Seattle monorail.  Construction began 11 months before the fair at a cost of $3.5 million.  Designed and operated by the Alweg Rapid Transit Company during the fair, it was purchased by the City of Seattle in 1965 for $600,000.   At a cost of 50 cents per trip, fairgoers rushed to trains and the monorail was a huge hit.  As a result, Alweg recuperated their constructions costs and were well into the black by the end of the fair.  Although talk at the time was that the monorail system would be expanded throughout the city post-fair, the plans never came to fruition.

Today, one-way fares are $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for children 5-12, seniors, disabled and US military.  Trains depart every 10 minutes and it is a great way to travel to and from the Seattle Center where you can visit a few other of Seattle’s popular places; The Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Key Arena, Memorial Stadium, the Theatre District, and many gardens to name just a few.  It is the arts and entertainment heart of the city and is a must on every visit.  Visit our post on Wandering Seattle for our top 10 things not to miss.

The Alweg Monorail by the Numbers
  • 8,000,000 – enthusiastic fair going riders in the first 6 months of operation
  • 2,000,000 – yearly riders today
  • 700 – volts DC, which is supplied to the trains through contact rails on each beam
  • 70 – the length of each pre-stressed concrete beams
  • 68 – y-shaped columns supporting pairs of concrete beams, which span the columns
  • 64 – tires on each train
    • 16 –  load-carrying tires ride on top of the beam
    • 48 –  guide tires run along the sides of the beam for alignment purposes
  • 45 – max speed
  • 30 – height of the highest columns
  • 10 – minutes between train departures
  • 2 – trains, one blue and one red
  • 1 – mile of track

The Seattle Monorail was the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system and has been in operation ever since the fair back in 1962, but if the name sounds familiar you are not wrong.  Another daily operating monorail system opened at a little park in Southern California a few years early.  In 1959, the Disneyland/Alweg Monorail was dedicated by another Washington DC dignitary, this time it was Richard Nixon.  The attraction’s path weaved throughout Tomorrowland but in 1961 the route was extended to include a stop at the Disneyland Hotel which allowed these trains to travel 2 1/2 miles above the guests below on the ‘Highway in the Sky”.

Monorail Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday: 7:30am-11:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:30am-11:00pm

Click for more info on the Seattle Center

Seattle Center

Seattle Center Monorail Station

Seattle Downtown Monorail Station

 Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)



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