Training Junior Team Members


As independent Business Owners, we all like things done a certain way. After all, it’s a reflection on our business and us! One of the most challenging and rewarding tasks a Business Owner faces is training junior team members. However, ensuring you take proper time to train and explain; not only is that something needs to be done but how you want it done and why it is done in a certain way makes all the difference in the world.

We all recognize when our business has grown to the point when we need some help. There are just not enough hours in the day and the work keeps coming in. It’s time to get some help. Everyone we have ever hired is pretty excited and anxious to please. I do my best to take the time to explain not only what needs to be done but why we do things a certain way. Even show them the difference between doing it one way and the result of doing it my preferred way. 

Pictures are a huge part of my business. It’s not only important to have a good quality camera, but you also need to know the best angle to take pictures from. For design purposes, we usually take pictures of every room we’ll be designing/staging so that we can plan out a great design. We may need to take measurements of window heights, wall distances to doorways, etc. to ensure we bring in the right size furniture. Even measuring doorways the furniture needs to fit through is critical! It won’t do any good if I can’t get it in the room! Missing even one of these steps can be disastrous on staging or moving day! 

When I hired my personal design assistant I explained everything. She now teases me about being too detail oriented but I no longer have to take pictures or measurements in a consult. She has the measurements and the pictures completed before I have even finished with the home owner or realtor. We have all the information we need to get back to the office and plan out a fabulous design! Saves me time and gets everything done quickly.

When I take pictures of a room, it’s usually from all four corners, at the furthest point possible. This tells me everything I need to plan out the space. It is also so much easier to take the before and after pictures everyone loves so much because we will always have before and after pictures from the same angles! 

This is why I am so surprised when I see such poor quality photos submitted by some Realtors for advertising or online pics. Fabulous pictures are the key to bringing people in the door. I met with a client last week who showed me the pictures that were taken by the junior member of her Realtor’s team. The pics were taken part way into the room and essentially only showed the furniture in the room, but not much beyond just the furniture because she was too close and was using incorrect settings on the camera. The pics were honestly just horrible. These were the pictures that were being used until the Home Owner saw them and took her own pictures (with her iPhone – no less) and had them post the new iPhone photos. Maybe I’m old school – but a client should never have to take their own photos if they have an agreement with the Realtor to sell their home, Good Quality pictures should be part of the marketing package. I simply told her to speak to the Senior Member of the Team. He had been around for quite some time and had a good reputation. I was certain he simply was not aware of the situation. She did and as I thought, he corrected it quickly. 

Quality control always comes down to the business owner, or senior member of the team. If it needs to be done a certain way, it’s always our responsibility to ensure it is. We need to take the time to train juniors to do what needs to be done, in the way we want it done. After all, it’s a reflection on us, and our business. I had my assistant shadow me for the first 6 weeks. Explaining as I went, what I was doing and why. How we set up furniture for staging is always different than how we do things for decorating (live – in design work). It’s all about the wow factor and the photos! We design to the best photo opportunity for the space.  The Realtors needs the tools (pictures and fabulous spaces) to do their job, and market the property so they can get it sold! So no matter how busy we are, take the time to have your junior ride with you for days, or weeks until you can stand back and they can tell you what they are doing and why and its exactly what you want! Until you are certain that things are produced to your satisfaction, take the time to look them over to make sure they are at your expected quality level before others see them.  Then “your team’s work” will truly represent you and your business just the way you trained them to!