By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
At MoxiWorks, we’re pretty vocal about data and how important it is for all aspects of business. So vocal in fact, we called out Compass on their recent embellishments with plenty of data to set the record straight for our industry. But that’s a story for a different day. My point is, data is everything. Without data, we’d all be wandering around the office all day with no real direction.
When it comes to real estate recruiting, data can make or break your recruiting game. It’s so much more than what people give it credit for, and once you see how powerful it is, you’ll never want to go back. Here’s how data helps you recruit, retain, and grow:
Data makes your business goals easier to define.
The amazing thing about data is that it tells you what your goal should be in order to get to where you want to go. Want to be pulling in $1 million more next year? Data will tell you exactly how many agents you need to recruit to get there.
Data shows you what you need to be doing when.
Data calculates everything, including what your daily tasks should be to get you moving towards your goal. It guides you through the entire recruiting pipeline, resulting in more hires than you would have otherwise – saving time and precious energy.
Data tells you which agents are most appropriate for your office.
Data helps you find agents that fit your business and your goals. Okay, okay we don’t mean in terms of personality or culture, data can’t fully tell you that, but it can tell you who fits the bill when it comes to their sales volume. Data allows you to quickly and effectively narrow search criteria, spitting out the high-valued recruits you want sitting in your office. Powerful data can show you an agent’s ability to perform, and at the end of the day, that’s what recruiters need.
And don’t forget, recruiting doesn’t just mean new agents. Data can help you stay focused on recruiting your current highly-valued agents as well, raising your retention numbers within your office and taking a little pressure off finding newbies.
Data will get you past the finish line.
Data, specifically from the MLS, helps identify agents who match whatever criteria your recruiter stipulates. Once specific recruits have been identified, they are added to your pipeline as recommendations. With built-in goal-setting and tracking for recruiting, it’s easy to ensure recruiters keep their eyes on the prize, crossing that finish line and reaching that goal they set for themselves.
Data keeps you from making silly mistakes.
Without reporting and insights, it can be hard to know where time is best spent. Let’s say you knew an agent’s sales volume over the past year, but not previous years. They talked a big game and you trusted their references, so you signed them anyways. Turns out this past year was more luck than work ethic, and now you have an agent not contributing to the office’s goals. That means you might’ve wasted countless hours you could’ve been spending on high-valued recruits, whether that’s recruiting new ones or focusing your efforts to agents in-house that you really don’t want to lose.
Data is knowledge. Knowledge is power.
Data makes things more efficient. It puts tangible facts behind a solid recruiting foundation that enables recruiters and office managers to do their jobs better, faster, and with more conviction. It’s what our new recruiting system, Moxi Talent, was built for. It helps you by providing you with all this data, direction, and so much more.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
In their latest round of funding, OpenDoor scored $325 million in funding. Late last year, SoftBank invested $450 million into Compass. VC money is alive and well, and it’s found a home in real estate tech, pouring into the industry. And as we all saw at Inman Connect last week, the competition is as hot as five-star Thai food. It literally hurts to digest.
In a sea of change…
As all of us in the real estate world are saying, the industry is evolving quicker than most can keep up. It’s a treadmill that only seems to be getting faster and faster with no pause button in sight. What was super cool last quarter is the status quo today. There’s no room for lags and fear. What do these higher monetary stakes and complex competition mean for traditional brokerages? The value prop of your brokerage and its brand is key.
Question: Why should your agents stay at your brokerage?
Staying relevant and valuable to agents will continue to gain in difficulty. Without the money to offer six figure signing bonuses, your brokerage value proposition has to be hard as rock. If I were sitting across from you and asked, “Why do you think your agents should stay at your brokerage versus going somewhere else?” What would your answer be? Do you have a sophisticated tech stack? Do you train your agents on it or just hand it off and hope for the best? Do you continuously stay in contact with your agents or do you forget about them until they tell you they’re going to a different brokerage?
The magic of an open-door policy
There’s a top brokerage in Virginia – that will go unnamed – that is taking a very logical approach: They have an open-door policy. They’ll answer any and all questions – even about Compass. If an agent has concerns, they feel empowered enough to walk into the Managing Broker’s office and ask them, knowing they’ll get an honest answer. Because of that, their retention numbers are insane. They’ve invested in tech, and they’re investing time into their most precious asset: their people, their real estate agents.
- Don’t lose your current agents because you’re only focused on recruiting new ones.
- Don’t let any agent feel like they’re being left in the dark (including on the topic of Compass).
- Build on your existing relationships.
- Let your agents know you care and want them there.
- Implement an open-door policy if you haven’t already. It’ll be the best decision you’ve made all year.
- You can even try hanging a sign on the wall by your office, letting your agents know that they’re always welcome to come in.
- Have a proper recruiting system in place. This will focus your time on top talent inside and outside of your brokerage, making sure you’re getting the full picture and avoiding agents slipping through the cracks.
Brokerages today are worried about losing top producers, concerning themselves over the revenue and sales volume that those top producers take with them if they leave. It makes perfect sense. Losing one agent isn’t going to have a dramatic shift on market share, but it will impact a brokerage’s sales volume. This whole storm is why we created our Moxi Talent recruiting system in the first place. Too often, Managing Brokers don’t pay attention to agents until they threaten to walk. Moxi Talent helps you build relationships with the right people at the right time.
If the grass is greener on the other side, what side are you on?
By Nick Van Valkenberg, Director of Business Development
Growing your brokerage is an ambitious endeavor, especially in the ever-competitive real estate landscape. Two lingering questions are: how do you find the right talent for your brokerage and how can you make the process easier for your recruiting team? I plan to answer both of these questions but first you need to define what you are looking for: is it the “fresh to the industry” agent, an agent early in their career, or a more senior agent?
As the busy season winds down the “low hanging fruit” would be the agent that, well didn’t have a busy season and is looking for help or better yet, a place where they can thrive. If this is who you focus on recruiting, then do you have the systems in place that are statistically proven to increase an agent’s number of sides? Have you made it easy for them to run their business? How about an open platform? Single sign-on doesn’t sound like a whole lot but to the new agent that doesn’t know all of the technologies offered in your brokerage it could mean the world. Open platforms and single sign-on is a whole other conversation but if you don’t have the technology in place for today’s agent you may want to look around because your competitor down the street has this in place creating a very compelling recruiting and retention tool.
The harder agent to recruit is the successful agent. They say the grass is greener on the other side but what happens when their grass looks like the a fútbol field during the World Cup? Do you know your elevator pitch, differentiator, your WHY statement? If you answered NO to any of these three mission critical pieces to the puzzle, then step one is to clarify your message. May I suggest you take a look at the book Story Brand? The premise of Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller is how to clarify your message, your WHY statement. The idea of a WHY statement sounds easy but really you need to have a smooth couple sentences that clearly state why an agent at any level in their career would benefit from joining your brokerage especially a successful agent. Let that sink in and think about this for a minute. Sure, you can offer a more competitive split but how does that help you the broker out? REAL Trends recently published that the average brokerages margin has been compressed to 14.8%. Talk to us about how you can recruit a top performing agent not because you will take less money but because you have what they need to become even more successful.
Through conversations with your fellow brokers I have found that the structure of a recruiter tends to be the broker themselves or the manager of an individual office. Time is of the essence, with an already full plate how do you add the time to recruit? In a perfect world a “recruiter” should be spending an hour a day dedicated to finding new talent. At this point you may have guessed that I am going to talk about technology, and you guessed right. Honestly to achieve the desired outcome you need to have a solid system in place. Does your recruiting technology incorporate your goals? Is it easy to ingest MLS data so you have insights on your prospects? Does your technology offer next steps and coach you for each individual recruit? Does your technology offer public records data on your prospects? Could you imagine hosting an annual golf tournament and knowing the subset of your pipeline that has golf as an interest? I’m not a gambling man but I would venture to say that you could easily win over some new agents on the links, remember that greener grass metaphor from earlier? Do your “recruiters” have the ability to easily boast about what your brokerage can offer, maybe in the form of a dynamic presentation imbedded with video testimonials, live links, and your WHY statement?
Your Agent Recruiting System
You may have been seeing the recent industry hype around Moxi Talent. The hype is because we have answered all the above questions. Take the time and let us show you not only how Moxi Talent can increase your productivity recruiting the correct agents but how you can actively recruit your current agent. We can even show you statistics on how the Moxi Suite of products can increase the business for your agents, but don’t take it from us, ask around. To quote the legendary football coach and now inspirational speaker Lou Holtz “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” Now more than ever things are changing at a rapid pace, there is a time to sit and watch and there is a time to act, now is the time to act. Take a moment this week and reach out to our team, learn why top brokerages are leveraging our platform to outperform their competition.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Recruit, recruit, recruit. Getting new agents through the door is the number one thing on every brokerage owner and manager’s mind, but does it deserve that top spot?
While it’s a major pillar of every brokerage’s survival plan, we argue there’s another aspect of recruiting that deserves the number one slot and that’s existing agents.
An agent only spends four years at a brokerage on average. How many of your agents are coming up on that four-year mark?
When agents threaten to leave, only then do people’s ears perk up and start to put emphasis on retention efforts. For some agents, it might be too little too late. If they’ve been largely ignored or feel like they’re under-valued at your brokerage for the past four years, it’s easy to see why the grass would look greener to them.
Don’t play into the four-year statistic. Start recruiting your existing agents before they threaten to leave.
Implement an open-door policy.
When your agents feel comfortable coming to you for anything and everything (like when Compass calls them up) it allows for an open dialogue and a foundation built on trust to exist.
Less is not more.
Don’t be afraid to talk about what’s going on out there. Talking about Compass should be as easy as asking someone to pass the salt – not like walking on eggshells. Bring the hard topics up.
Losing your existing agents only puts more pressure on the efforts to recruit new agents and shocker – it puts pressure on the brokerage wallet as well. Our CEO, York Baur, did a presentation at LeadingRE a couple years ago, sharing local data and insights about the cost of recruiting. The cost per recruit based off data that year in the Pacific Northwest was $20,000 dollars. After the presentation, other industry leaders commented that it was “more like $40,000.” Another way to slice it is by salary (or in this case, commission). According to Forbes, the loss of an employee costs 33% of their salary. Whether it’s 20k, 40k, or somewhere in the middle, that is a LOT of money.
Losing a top producer to let’s say Compass, might not hurt your market share or revenue much, but it will hurt your sales volume numbers. Be better than the other managers out there. Pay attention to your existing agents that are priceless to your business. Think about your agents walking into your office and saying, “I’m leaving and going to Compass.” Which ones would make your heart start pounding?
By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager
The industry is buzzing about recruiting strategies due to the competitive market. Equally important, however, is a brokerages’ retention strategy. You not only need to win agents over, but you have to keep them happy as well. According to NAR, a real estate agent’s median tenure at their current firm is only four years. That gives you a fairly tight window to make them want to stay for the long-run.
With competitors entering the market with loads of cash and aggressive recruiting tactics, it’s imperative that brokerages focus on how they’re going to retain their existing agents. This is particularly important for new agents as their first year in the business can be discouraging, causing a large portion of new agents to leave the industry. Focus on your people and your people will remain loyal to you.
Here are four tips for continuing to win over and retain those superstar agents:
Celebrate the wins
Don’t forget to celebrate the wins. Find a way to celebrate an agent’s success every time they close a sale. This could be done with office-wide recognition, an office celebration of some sort, or a gift (flowers or lunch are always appreciated). It’s important for agents to know that you’re invested in their success and that you appreciate all of the hard work that goes into each sale.
Provide ongoing training and support
We understand this is likely already a focus, but do your agents really know what’s available to them? Make sure they’re continually reminded of the outstanding training and support your brokerages is offering. Weekly sales meetings are the perfect platform for this. They’re already in the routine of looking forward to and attending these meetings. It’s where they go for insights and resources to help them run their real estate business. Work with your Office Managers to ensure this time is used to offer agents the tools and support that will make them want to stay.
Celebrate their success at your brokerage with a work-aversary gift on the anniversary of them joining your team. It will remind them of why they joined the team, how appreciated they are in your community, and what they’ve achieved since they started with your brokerage. Don’t just do this on year one, though, do this every year to create a culture of long-term recognition and encourage retention in the long run.
Pair them up
Set them up for success by putting them in contact with agents like them. What’s that mean? Leverage data to identify which agents have similar selling history and patterns and pair them up. This will create an encouraging community, where agents working at similar speeds can support each other’s success. If another brokerage comes along, having a close network of colleagues will make it that much more difficult for them to leave their current gig.
Thinking about taking your recruiting and retention strategy to the next level? Be sure to check out Moxi Talent.
By York Baur, CEO of MoxiWorks
As we all know too well, there’s a feeling of impending doom when it comes to the future of dollars retained by the brokerage. Brokerage margin compression has been accelerating in the past few years especially, but no one seems to be discussing legit ways to battle it. And last I checked, hope is not a strategy.
A few Moxians attended the Gathering of Eagles event that REAL Trends puts on every year, and here’s what the retained company dollar average for brokerages across the nation looks like over the past several years:
The brokerage dollar is ever-shrinking. Some may argue it isn’t a big deal since home prices have gone up, compensating on a raw dollar basis. That only works in a market with rising prices, and we all know that merry-go-round will stop at some point. We need a real plan for dealing with margin compression – it’s a core problem our industry faces. Don’t forgot that 25% of the RealTrends 500 didn’t make it through the last recession. Do you want to be part of that 25% when the next one hits?
In the face of all of this the “disrupters,” as they like to call themselves, are putting massive pressure on the need for the brokerage to have a technology offering to their agents and technology isn’t cheap. Even as a technology guy myself, I am not shy to admit it. So, how do you thread that needle? How do you buy the best technology, so you can have the best offering to agents in a world where you, the brokerage, don’t have margin to work with?
To preface this, I absolutely stand by my original viewpoint that the traditional brokerage, the impenetrable fortress that it is, has the most valuable asset that exists in the entire industry: relationships with agents, and the agents with the consumers in their sphere of influence.
With that said, here are what I believe to be viable elements of a plan for traditional brokerages to combat margin compression.
Open Platform – Not a shocker
You all knew this was coming. I won’t dive deep, but future-proofing can easily be done by getting your brokerage on a proper open platform that allows you to plug in new tools and unplug old tools just like power strip. Having an open platform means retaining your current technology investments and maintaining a foundation for all the technology changes to come in the future. And don’t be scared by claims that the disruptors will build better technology themselves internally. Over $1B has been invested in real estate tech each of the last two years, so no one company has a lock on building the best technology in every category. Having an open platform that allows you to take advantage of the best of real estate tech today and in the future trumps a “we can build it all” approach every time.
Say it with me: Recruiting, retention, AND productivity
Pick great tools that actually drive agent productivity as well as recruiting as retention. Industry wide, if you ask any broker, “what’s the most important thing in your business?” they’ll say to recruit and retain. But that’s wrong. It should be recruiting, retention, and productivity. If you focus on productivity as a major pillar of your business, it amplifies your recruiting and retention, and it’s where you actually make money. Having non-productive agents at your brokerage doesn’t make you money, it costs you money.
Many brokerages chase the shiny object, so it enhances their recruiting and retention efforts, but it doesn’t move the needle. To that point, it’s imperative to eliminate the shiny objects and steer clear of the temptation of them. They will end up costing you more than you ever thought.
Technology is NOT a single expense line item
Don’t think of technology as a single expense. Think of technology and marketing expenses together, because the two worlds have fundamentally blended. Digital marketing is inherently fused with technology and the other way around. As proof of this, an ongoing trend across all industries is the blending of the CTO and CMO roles.
Technology is not a necessary evil expense item, but as something to be used along with other marketing activities as a combined marketing and technology spend. What form of marketing these days doesn’t involve technology? Almost none.
And while I’m on my soapbox, can we please stop talking about expenses and start talking about investments? Every decision you make to spend money on something should be thought of as an investment. That means that you should expect to have a return on your investment, have a plan for making your investment work, and measuring your return over time. For example, in our case we check agent performance with our tools – agents in brokerages that are our customers do 40% more transactions when they use our stuff. That’s real productivity, and real top-line growth. Make investments and grow your business versus “managing expenses” like an accountant.
Trying to save your way to prosperity almost never works, so get on with a proactive plan to invest in a technology platform and tools to boost agent productivity. Not only will your top line grow, but you’ll be able to better stand your ground in negotiations with agents over their split, because they’ll understand that you’re helping them grow their business vs. just offering them a desk and the ability to rent your brand.
My call to action: have a plan. Focus on agent productivity. Have goals and measure yourself to them. Use technology and digital marketing to support your plan. The great news is that the traditional brokerage fortress is very hard to penetrate. But even the most impenetrable fortress can get sacked if the King doesn’t have a plan for defending it.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Recruiting new agents is the main thing every broker and real estate manager thinks of every hour of the day. It’s the constant, never ending job that is only getting more challenging. I like to think of it as a treadmill that gets progressively faster and faster, forcing some people to step off and others to find the will to keep going within. It’s intense. It’s why we created an entire recruiting system to make it easier on managers and recruiters alike. But while the technology drastically helps, there’s still the interviews and the interactions that are human-based and can still be butchered if one forgets to be on their best behavior.
So, with that in mind, we put together a short list of things you should never, EVER do when recruiting new agents. If you do, it’ll surely come back to bite you.
1. Never bad mouth your existing or past agents.
You’re recruiting new agents for a reason. You have numbers to hit and you’re trying to grow your office. It goes without saying that you need to pump some steroids in to get things done because what is currently going on at your brokerage isn’t cutting it. It’s implied. You don’t need to trash talk your current agents or even past agents.
Putting down your existing and/or past agents not only makes you look bad as the hiring manager, chances are, the top talent you’re trying to recruit will sense an unhealthy work culture and the possibility of being one of those agents you’re currently belittling.
Your agents and the relationships with them are your most valuable source not only for your existing business, but for recruiting new talent as well. Whether it’s talent from their personal connections or them having represented your brand in a great light in the community, they are your golden ticket to finding solid agents. Don’t make enemies out of them.
2. Never promise what you don’t have.
Every agent is looking for the brokerage that will provide them with the tools and technology they need to succeed. With companies like Compass and new initiatives like the Keller Cloud floating around, everyone else needs a solid technology offering, not just some shiny objects to throw about. However, don’t let the pressure of technology offerings cause you to lie and over-promise what you have to give them.
Doing this might get them signed and through the door, but you can bet they won’t last long and your retention stats will take a nosedive. Getting agents to join your brokerage is one thing, keeping them there is another. Help them help you by giving them reasons to trust your business. No one likes having a revolving door.
3. Never bring up politics, controversial topics, flirt, or otherwise cross the PC boundary.
The eighties might as well be a century ago because the times we’re living in are drastically different. For better or worse, we all have to be on our best behavior. People get offended. Others cross the line by a mile. What was once flattering, is now uncomfortable and sometimes even a CLM (a career limiting move). Some topics are also very much illegal, but that’s another issue.
When you’ve only just met someone, you have no way to know their background, things that have happened in their life, how they feel about certain issues, etc. Typically, all you know is who they are on paper. What their sales volume is, when they got their license, their real estate accomplishments and history, and what they put publicly on their websites and social media. Stick to the task at hand and focus on the real estate subjects.
Real estate is a weird industry that sometimes feels like it’s stuck in a time capsule and everything else going on in other industries barely touches it. Behaving yourself is not one of those things. Don’t say something you think is witty about the way someone looks or call someone “sweetie” that you’ve only just met. For the love of everything sacred about real estate, just don’t do it!
By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager
With new brokerages entering the market with aggressive recruiting strategies, brokerages are universally placing a lot more weight on the importance of recruiting.
It’s easy to spend a lot of cash winning over agents, but we believe the key is to focus on what really matters. What do agents actually want? As you review this list, you’ll notice we don’t talk about commission splits. You already know commission splits are important to agents and we’re sure you’re doing what you can to offer competitive compensation. Here are some other things that agents are looking for when comparing brokerages.
Agents want to join an organization that values technology. A robust, established tech stack shows agents that your brokerage is forward-thinking and supportive of its team. We think you’ll find that tech-savvy agents who embrace the systems you’ve hand-selected for them will likely be some of your most successful. It also fosters a culture of efficiency – technology-focused agents will push each other to streamline their businesses
Coming into a brokerage with a leading tech stack means they don’t need to research and train themselves on their own set of tools. You already have a stack up and running, ready for them to utilize.
Training, support, and resources will prove to your agents that you care about their success and professional development. On top of that, helping them to improve themselves as real estate professionals makes a difference on your bottom line, which is always a win. Agents are looking to work for an organization that offers meaningful training and useful, manageable resources.
Before you get overwhelmed, remember that you don’t have to do all of this yourself. Look at your tech tools and vendors – many of them already offer free training regularly. Just promote those to your agents. Make training resources known and easily available to them so they can get themselves training on exactly what they need, when they need it.
Access to meaningful data can make all the difference. Agents want data that shows how their business is performing. Look through your existing tech tools to see if your agents have a snapshot of their business anywhere. What tools are encouraging their annual goal-setting? Which ones are giving them necessary visibility into their business’ performance to ensure they hold themselves accountable and meet these goals?
The agents looking for this is typically focused on optimization, always looking to improve their business. These are the agents you want on your team.
Even as independent contractors, agents see the value in having a team, which means building a strong community holds a good deal of weight. Focus on building a community that is unique to the people in your office. Valuing diversity and inclusion is vital in ensuring agents feel safe and respected in your community.
When agents feel like they’re a part of a community, they have people who they can trust, rely on, get encouragement from, and learn from. This leads to higher collaboration in closing more sales, as well as higher adoption of technology tools, and more recruiting referrals for new agents.
Tip: When a new agent starts, pair them with someone in the office who has a similar sales history or sales style as them. Send them out to coffee or lunch together so they can begin to build rapport and trust. Having a go-to team member could make all the difference as they settle into your community.
Make core values part of your recruiting process. Outline what values your brokerage and office have. Look for those values in new agents and be transparent about them. Agents who resonate with them will be attracted, and even better, they’ll stick around.
A Warm Welcome
Don’t underestimate the importance of an agent’s first two weeks with your brokerage. It’s all about the little things. If an agent feels welcome when they first join your team, they’ll start off on the right foot. You just recruited them, now start the retention process right away. Make them feel like they’re part of the team and they’ll settle in for the long run.
Everything on this list is about the agent and their success. If your brokerage brand is well-recognized and well-regarded, that box will be checked and agents will start looking at what their day-to-day life will be like at your brokerage. According to NAR, the average agent stays at their current brokerage for just four years. This means you have relatively little time to win an agent over and keep them on your team. Make sure you’re taking actions that truly matter.
Effective recruiting practices and impactful retention strategies are important for the culture of your brokerage, its reputation, and of course, your bottom line.