By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
The market is competitive. No, not just the housing market, but the job market for real estate agents as well. More than ever, agents are being sought out and recruited by brokerages trying to swoop up market share and some are even going to greater lengths as offering massive signing bonuses to lure agents to make the leap. It’s a market where winning over agents, and then keeping them around, is becoming increasingly difficult. In fact, NAR estimates that the median tenure for REALTORS at their current brokerage is just four years. While some brokerages are using massive dollar figures to catch agents’ attention, there are things beyond cash that can win agents over time and time again.
Many agents join the real estate game in search of autonomy and flexibility. It’s a profession where you get to be your own boss, you’re able to set your own schedule and enjoy flexibility, and if you’re good and the market is right, the earning potential can be sky-high. Your recruiting and retention efforts should reflect your support of and investment in their business. Outside of financial compensation, consider what you’re doing to offer professional development opportunities, marketing support, easy-to-use technology, healthcare, mentoring programs, and beyond. Here, we touch on a few things you should be doing to recruit and retain real estate agents, without having to writing six-figure checks.
First, offer the support and training they want and need.
Agents are commonly attracted to the idea that life in the real estate profession means every day is different and you never stop learning. Education and development opportunities are highly valued and can go a long way as a value-add from your brokerage. Have a sales methodology to help guide your agents and put in place the training to back it up. This education is particularly important for new agents. If the support is there, new agents could be a secret weapon for your brokerage. Back up a proven sales methodology with training, tools, and resources so that your agents see sales results they know they won’t find elsewhere.
Next, get a truly valuable infrastructure in place.
Of course, a big piece of this conversation is technology. Probably not in the way you think, though. We aren’t going to say one tech tool will fix all of your retention woes because, well, offering a few one-off tools that don’t integrate with each other won’t necessarily make them stick around as they could easily replicate that on their own. However, turning that strategy on its head has some merit. Rather than a bunch of shiny tools, make sure you have a unified system that clearly improves your agents’ end-to-end workflow. The goal should always be helping them run a successful business. Not to have the trendiest thing or the shiniest thing, but to have a system of things that truly work. The idea of running your own business sounds glamorous and attracts many hopefuls to real estate – and don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of perks that come with that – but the reality can be tough.
When vetting technology tools to offer to your agents, consider how they fit into your agents’ workflow from a holistic standpoint. How do they integrate with other tools to ensure duplicate data entry isn’t required? Or so they have one, unified task list? Or to keep client records in one, consolidated place? Or to share property data across systems? Win agents over by assembling a tech stack that will make their lives easier through a simplified workflow of integrated systems that are proven to make them more successful. Those who are tempted by a big payday will also be confident staying put if they have a fruitful business running like a well-oiled machine.
Lastly, recruit and retain real estate agents with get a recruiting system that works.
At the root of it all, have a system in place to manage and drive your recruiting and retention efforts. A CRM-like real estate recruiting system will help your managers and recruiters identify who to recruit, guide them through the necessary steps to get that person on board, and ultimately, crush those recruiting goals. This methodical approach will help ensure you aren’t just recruiting productive agents, but that they’re a good culture fit as well. You want your agents to absolutely love working for your company because when they do, they’ll be more productive, they’ll emanate that passion when out in the community, and they’re more likely to stick with your brokerage in the long-run.
Because agents are independent contractors, it can be tough to win their loyalty. Plus, we’d all be lying if we said a massive signing bonus wouldn’t be enticing. Make sure the technology you select, the training programs you put in place, and the perks you offer roll up into a brokerage that agents will stick around for. Paint a bigger picture for them and show that your value proposition is focused on long-term success rather than a one-time check.