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.