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.