Updated: Jan 2
Recruitment, retention build solid sales performance
Real estate agencies report annual turnover at nearly 30%, which means a lot of wasted time, expense, and lost sales, not to mention fragmented teams and strategies. Brokers and leading sales agents are devoting more time to recruiting, training and mentoring agents to build solid performance and market share.
Real estate agents are usually fiercely independent and carry a heavy load. Either working with brokers or owning their own agency, time demands, challenging clients, and marketplace pressures put people issues front and center.
Although most agents report high job satisfaction, according to Real Estate Express, what irks agents are workplace conditions, poor corporate training, and lax safety and security policies. For new agents, straight commission with high commission share, desk rent, and other costs require a personal dedication and vision that goes beyond immediate reward and requires brokers to demonstrate good talent management.
Recruiting agents requires a focused look at the type of agents you want to recruit and develop.
If you target new or unlicensed candidates, plan to spend time training them in marketing, buyer and seller presentations, database skills, customer-relationship management skills, and writing and negotiating contracts.
Teaching newbies is an investment, but it goes a long way to building a team that reflects your philosophies and transfers success so that your team finds more leads and closes more sales.
Finding and recruiting top producers takes a different tack. To find candidates to target, use your MLS and search closed transactions. Search recently listed homes in your target territory, download the list, and sort by agent name. You’ll find top closers easily enough with a sort or two.
Another strategy is to update your website’s career page. Inc. Magazine reports that cost-per-hire is 70% less than third-party job-board leads and annual turnover for these candidates are half that of those from third-party job-boards.
Candidates who seek you out through your website already have an interest in working with you, and your career page is an opportunity to create compelling reasons for agents and workers to apply for your open positions.
Your website can help create and reveal your work culture, management philosophy, and the growth opportunities you provide. It’s a great opportunity to speak directly to candidates and make your case for why they should join you.
New or inexperienced agents require closer management and meeting their needs for career advancement. Keeping people is usually more about management attitude than a person’s skill level. If you think people are expendable and only important if they meet your sales quotas, you’re missing opportunities to build team and community.
Fear and punishment are not the best motivators. Discipline, focus, and encouragement work better.
Consider strategies that will fulfill agent needs without sacrificing your personal sales production. Online schools, such as The CE Shop, Udemy, Skillshare, or others help agents learn and build skills, and they are affordable and effective.
Agents often leave brokers because they feel their career potential won't be fulfilled because they aren't being trained. In one study, 56% of managers said they believe corporate development is necessary, but they don’t bring it into action, and 62% of them said corporate education doesn’t meet employee needs.
About 70% of people said access to training and corporate development influence their decision to stay with a company.
Top-producing agents need basic business tools, such as a website, a working customer-relationship-management tool, lead generation support and marketing, and a sense of community – of belonging to and committing to the team.
Top agents are often overlooked in this because they do well, are lauded for sales, and don’t seem to need anything. However, these agents are also most likely to get recruited by other agencies.
Recognize these agents in meaningful ways, such as improved compensation plans, rewards and freebies, and a concerted effort to make them feel appreciated for their contributions. One broker offers unique and exclusive experiences for top agents that are growing the brokerage brand.
Sean Moudry, contributor to The Close, offers a complete overview of real estate agent recruitment strategies plus scripts to use for each level of candidate you’re seeking.
Creating a cooperative, loyal team is not an easy task, especially in environments where competition and money are involved. When times are hard and markets uncertain, there is more opportunity to bring people together despite various skill levels and self-interests.
Lead-sharing, revenue-sharing, and team interaction and cooperation go a long way toward agent retention and loyalty building.
Kevin Markarian, Marker Real Estate founder and a Forbes Real Estate Council member, offers several ideas on how to do that in a Forbes article that outlines various revenue-sharing success stories that improved retention.
Investing in agents is investing in your brokerage’s long-term success. Learn more about why your most loyal agents stay and why others leave. Connect with them individually and understand what drives them, what satisfies them, and what makes them happy.
Like engaging your customers, it’s not all about the sale, it’s all about the person.