One of the biggest factors of a real estate agency’s success is its agents. Indeed, brokerages are continuously developing and refining their recruiting strategies to ensure that they get top talent. With promises of ample compensation and an exciting work environment, companies offer the moon and the stars to lure the best agents. After all, their competitors are also on the hunt for the same superstars in the industry.
However, after winning over and welcoming your agents comes the harder part of the equation. That is, keeping your new team members happy. Indeed, brokerages should shift equal if not more focus to retaining agents after recruiting them. According to the National Association of Realtors, real estate agents stay at their present firm at an average of only four years. In short, you have a limited amount of time to convince your agents to stay.
If you don’t have a solid retention plan yet or want to tweak your programs, here are a few ideas you can use to get started:
Give Them Tools
Much like any other industry, real estate has undergone a digital evolution. It remains to be a people-centric business, but the tools that agents need to succeed are now largely in the digital space. Make sure that your real estate agents are equipped with such tools, including automated document management, video marketing tools, and CRM systems like Brokerkit. CRM is particularly important to help your agents stay organized, attract and communicate with clients, and maintain a sound relationship.
At first glance, such tools and systems may seem unattractive or unconvincing. What you need to change, then, is how these tools are viewed within your company. Emphasize their importance in delivering high-quality services and how they can help agents be more capable and efficient.
Training and Education
It’s likely that your brokerage is already investing in the training of your agents. The question is, do your agents know that it’s available to them? If they do, do they actually make the most of these programs? Remind your people that training support and other learning resources are at their disposal. You can do these during sales meetings or task your department heads or team leaders to make follow-ups.
You should also ensure the variety and depth of your training and education materials and methods. Get to know what your real estate agents want to achieve and develop a training program to help them meet these goals. Mentoring is a good way to facilitate training. More experienced agents can share not just knowledge to new ones, but also reasons why it’s worthwhile to stay.
Understand Your Agents
If you don’t work toward understanding your agents, you won’t be able to employ best practices to make them stay. In addition to this, you also have to understand your brokerage’s culture. Listen to your agents. Ask them what they need and if they have any pain points so that you can immediately address those. Listen to their ideas and truly consider their value, not just for the sake of listening. If and when agents are planning to leave (or have left already), take the time to talk to them. Ask for their honest answers about what made them decide to take their talents elsewhere. This way, you’ll be able to prevent these issues and hopefully retain more agents in the future.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate Milestones
People appreciate being appreciated. Celebrate your agents’ wins, particularly when they close a sale. You can treat the whole office to lunch, for example, or send the agent a simple gift. Even a blanket congratulatory email can work wonders in boosting morale. The key is to make your people know that you respect and recognize their hard work. Other milestones that you might consider celebrating are work anniversaries and recent promotions. Establish a culture of recognition and appreciation so that retention becomes easier.
Create an Enjoyable Place to Work
If you’re finding it hard to retain your real estate agents, take a look at your brokerage or agency and perform a self-assessment. Is it a place where you would actually love to work? If the answer is no (or a hesitant yes), rectify it immediately. Find ways to make your workplace an enjoyable place. Create employee programs that ensure your people’s health and wellness. It can be something as simple as a dedicated room for taking naps, or perhaps a couple of consoles and a TV for playing video games or watching movies. Finally, encourage your agents to cultivate connections within the office.
“Always Be Recruiting”
One of the best ways for brokerages to retain their agents is to keep a recruitment mindset. Don’t feel confident after your top prospects have joined your ranks. Continue to entice them with valuable opportunities for career growth, ensure their work-life balance, and reward their good work. It’s a two-way street, most definitely, and both parties have roles to fulfill. On your end, as the brokerage, you need to ensure that your agents will have every reason to stay.
Don’t waste all the resources and effort you spent in aggressively recruiting the best agents into your brokerage. Develop a sound retention program to keep your real estate agents happy and make them stay with your brokerage for years to come.