Retention Strategies for Real Estate Brokers in 2016
The longer a sales agents remain with a brokerage, the less that brokerage has to spend on recruitment and training. Longevity also contributes to higher rates of homebuyer satisfaction, which leads to a higher rate of referrals.
Retaining your agents is a strategy for growth, and it help will build a better environment for mentorship, learning, and better referrals. Finding the right talent that fits well with the company culture can be a huge investment of time and money, which makes retention all the more important. When you do it right, you can keep your top talent and see even better returns.
Retention Starts When You’re Recruiting
You will have a much better shot at keeping your talent when you know what kind of talent you are bringing in. Recruiting sales agents is a careful process that should take some thought, planning, and strategizing. You don’t want to take everyone who submits a resume. You don’t even want to take everyone with a massive track record of sales. You need someone who fits with your company culture, who is looking for opportunities to grow in their profession, and who will take ownership of their role within the brokerage. As you start the recruiting process, focus on those who you know will positively impact your business.
Culture is the Foundation of Retention
Can you define your company culture? If you can’t sum it up in just a few words, then chances are your agents aren’t going to recognize (or relate to) the culture either.
Agents need to feel like they are part of the big picture. They need to see that big picture, too and understand how they fit in. This is your company culture. It maybe be one of education and growth. It could be one of the regular challenges and friendly competition. It could be a lot of things…
But what it always needs to be is honest and fair. When your agents feel like you’re treating them with respect and that they’re contributing to the success of the brokerage, they’ll be more likely to stick around. Define your culture and then strive to help everyone understand it.
Provide the Tools for Success
You can boost retention by providing the tools that help close business.
As consumers continue to demand more and their expectations continue to rise, brokerages are under continual pressure to lower real estate commissions. This, of course, makes it difficult to hang on to your top performers if they’re not making as much as they expected.
The most effective tradeoff, then, is to provide the tools and technology that will help them close more business. Most of your agents will realize that there is a cost for adding technology to the brokerage, but done right, they will be willing to trade commission split percentage for a system that actually works for them.
Embrace the new opportunities that technology provides. This kind of investment can pay you back in many ways, including all the potential changes in how you charge clients for services and how you compensate agents.
MarketBoost, for example, is specifically designed to attract new leads and increase the amount of engagement with homebuyers. This will allow your agents to easily keep in touch with contacts and provided automated listings content. It will even help them highlight their expertise in the local market.
The franchise or large brokerage that first maximizes the technology currently available, will be a major force in the future of real estate. When you can provide a turnkey and technologically advanced office and marketing environment to agents, retention and production will be much higher.
Ongoing Training and Development
There’s always something to learn. Always something to improve. The minute your top agent thinks he or she has seen and learned it all is the minute they make room for someone else to take their place. The best agents understand this and always look for ways to improve their game.
This means providing programs and processes that help agents identify the areas where they can make the most improvements, and then challenge them to develop their professional abilities.
Training can be one-on-one, mentorship programs, offsite seminars, on-site training specialists, or even just teaming your junior agents with senior staff. All of these are great ways to build a culture of learning.
Just remember, along with the training should be the expectations for agents to improve. Otherwise, you’re just bouncing words off a brick wall. Track their improvements, congratulate them on successes, and question if they understand and are incorporating the new strategies and techniques with each new lead.
Make the Time for Agents
If you don’t take the time to see your people face to face on a regular basis, chances are they won’t take the time to really be dedicated to helping the company grow.
Talk to your people. Do it face to face on a regular basis (which is far more effective than an email or, perish the thought, a text).
At the same time, you’ll know more about your company and what’s happening with it. You’ll have a better sense for how your agents are feeling – their general moods and impressions – and what they need in order to be more successful.
A Strategy for Growth
It is always far more effective to retain the agents who are the most productive than it is to constantly recruit and train new people. While there will always be a need to add new agents to the roster, the ones who can contribute to the long-term future of the brokerage are the ones that will also help attract the best referrals and help create a culture of success.