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The top area of business growth focus for real estate brokers and owners—not profitability nor agent productivity—is agent recruitment and retention, according to new research published by Contactually, a leading relationship marketing software firm. In the first half of 2016, the firm’s research department spoke with over 150 leading brokers and owners in the United States about their business priorities and practices. More than two­ thirds of participants (68 percent) reported that recruiting and retaining agents was their top priority. The results of the research are compiled in the Brokerage Recruiting Playbook, a thorough, data­ driven report with practical steps for creating and implementing a recruiting strategy for real estate brokers and owners.

“The study’s findings have significant implications for the real estate industry,” notes Zvi Band, CEO and Founder of Contactually. “Every broker or owner has, at one time or another, struggled with both recruitment and agent retention. Our study’s findings identify an empirically derived framework that can be used prior to the creation of an agent recruitment or retention strategy which will increase its effectiveness.”

“Recruiting has gotten a bad reputation as a ‘numbers ­focused’ approach but the reality is that a recruit is a successfully built relationship. Growth isn’t a bad thing so long as it is done with relationships in mind,” shares Alyssa Hellman, The Director of the Go School of Real Estate in North Carolina. “Brokers must always remember that a recruit is never just a number but a person. Relationship building must have its foundation in honesty and brokerages must find agents that will thrive within their unique environments. A great recruiting broker/owner knows not just when to say yes, but when to say no. ”

Highlighted in Contactually’s report, the Brokerage Recruiting Playbook, are three main themes that brokers and owners who are seeking growth through successful recruiting should address prior to starting their recruiting process:

  1. Be clear on your strategy.
    Are you recruiting with a production goal, a headcount goal, or a very selective or as ­needed approach? Each has very different implications for how you develop and execute your plan, making it critical that you first address this key question before moving forward.
  2. Understand how your value proposition aligns with the needs of your target agents.

How would you characterize your organization? Does it fully support training and development? Is it a collaborative culture? Do you focus on marketing and administrative support? It’s important to fully define the value you bring to prospective agents to ensure that you find those that not only meet your strategy needs but, just as important you find great resonance in your value proposition.

  1. Ensure you choose the right agents for the brokerage
    Sourcing agents and evaluating agents are two completely different skills and you must master both if you’re going to be successful in retaining these agents for the long run. Ask the right questions and source agents through referrals are just two strategies for long term success.


For more details on the ​Brokerage Recruiting Playbook​ and its findings, please go to and contact​ with any questions or comments.