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The competition is intensifying in real estate for talent, according to “The State of Real Estate Recruiting,” conducted by Engel & Völkers. The brand surveyed more than 500 agents to determine their level of satisfaction with their careers and current brokerages, as well as motivations for making a move. Findings include:

  • 96 percent of agents surveyed are satisfied with their current job, 94 percent predict that they are likely to be with their same brokerage a year from now, and 90 percent would recommend their brokerage to other agents
  • 35 percent say they consider leaving their job at least once a year, with the key drivers for switching brokerages being better commission splits, superior lead gen and more coaching and mentorship
  • The top three benefits agents currently receive from their brokerage are physical office space (86 percent), support from their brokers (83 percent) and innovative technology platforms (65 percent).
  • The three things agents are the least satisfied with at their current brokerage are benefits (93 percent), lead gen (81 percent) and coaching/mentorship (67 percent).
  • The top reason agents say they would join a new brokerage is for better commission splits (38 percent).

“While the average rate of job satisfaction in the U.S. hovers around 50 percent, a staggering 96 percent of real estate agent respondents reported satisfaction in their current positions,” says Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “This makes it exceedingly important for brokers to be actively investing in their recruiting efforts. Top talent is not just going to walk through your door; brokers must make a concerted effort to continuously be in front of their current and prospective agents with value propositions that will resonate.”

Rethinking Commission Splits
The top reason agents said they would join a new brokerage was better splits. While this finding may not be surprising to many brokers, it is a sobering reminder about the misconceptions that agents have across the industry.

“Right now, the real estate industry is rife with brokerages willing to join a race to the bottom by offering excessively large splits in order to recruit agents,” Hitt says. “There needs to be a re-education around the fallacy that larger splits equates to more income. What agents may not realize is that larger splits often are an attempt to compensate for a weak value proposition, which leads to difficulty in attracting homebuyers and sellers. There are no shortcuts. If a brokerage is offering a deal that is too good to be true…it probably is.”

Recruiting Luxury Agents
The report also analyzed agents who specialize in luxury real estate and found that those who self-identify as being luxury agents have particularly high standards and expect more from any new brokerage that is looking to recruit them. Not only do these agents expect that the brokerage will invest in their individual marketing, new technologies, platforms, and professional development; they also understand the value of a brokerage’s brand reputation and ability to reach international buyers to increase their sales opportunities.

“Brokers must not only identify the value they bring to their agents beyond splits, whether that’s mentorship, education, better listings, etc.; they must also clearly communicate that value, ” summarizes Hitt. “Brokers must have a meaningful omnichannel communications strategy—being active in their communities, showcasing their network of current agents, hosting local events, and finding creative ways both online and offline to get in front of prospective talent on a continuous basis. This is the difference between talent recruitment and talent attraction.”

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