Hiring great agents is only the first step in ensuring your brokerage succeeds. Keeping those agents around? That’s where the real power lies. Unfortunately, doing that is harder than it looks. As agents improve in skill and grow their businesses, most are apt to look elsewhere. They might even get poached by other brokers. That doesn’t mean losing great agents is a given, though, and there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent it.
Do you want to retain your best agents (and those to come) for the long haul? These seven strategies can help.
1. Invest in their development. At the end of the day, your agents just want to be successful. The best thing you can do? Help improve their skills. This might mean offering professional development in-house through speakers and local experts or with online tools like webinars or virtual coaching. Continuing education is also key to not only keep their licenses active, but to also help stay up-to-date on current trends and best practices.
2. Give them the tech they need to succeed. Technology is incredibly important to today’s agents—and their bottom lines. They need a good CRM, video conferencing tools, accounting solutions and tech to manage their documents and contracts. Social media and marketing tools are a must, too—especially in a post-pandemic world. Make sure they have access to things like 3D walkthrough solutions, interactive floor plan mapping and other technologies to improve their listings virtually.
3. Offer support. Just being there for your agents can be huge. Implement an open-door policy, and make sure your agents know they can ask questions or solicit advice any time they need it. You might even think about offering some sort of mentorship program, pairing up your more experienced agents with novice ones for one-on-one guidance.
4. Keep them abreast of trends and changes. An agent who’s behind on trends is at a major disadvantage—particularly in today’s fast-moving industry. To ensure your agents are primed for success, make sure they’re always abreast of the latest developments and trends in the market. This might mean subscribing to a data solution for the most updated stats in their area or offering free subscriptions to various industry and trade publications.
5. Create a great work environment. Real estate transactions are largely virtual these days, but most agents still want a place to call home base. They want a dedicated work station, a pleasant and well-appointed place to meet with partners and clients, and communal areas where they can network, build a rapport with their colleagues or even just sit back and have a hot cup of coffee—things they can’t do from their car or home office as easily.
6. Focus on culture. Culture fit is hugely important to any worker—agents included—so build a team culture you can be proud of. Recognize achievements with some sort of award or honor system, participate in team-building events and social gatherings, and regularly solicit feedback through surveys and other solutions to ensure you’re on the right track. Once an agent feels a real part of the team, it’s much harder to leave and go elsewhere.
7. Build their brand. Finally, make sure your efforts are focused on the agent—not just the brokerage as a whole. Help them make a name for themselves in the industry, and invest in their individual marketing and branding. Ultimately, when their business grows, so does yours, so consider it dollars well-spent.
The Bottom Line
Investing in agent retention is investing in your brokerage’s long-term success. If you need other ideas for retaining great agents, consider issuing a survey to your existing team. Why have they stuck around so far? What are their favorite and least favorite things about the brokerage? What would other incentives and benefits would they appreciate as an employee? As long as it’s anonymous, it should provide some helpful feedback you can start putting into action.
McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate.