August 17, 2022

Real Estate Agent Retention: How to Keep Top Talent

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

These days, many companies struggle to find (and keep) great workers. Unfortunately, real estate brokerages are no exception—with many firms struggling to keep their most talented agents from going to other firms or working independently. 

At the same time, it's never been more important to build strong real estate teams in order to stay competitive and successful. So, how can you improve real estate agent retention at your brokerage? We've got some practical tips to help you make it happen.

Real Estate Industry and the Great Resignation

There are many reasons to start focusing on real estate recruitment and retention as part of your brokerage's long-term growth strategy. This is something you should probably start doing sooner rather than later. 

Currently, we're seeing a large influx of new real estate agents to the field as Americans have left their "traditional" 9-5 jobs in the wake of the Great Resignation. In fact, one REALTOR® article reports that between 2020 and 2021 alone, the real estate field saw a 60% increase in workers.

This is good news for the real estate industry, as there is now a huge potential pool of great talent. However, the Great Resignation has proven that workers will not stay loyal to a company they don't feel nurtured and supported by. As a result, brokerages will have a harder time than ever retaining some of their best real estate agents, who will constantly be searching for the next best opportunity.

More than ever, then, real estate brokerages must go above and beyond to retain their most talented agents and build world-class teams.

Some Retention Strategies to Try

Not sure how to retain top real estate talent at your firm? There are a handful of strategies you can focus on in the coming days, weeks, and months to make your brokerage a more lucrative place to work.

Professional Development

The best real estate agents are always looking for ways to better themselves—and your firm only stands to gain from supporting this. Make sure your agents are aware of professional development opportunities that may be available to them, then look for practical ways to support them through SMART goals. This may mean investing in a training program, for example, so that your agents can become certified in a real estate specialty or pursue some other kind of designation.

When agents feel like your brokerage supports their growth, they're more likely to stick around. And, of course, your firm will benefit from the additional training and education that these agents receive.

Mentorship Programs

If your firm isn't already offering a mentorship program, now is the time to explore this as a training and retention option. Specifically, setting up a mentorship program within your firm is a great way to set up new agents to shadow more experienced agents for a short period of time.

A mentorship program allows new agents to see all the ins and outs of the job, as well as how successful agents handle everyday tasks and challenges. This, in turn, can help new agents develop valuable sales strategies and pick up on other best practices that can make them more successful in their careers.

Offering a mentorship program also demonstrates to your agents that you care about their success and that you want them to feel empowered. This type of program is a great way to create a sense of community within your brokerage.

Company Culture

Don't overlook the importance of company culture when it comes to real estate recruitment and retention. More than ever, people are coming to work not just for the paycheck, but to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in the workplace. If a workplace doesn't offer a supportive company culture, employees are more likely to leave.

In fact, one study found that workers who are unhappy with an organization's culture are 24% more likely to quit. Likewise, 47% of active job seekers in the United States cite company culture as a driving reason for looking for work.

Building a strong company culture within your brokerage begins with putting your firm's values and beliefs in writing, not just in your agent handbooks but on your website and in other accessible places. From there, strive to onboard agents whose own values align with those of your firm to build a strong culture.

Competitive Compensation/Rewards

Much of a successful agent's desire to stay with a brokerage will boil down to compensation—so make sure your firm is competitive. Most agents are paid based on commission, of course, so you'll want to research what competing firms are offering and make sure you're as competitive as possible.

In addition to fair compensation, many agents are driven by recognition of their hard work. This is where it can go a long way for your firm to set up some sort of rewards program with prizes and/or bonuses. This type of recognition is a great way to help your best agents feel valued and appreciated, which can help keep them around.

Flexible Work Options

Many people get into real estate because of the flexible schedule that allows them to break away from the "traditional" 9-5 desk job. More than ever, workers want the flexibility to create their own schedules and work in a way that is most productive to them. For real estate brokerages, this means offering more flexibility to agents not only when it comes to when they work, but where and how they work.

Rather than requiring agents to come into the firm five days a week, for example, you might consider allowing agents to work a hybrid schedule from a home office. These small details can make all the difference in an agent's job satisfaction, after all.

The Right Technology

Last but not least, make sure your firm is offering its agents the most innovative tools and technology to be successful. From lead generation software to customer relationship management (CRM) tools, the right technology can save your agents valuable time that they can use to make more sales. 

Yes, the latest and greatest real estate technology will cost your firm some money to implement, but it's important to see this as an investment in your agents and your brokerage.

Final Thoughts on Improving Real Estate Agent Retention

Competition is fierce among real estate brokerages these days—and retaining your best agents will ultimately boil down to offering the best work environment possible. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to building a supportive and positive work environment for your agents. Looking for more ways to empower your agents? Shaker is here to help. Request a free demo of our innovative platform today to learn more.

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