Real estate is a tough business with the reputation of having a fast revolving door: 87% of all new agents leave the industry after five years. Here are some of the most highly recommended, actionable steps brokerages and agencies can take to retain their valuable agents in 2022.
- Additional income streams - One of the biggest reasons for agents quitting early on is not having a financial backup plan that will keep them going in ‘dry season’, i.e. in between sales, which could be months for most. Some companies implement profit and revenue sharing models that reward agents for recruiting other talent, or for getting customers to sign up on a particular company software, while some agencies share a number of leads with new hires to get them going with how lead generation works.
- Ongoing training and education - Many new agents have only ever worked in other industries, so education often only begins once they’ve already joined the force. Brokerages can offer training and educational sessions that will help agents succeed and get a better grasp of the requirements of the job.
- Invest in the brand - Investing in the brand and what it represents gives agents a much clearer idea of the standard and priorities the company stands for, giving them a strong value proposition to join in. Some companies who have invested in paid ads, SEO and social media marketing have been able to garner the attention of their area’s top agents this way. Agents want to be able to take pride in their agency, bring in clients in a reputable brick-and-mortar office where possible, and be associated with a recognized brokerage name.
- Offer tech support that is current and solves problems - Many agents are well aware by now that they need to have a strong online presence and a robust tech stack to deal with modern consumers. An important retention strategy is to offer up-to-date software and tech solutions that resolve many of the pain points that agents face on a daily basis; for example, so many tasks can be easily remedied with automation via CRM systems or other software, and many of these platforms come in various packages that can suit brokerages no matter the size of their teams. This is a huge win for agents who will have a lot more time to focus on urgent and more pressing matters, like meeting with clients. According to a recent survey, 65% of agents said one of the top three benefits they received from their brokerage was ‘innovative technology platforms’.
- Mentorship and coaching programs - The same survey, however, revealed that 67% of agents felt they were least satisfied with the lack of coaching/mentorship at their current brokerage. Pairing up agents with experienced top performers from time to time could be the equivalent of hours of training in-class as well as improve agent retention because a) top performers feel good about being able to give back and serve others and b) fresher agents feel heard and have a legit sounding board that can steer them towards better paths.
- New Hybrid Workplace - In a post-Covid world, more employees want to continue the level of workplace flexibility they experienced having to work remotely, while some are keen to return to physical office space. It’s important for brokerages to nurture a culture of freedom where agents have leeway to choose what works for them, while maintaining the sense of brand ethos across the board. Agents who know that their leaders trust them and give them flexibility are more likely to stick around for the long haul and be proud of being associated with a forward-thinking brand.
- Prioritizing mental health - Expanding on the last point, the WFH (work-from-home) dynamic and overall experience of the last two years affected the mental health of thousands of professionals across all industries. 65% of real estate professionals suffer from poor mental health, causing the industry to be categorized as ‘high risk’. Brokerages have a higher chance of retaining agents if agents know their company takes employee mental health seriously and offers the relevant services on hand.
- Celebrate agents’ success - Highlighting good work and productivity is always appreciated, and brokerages can easily do that by posting achievements and agent profile blurbs on social media or the company website, which agents can in turn repost and reshare to friends, family and prospective clients.