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Recruiting: Finding and KEEPING Quality Agents

by | Apr 28, 2014

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Several years ago, I did a recruiting study of one of the top CENTURY 21 firms in the nation. Despite the fact that they were enrolling more than 1,200 new recruits in their real estate school each year, it was still difficult maintaining a high-quality staff while continuing to expand.

Over the course of several months, I studied the firm and put together a multi-faceted program that included everything from determining which agents to target, an action plan, a custom email campaign, database management, goals and tracking.

In Part One of this series, I took a look at what experienced agents want most, the reasons agents cited as factors in associating with a specific real estate firm and, more importantly, why they stayed.

A study conducted by the California Association of REALTORS® showed – surprisingly -- that money and commission splits are not the most important factor.

Here are the top reasons agents cited for staying at a typical brokerage:

  • Company's image/name recognition
  • Broker's ethics
  • Company's/broker's business philosophy
  • Size of firm/market presence
  • Management
  • Compensation plan
  • Marketing services/lead generation
  • Technological support services
  • Transaction management

And here are the top reasons cited by agents for leaving the firm where they worked:

  • Favoritism/unequal treatment from management or staff.
  • Lack of personal recognition.
  • Incompatibility with fellow agents, staff or management.
  • Higher commission split offered elsewhere.
  • Opportunity to work less, make/keep more money.
  • More perks offered elsewhere.
  • Moving to a higher profile office/firm/organization/location.
  • Poor marketing, advertising, promotional support from management and staff.
  • Poor or declining reputation of office/firm/organization.
  • Change in management/ownership.
  • Lack of access to advance skills training/in-house coaching program.

Note that the top three reasons an agent leaves a real estate brokerage has to do with how they felt they were treated, not money. And, an overwhelming majority had to do with support services and/or recognition.

As part of the study, we also looked at some of the reasons agents might be reluctant to leave the company they are working for. Here is where money and/or listings play a leading role.

  • Leaving existing inventory of listings behind.
  • Commission splits and other compensation considerations.
  • Logistical problems making move (changing business cards, signs and promotional materials)
  • Loyalty to present broker/staff, associates and clients.
  • Office friendships.
  • Loss of recognition and/or status.
  • Timing: uncertain of market conditions.

Now that you know this, you can begin creating a profile of the type of agent you are looking for as well as how to target them.

It's also important to understand that once you get a quality, producing agent, you want to keep them. Too many firms are an endless revolving door with agents coming and going on a much too frequent basis.

The next step is determining the type of agent you are looking to attract.Depending on your size and market niche, here are some ideas to consider in your recruiting efforts:

  • Agents at independents who could benefit from being associated with your organization. 
  • Producing newer agents (up to two years in the business) who might benefit from more training and are dissatisfied with present firms.
  • Co-op agents who have worked with, or are currently working with, your firm or agents.
  • New-to-the-business agents who are already trained.
  • Part-time agents who have potential.
  • Students who are enrolled in real estate/business classes.

Of course, these are just basic ideas. An effective campaign will rely on many factors including your ability to target and attract agents that will not only survive, but thrive, under your leadership.

A great first step in any recruiting campaign is giving the agent the tools they need to be successful. Offering a value-added tool like WebsiteBox.com provides new agents with a great starting point.

To view the original article, visit the WebsiteBox blog.
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