Top 10 Ways to Recruit and Retain Real Estate Agents
How to attract and keep the best talent in today’s tight job market
What motivates today’s agent to leave or join a new real estate brokerage? If you instantly answered commission splits, you’re overlooking a new mindset that looks well beyond the paycheck. Today’s agent considers everything from cultural fit and marketing resources to productivity tools and software when selecting a new brokerage to call home.
Top 10 recruiting and retaining tips
1Don’t follow the script.
Every real estate agent has their own motivation. Many are recruited based on attractive commission splits, but others favor brokers who offer the right tech tools or educational training. Actively listen to your job candidates to find out what motivates them. Many agents today — particularly millennials — are looking for remote and mobile-first technology that enables them to complete real estate transactions faster and more efficiently wherever they may be.
All too often brokers find themselves forced to recruit when an agent leaves on short notice. In these cases, the pool of candidates is limited to whoever happens to be looking for a new brokerage at the time. Rather than compromise your standards, take the smarter approach and actively cultivate candidates before they’re even thinking of leaving their current team. Cast a wide net and look at both, up-and-coming agent as well as the seasoned agent looking to make a move.
3Host a happy hour.
On that note, consider closing your doors to clients for a night and focus on recruiting agents with a personable monthly or quarterly social event. These can take the form of happy hours or in-house speaking engagements. Such forums allow you and your staff to get to know a number of candidates in a more informal setting and build a rapport with promising agents for the future, even if they’re not actively looking to make a change now.
4Characterize your culture.
Maybe your brokerage offers great camaraderie among colleagues with helpful, supportive agent collaboration. Or perhaps you’re a large franchise that can provide awesome training courses, marketing and lead gen resources. Whatever it is, promote that one thing that sets your brokerage apart and really makes you special in the eyes of the type of agents you want to attract.
NYC-based Real Broker, one of the fastest growing virtual brokerages, appeals to the remote, mobile agent, while Parks Realty of Nashville, TN, has been honored as the No. 1 Top Workplace by local press for its family-friendly company culture.
5Market your online presence.
Customers aren’t the only prospects canvassing the Internet for brokerages with a strong marketing presence. Promising agents looking to make their next move are also focusing attention on your online profile. Make sure you’re using strong SEO keywords in your online content (read more about content strategy) so when agents and customers search for homes for sale in your community, your brokerage name will pop up on the first page.
One easy way to spread the word quickly is by using dotloop’s branded communication feature. Brokerages who use the dotloop for Teams and Business+ platforms enjoy the added benefit of branding their account page with their logo displayed front and center. The result? Effective word-of-mouth advertising that targets your local agent community.
6Think beyond LinkedIn.
According to a survey by Capterra Talent Management, 94% recruiters are active on LinkedIn, though only 36% of candidates are active. The competition is fierce on this popular social channel. So why not look at less conventional forums to recruit?
Try creating a short recruiting video featuring testimonials from some of your more loyal agents, admins and customers, and post it on Facebook or YouTube. You might also look to recruit from similar sales-based and real estate-oriented industries, including the title, mortgage, escrow, insurance and financial fields.
7Use reporting to retain talent.
Robust reporting and comprehensive dashboards on a streamlined transaction management platform like dotloop can help you get in front of your team’s productivity with highly refined sorts such as real-time views of active transactions versus closed accounts. Such data will enable you to track your strong performers as well as those who need more coaching. As you gain deeper visibility into those agents who are really driving your business, you’ll be in a better place to act proactively rather than reactively to changes.
8Integrate with CRM and back-office applications.
Tech-minded agents are attracted to brokerages that offer technology, which integrates with their favorite CRM, marketing and accounting applications. Brokerages with fewer disconnects across departments also hum with greater efficiency.
Agents are finding having a well-integrated real estate transaction management platform like dotloop, which partners with 40+ CRM, marketing and accounting applications, helps streamline their workflow and eliminate redundant data entry. Data also suggests that agents who use integrated applications are more likely to engage with the transaction management process.
9Even the playing field.
Once you’ve narrowed the candidate pool and initiated the interviewing process, make sure you track each candidate and assess them using the same, standardized criteria. Ask the same interview questions of each to ensure your polling of prospects is fair and balanced.
10Hold onto great talent.
Of course, for all the resources you invest in recruiting great talent, all those efforts will lay to waste if your agents leave prematurely. Avoid the revolving door and retain great talent by constantly nurturing their skillsets with the right mix of ongoing training, productivity tools and robust marketing programs that close the deal and keep your agents happy for the long term.