How Brokerages Recruit and Retain Top Real Estate Agents
Learning how to recruit and retain top real estate agents is an art. Brokerages need to develop a clear value proposition to present to potential agents and show them how working with their brokerage will further propel their real estate careers. By offering competitive industry tools, supporting an agent's personal brand, and investing in a collaborative workplace culture, brokerages make themselves indispensable to their agents.
Here is how brokerages use recruiting best practices to recruit and retain talented agents.
Invest in technology that makes agents better
One way brokerages recruit and retain agents is by investing in real estate technology. Real estate technology is an indispensable part of an agent’s selling process. According to a recent Inman report, agents overwhelmingly support tech tools provided by their brokerages. The vast majority of agents at franchised brokerages and independent brokerages use tech products either on a daily basis, or at the very least, a few times a week. Agents have come to rely on brokerages to help share the cost of essential real estate technology.
Identifying what technology motivates your current agents should help determine your recruiting pitch to candidates. Here are a few examples of technology that fuels agent productivity:
Paperwork, signatures, and legal documents make up a large percentage of an agent’s workweek. A transaction management software, such as DocuSign Transaction Rooms or Skyslope, helps agents keep client documents organized and in one convenient place. Electronic document management is a value-add for both clients and agents.
Online Listing Presence
Providing an agent an MLS listing on your brokerage’s website is a huge boost for engaging prospective clients. Help your agents add value to their online presence by providing them an Internet Data Exchange (IDX) website. Check out some IDX website designs with BoomTown, Boston Logic, and Placester.
Also, check out Smarter Agent, a branded app for your agents that allows clients to browse your listings on their phone with ease.
Video marketing is a trend your brokerage should promote when recruiting agents. Some brokerages hire in-house videographers or create engaging, easy-to-launch video emails with BombBomb. Services such as Matterport are also helping brokerages create interactive and virtual reality home tours for their agents.
A great customer relationship manager (CRM) makes a world of difference to a busy real estate agent. CRMs help agents organize their prospect information digitally, respond to clients, stay in touch with past clients, and automate everyday tasks. Looking for a place to start, or considering switching? Check out BuzzFlow, Contactually, and Wise Agent.
Another great tool to help agents with time management is SmartZip. SmartZip uses predictive analytics to help an agent determine when a homeowner is ready to sell their home. It’s a great compliment to a CRM that helps agents identify which prospects to contact and when.
Employ a secret weapon
Obviously, we have a strong opinion about this, but Updater is a secret weapon to ease clients’ headaches during the most stressful part of the real estate transaction – the move. Our digital moving app/concierge is brokerage and agent-branded and helps clients complete all of their moving-related tasks, from reserving a trusted moving company to transferring cable and internet to updating accounts and records. When your agents offer Updater to their clients, the positive experience clients have will be associated with your agents — reflecting well on their client experience.
Recruit agents at every level
Agents looking for their first opportunity with a real estate brokerage and experienced agents looking to transition to a new brokerage will have a different set of expectations. Just like a good real estate agent adjusts their pitch depending on the client, your brokerage should advertise different elements of your business to recruit different candidates. Here are some benefits that will help attract either new or experienced agents.
How to recruit experienced real estate agents:
Create a winning office space
Office space is a simple, yet effective way to show value to experienced real estate agents. Ensure your agents have a dedicated workspace to touch base with clients, catch up on emails, and post listings. Having an office your agents can use to stay organized and feel at home in also helps build relationships between agents and gives your workplace culture a place to grow. Need a few office design ideas? Check out our interview with Pearson Smith Realty for a sneak peek of their amazing office.
Improve agent marketing
Marketing has continued to shape the real estate community in 2018. Brokerages who support their agents’ marketing efforts are enormously valuable to agents looking for new ways to reach prospects. Whether your brokerage has a marketing manager creating content for social media, a dedicated blogger writing shareable content, or you use a service like OutboundEngine to share stories with clients, social media and blog content is crucial for the success of your agents. Need some content inspiration? Here are a few great blogs for brokerages to check out.
Invest in employee culture
Culture fit is an important focus when recruiting experienced agents. How an agent melds with your brokerage’s culture is not only an indicator of how they will perform but also how long they will stay. Investing in a winning brokerage culture is important for both the success of your brokerage and of your agents. Start a dialogue with your candidates and agents about what they expect from your brokerage so you can provide the best culture for their productivity.
How to recruit new real estate agents:
Help your agents develop a personal brand
Whether you’re a national real estate brokerage or a boutique, brand recognition has value to first-time agents. That being said, using your brokerage’s size is not the only way to support an agent’s brand. Help your new agents design business cards, make your logo easily accessible for use online, and help coach your agents to refine their unique value proposition for clients.
Brokerages who invest in their agent’s brand offer enormous value to candidates looking to develop their real estate identity. Make sure you emphasize your branding initiatives with candidates so they can envision their potential growth if they were to join your brokerage.
Start a mentorship program
There’s no substitution for great leadership among real estate agents. Offer your first-time agents a mentorship program that pairs new agents with senior agents on your team. Cross-training not only benefits new agents who are eager to learn the best practices of your brokerage, but it also helps seasoned agents invest in their personal growth and increase their standing in your brokerage. Try hosting a monthly lunch-and-learn program so new agents have the opportunity to learn from the best agents in your brokerage.
Advertise career growth
Career growth is a great selling point for any candidate but it’s especially important for new agents. During the interview, introduce candidates to agents on your team who began their career with your brokerage. A visual example of career growth is an unrivaled advantage for showing candidates what your brokerage can provide for them. Talk to candidates about what they are looking for from their real estate career and demonstrate how your brokerage will foster their development as an agent.
Show agents your brand value
In order to recruit talented real estate agents, your brokerage needs to put its value on display. To convince candidates that your business, culture, and brand are the worth their investment, it’s crucial to get your message out into the real estate community. Your brokerage should utilize all of its resources to find, attract, and organize potential hires. Here are some ways your brokerages can personalize the recruiting process:
Encourage agent leadership
Your current agents are one of your brokerage’s most valuable sources for recruiting. By either bringing in talent from their personal network or successfully representing your brand in the real estate community, your agents are an indispensable tool when recruiting new talent. By providing value for your agents your brokerage will create its best advocates for your brand. Your team’s next great prospect can come from anywhere, so make sure you have the support of your agents.
Put your culture (and agents) on display
Your brokerage’s culture should show candidates the advantages of joining your team. Capture a snapshot of your culture by starting a culture blog for candidates checking out your website. Put your agents front and center — celebrating their success is important, so take into consideration that what you celebrate is as important as how you celebrate it. Agents may be wooed by a big year-end party, but recognizing the little victories like work anniversaries, reaching sales goals, and birthdays demonstrates how a brokerage truly values its agents. Take a look at our employee blog for some ideas.
Host live events
In addition to searching for the best candidates, hosting events at your brokerage is a great networking tool for current agents and candidates who may consider joining your brokerage down the line. It also demonstrates to agents that your brokerage is a place that fosters career growth and development.
Need a few ideas? Invite an industry expert to give a presentation at your office, host a local agent happy hour, or sponsor a recruitment night for agent networking. Live events get your brand out into your local real estate community and your message in front of candidates and prospective clients.
Own your recruiting process
Managing your pipeline of applicants, current interviews, and past candidates is a time-consuming task. Help give your candidates the attention they deserve with recruiting software like Greenhouse, Beamery, or BambooHR. They’re designed to manage the lifecycle of a candidate from a lead to hire. Recruiting software can even help you connect with candidates you’ve passed on but want to stay in touch with going forward. Optimizing your recruiting process puts your brokerage in the position to make the best hiring decision possible.
The golden rule of recruiting real estate agents
The way brokerages recruit and retain top real estate agents has a lot of moving parts. The golden rule of recruiting is to recruit agents the way you would want to be recruited. By owning your recruiting process, selling your value to each candidate, and investing in the right technology, your brokerage can recruit the best agents for your business.
Ben is the former Content Intern for Updater’s Marketing team. The only thing he finds more exciting than discovering a new trend for content is starting his own.