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6 tips to improve agent retention

Lisa Pribik
Head of Marketing at RE/MAX Europe

Retention is an on-going challenge

Agent retention is something that effects real estate offices globally and across the industry. In fact, between 85% to 90% of agents will call it a day within five years of entering the industry.

While there is no one-fix-fits-all solution to this problem, there are a few key areas all offices can continually work on to minimize it – even if you’re doing these things already. Here are our six tips to improve agent retention:

1) Give agents the tools they need to succeed

Office owners can’t expect agents to stay with them for very long if they don’t provide the tools needed to succeed. It sounds obvious but for many brokerages across the industry this is a daily problem.

Happily, RE/MAX offices are in a unique position to request support from their regional office and receive tools and materials on a European level too. With over 2000 offices across Europe, RE/MAX Brokers can tap into the best practices and tool recommendations of an entire continent.

It can be tough to know what tools agents really need, and to deliver them on a limited budget, but it is always advisable to have regular catch-up sessions around this topic. Keep up to date with what your agents feel they require. If your agents sense their office can’t provide the tools they need, they will soon start looking for one that can

2) Make your office a great place to work

We often hear about the great RE/MAX customer experience. How we always try to go the extra mile for our clients and put their needs first. But the agent experience is just as important. Making customers happy is the responsibility of the agents but making sure agents stay in the right mindset to do that is the duty of the office owner.

Developing an office where agents want to come to work starts with creating a welcoming atmosphere, an inclusive attitude everyone in the office is committed to, and investing in a clean, professional environment.

3) Create a culture of winning (together)

It’s true what they say: Winning is a habit. Success only breeds more success and the more you learn how to be successful, the easier it is to build a successful team. This starts with on-boarding and making sure each new agent has challenging but achievable stretch goals.

Make sure they are recognized for achieving these goals and allow agents responsibility gradually. If an agent is achieving, engaged, recognized and rewarded they are all the more likely to stay with you.

4) Establish a strong office identity

An office identity is one of the hardest things to develop but one of the main reasons agents will want to stay with you. But what is an office identity and how is it different to a winning culture?

A winning culture should be part of this, but an overall identity is the core values your business stands for, the way you wish to be seen by your customers and knowing what aspects of your business agents respond to best.

There is no quick fix for this tip. However, you can set down some areas in which you would like to place a focus and let the natural personalities in your team develop around them. Such as:

  • Team bonding through sport/culture
  • Improving office communication
  • Building trust and agent cooperation

5) Provide a clear development plan

Everyone likes to know where they’re heading in their career and real estate agents are no different. For many, being an agent may also be a totally new career path and therefore quite a steep learning curve. Providing a clear and proven on-boarding and further career development plan for your new and existing agents will only increase retention in the long term.

Perhaps you have some high performers who are thinking of opening their own office? Keep them within the system by offering them the chance to build an agent team or consider turning your office into an office group with your top performer becoming leader of your new location.

6) Recruit with quality in mind

There’s no question that agent retention starts with recruitment. With a strong ideal candidate in mind, you can reduce the chances of hiring those who could be a risk to your retention activities. However, there is also lots to be learned from those who you may have already lost. As well as providing exiting agents with an ‘exit questionnaire’ (when appropriate), ask yourself these questions:

Did I deliver on my promise?

One of the quickest ways to lose agents is to over-promise what working in your office will be like and then not following up on that promise. While we all try to be transparent and realistic about what agents can expect, the best strategy is to keep it simple: tools, development, and a great office culture.

Was this person the right hire in the first place?

There’s no magic mirror to show how any given candidate will perform after signing. Some take to the work as easy as breathing, while others need a bit more time. It’s important to minimize the risk of agents leaving by providing correct on-boarding and achievable development goals.

Was I clear enough about what being an agent takes?

New additions to your team, and especially those from outside the real estate world, may not know what it takes to be an agent. It’s good to be clear and leave no expectations unmanaged.

Was this agent a good personality fit?

No matter how good an agent is, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Once you have a clear office identity it becomes much easier to spot the best fit candidates from the rest.

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Please Note: While RE/MAX Europe has compiled the information on this page diligently and to the best of its knowledge, RE/MAX Europe does not assume any liability for the accuracy of the information or for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

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