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A Market Like No Other!

By RealtyBiz News | September 13, 2023

We are operating in a supply-constrained market with increasing mortgage rates, a market like no other. The implication is agent retention, and talent attraction has never been more important.  

Market and real estate industry conditions continue to correct downward, and normal seasonality is coming our way. On a national basis, year over year the average agent's income is down 28%. And broker owners’ operations teams are receiving more and more “non-payment” of MLS dues notices making all the metrics look, well… goofy. 

So, as it relates to retention and talent attraction, what do we do? Six steps to consider: 

First, face reality. We can’t control the market, yet we can control our business practices and approach to a changing market. The facts are you must do more with less and do it better than before. 

Second, reset a clear vision for the future. In this market, it is vital to keep your ideal agents and hire those that fit your company culture. A clearly defined niche statement, a clear avatar of the ideal agent, and a compelling value proposition go a long way. I’m an Army vet, so quotes from General Patton are natural for me,” A good plan that you act on today can be better than waiting on a perfect one tomorrow.” 

Third, re-recruit your keepers. When change hits, top talent typically leaves first. Yet your best promise for performing in this market is hanging on to your existing producers. Don’t assume. As my friend Steve Murray found in a case study of higher-performing brokers, “If you think you are close to your people, get closer!”  Listen to them, respond to their valid suggestions, and address the goofy ones straight on with candor. My son asked for a Ferrari once – no. Yet when he proposed, we split the cost of his first guitar, and I was the financing arm – yes. He did pay me back and that has been a lifetime investment. 

Fourth, show a sense of urgency. You need to show some fire, some passion, and a sense of urgency. Your team can be warmed by your flame and passion. Be tolerant of mistakes yet intolerant of inaction and inertia. Let’s face it, even at a reduced rate of sales, there are still 17,500 homes closed a day, some 35,000 sides. Someone is going to get that business. Is it you and yours? 

Fifth is soft currency. Psychological “paychecks” have an intrinsic value that hard currency can never touch. In a tough financial market, what does it cost you to give a word of encouragement, a thank you for a new listing, a recognition on a tough transaction? Recently I led a panel for a large national real estate conference; when I arrived home, a handwritten note from the CEO of that organization was in my mailbox. 

Sixth, hard results, not intangibles. In a shifting market, it’s easy to feel good about something. Be trustworthy in the way you pursue productivity and profits. Yet success, momentum, and results are the cure to a down-market. Sales gains, listing taken, higher net promoter scores. My focus would be on new appointments earned this week. 

The bottom line? Relationships have never been more important.  

We are seeing the traditional cold calling, email campaigns, and such not producing traditional results. Why? Maybe it’s a lack of trust; maybe it’s because we are so stunned, we don’t know what to do; maybe it’s apathy. Maybe it’s the relentless pursuit from ALL brokers to one agent. Regardless relationship and trust can overcome those challenges. 

If we are solely relying on these non-relational methods - which might come back in a normal market - our results will suffer. It seems to me we all need to double down and triple down on relationship-building and rapport-building activities that create connection, community, and trust. 

But Mark, I don’t have time?! Well, pick your poison. What is it you TRULY want?  

If you are committed to growth, you will do whatever it takes. Networking and relationship building are where the results will be. Truly understanding your ideal agent has never been more critical. 

  • Agent Referrals - more critical now than ever (they know the deal) 
  • Influencer Referrals - the secret weapon and traditionally my best “recruiters.” 
  • Co-Op agent sales - warm conversations over existing transactions. Opportunity knocks.  
  • Networking and relationship-building activities 

We are in a market like no other, there is no roadmap, but we do know a proven play: relationships. 

What is - unique and innovative - you can do locally to “engage” your target audience? One of our clients is conducting a 5-day morning meeting with top producers on how to earn listings in this market. Another is doing twice a month prospecting night and inviting outside agent prospects. Yet another is organizing a charity event involving all the agents and the community. I’d encourage you and your team to: 

  • Create more value. 
  • Invest in your people and prospects.  
  • Quickly seize on opportunities. 

We are coming on the time - December to January when experienced agents make a move. Now is the time to ensure all the systems are in place. 

  • Your own agents will be asking, “is my current brokerage meeting my needs?” 
  • All the agents outside your brokerage will be asking, “is my current brokerage meeting my needs?” 
  • Is it my broker's fault? 

Give them a reason to stay and to join. 

Relationship is the keyword from now to the end of the year. 

What is - unique and innovative - you can do locally to “engage” your target audience? At Recruiting Insight, we use a proprietary Core Capacity Index that is proven to produce candidates who are 50% more likely to be top producers and 50% less likely to end up as failed hire. If talent attraction and growth is your game, we should have a conversation. 

Mark’s passion and expertise is enabling real estate broker-owners and team leaders to create the systems, structure, and processes to support their growth. He is also an author, speaker, and business partner in Recruiting Insights, real estate’s recruiting solution. The company offers three products to real estate brokers and teams: Third Pool for new agents, CoRecruit for experienced agents and the Hiring Marketplace for teams. As the former Brand President and CEO of JPAR – Real Estate, under his leadership, he and his team grew the firm nearly five times in size in 5 years, with nearly $8 billion in sales, 24,000 annual transactions, and 2,400 associates.

Mark has been in the real estate space for over 30 years. With deep real estate industry experience, Mark has grown significant enterprises. A father of 3, lifelong learner, veteran, and an adventure athlete, Mark earned his Master’s in Business from California State University, his bachelor’s from Colorado State, and numerous other certifications.

You can find his books on Amazon:  Up In Your Business;  One Helluva Move and From Willing To Eager.

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