A hotly debated topic among brokers is what do agents really need today to ensure their overall success. The raging issue is important for so many reasons, as agent success directly impacts the health of the brokerage. Will Rogers said, “A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.”
Most brokers have strong opinions on the subject and if you ask ten, you’ll generally get ten different responses ranging from higher splits, more leads, more tech, nicer offices, training, and coaching-- even signing bonuses. Agent success touches all the aspects of a brokerage and perhaps none more so than agent recruiting and retention, which frankly most brokerages are struggling with today. One of the most powerful recruiting and retention tools is agent productivity.
Regardless of where you stand in the debate, there is one thing that all agents need and want.
It is most basic and if you can provide this one valuable resource, you’ll increase their productivity which in turn increases your company’s recruiting, retention, company dollar and profits.
What is it that agents truly need?
Agents need more time.
Time is your agent’s most important resource. Time is the raw material for the production in their business and ultimately in yours. Top agents today really don’t want to work harder or longer. They want to work smarter and more effectively.
Agents’ success comes from investing their time with buyers and sellers; they want to be able to focus on high-probability contacts and develop future ones for their pipelines. Successful agents need time to plan and build their business as well as prepare for the future. They also want to have a life, occasionally relax, and enjoy the fruits of their labors which ultimately reduces agent burnout and turnover.
Brokers who can empower agents with more time to focus on what is important to them will win the war on recruiting and agent retention, ultimately driving their firm’s success in the market.
Here are seven important keys for giving agents more quality time:
Vetted leads – Face it, agents generally aren’t great at qualifying and vetting large numbers of raw leads. Most simply won’t invest the time and effort into the tedious task of tracking down and qualifying them. Sure, they may make a call or two and then move on letting your “lousy” expensive leads just sit unworked. However, many surveys have shown agents would accept a lower commission on quality, vetted leads which provides the opportunity for the broker to invest in the process on behalf of the agents while increasing company dollar and saving the agents’ time. An ongoing vetting process on behalf of the agents pays for itself and increases higher quality leads that have more built-in company dollar for the broker.
Lead management systems – I’ll take a higher percentage of conversions over the number of leads generated every time. But good conversion rates require a good system. Do you have the backend systems that enable agents to easily manage their deal flow as well as follow up and nurture prospects? It needs to be easy for the agents to adopt and manage so that they’ll embrace it which leads directly to #3…
Technology adoption – We all know agents really don’t like change, especially when it comes to technology. While a brokerage can invest heavily in technology, it’s useless if the agents aren’t using it. You must provide ongoing assistance, guidance and coaching in utilizing the tools provided, not just a few lessons and pointers here and there.
Admin and support – Documentation, MLS, photos, videos, signage, contracts, revisions, inspections reports, emails, advertising, marketing, social media, coordinating people, etc., etc., etc. all combine to take vast amounts of time away from agents that could best be spent in other more productive areas. Admin support can easily be shared and/or contracted out. Agents will tell you it is one of the most frustrating parts of their day.
“Successful agent productivity is a brokers most powerful recruiting and retention tool”
Help them build a business – Agents struggle making their profession a true business. In fact, most have never approached it as one. Help them to build a viable business which includes workable business planning and financial considerations. Don’t forget tax planning so that they won’t be scrambling and losing focus as tax time approaches.
Agent exit strategies – Agent retirement has been called one of the top ten industry threats. Most agents and brokers have no idea how to transition their seasoned agents’ book of business into a viable ongoing revenue stream. A team transition strategy with agents who are thinking near-term retirement will boost the success rate of less experienced agents as well as cut down on retention issues. It also enables the senior agents to remain active but at a pace that fits with their pending plans and lifestyle.
Share your time – Finally, they need time with you and your senior team members. By utilizing your own internal systems, you can track which agents need assistance as well as coaching, goal setting and accountability discussions. Time with the broker keeps agents on track and focusing on what will produce the best results. The best brokers set aside specific times for agent one-on-one meetings dedicated on focusing on the needs of their agents.
Giving your agents the time they need to be successful increases their productivity and it has a powerful impact on your brokerage. I say over and over, a strong PPP - Per Person Productivity - is your best agent recruiting and retention tool.
Thoughts, comments or questions about your market and your future? Feel free to reach out. I’m happy to buy you a cup of copy and share ideas.
If you would like to explore growth strategies such as franchising or affiliation, M&A and recruiting, click here to contact Rick Ellis today.
Rick Ellis is a 30+ year veteran of real estate brokerage ownership, mergers & acquisitions, and franchising, As VP with The Corcoran Group, he directs real estate firms with their growth strategies and increasing their market share, profits, business value and exit strategies.