We always leave ways to offer more value to staff on the list when we talk about how brokers can improve their business. If a real estate agent isn’t happy at their current brokerage, they can jump ship in search of something extra. With that, your business is left with an unfilled position and a loss in profitability. And even though there will always be newly licensed agents looking for a broker, that shouldn’t be something that brokers fall back on. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Brokers need to retain their agents:
- Retaining staff is significantly more cost effective than training and onboarding new agents.
- You actually incur more costs to separate from an agent. Consider the time your admin spends processing the termination and recruiting a replacement.
- The amount of productivity that’s lost during the period of recruiting and replacing the team member is significant.
The question that remains is, how do you keep your team happy? It starts with finding ways to offer more value to your agents. Start by thinking out of the box, or in this case, the box is the commission split. Today’s agents look at the position as a whole, not just the paycheck. They want to know the pay, sure, but they also want to know how your brokerage can boost their careers in real estate.
Equip your agents with the right technology
A few years ago, Inman produced a report that found an overwhelming majority of agents use tech tools or services provided by their brokerage. While it shows that most agents are utilizing new technology, what does this say about your brokerage? Well, in your line of business, you are the expert in all things real estate, and that includes tech. In fact, you should be radiating “real estate expert” at this point.
We’ll start with what’s in it for you — if 90 percent of your agents use technology provided by your brokerage, it better be the most efficient, upgraded tool available. If not, you’re placing 90 percent of your agents two feet back from the starting line. We might even go so far as to say that they’re starting the race with only one shoe. Now, equipping agents with the right tools is a huge added value and here’s why. Most agents fall into one of three categories:
- They pay out of pocket to use the tech tools and services of their choice.
- They pay a technology fee to their brokerage in exchange for use of provided tools.
- They have access to top-of-the-line tools but don’t have the training to know how to use it appropriately.
Every other brokerage provides an opportunity for a commission check, we know that. But what every other brokerage doesn’t have is access to and training for the most resourceful technology tools in the industry. That is how you offer more value to your agents.
Creating a company culture agents want to be a part of
Arguably, the company culture is the most important way to offer more value to your agents. To be blunt, no professional wants to work for a company they don’t enjoy being at or feel connected to. Every way you can look at it, a bad vibe is going to cost you your agents. In 2018, LinkedIn conducted a survey that found seven in 10 working professionals would refuse to work at a top company if it meant working in a poor environment. Like we said, no bad vibes.
Be a resource or offer mentorship and growth opportunities
Characterize your company culture as an environment of mentorship and career growth. Really, there are two ways to get this done: be a resource for your agents or implement mentorship opportunities.
If you want to be a more hands-on leader, schedule time where you can be in contact with your agents more frequently. That may look like leading a training and presentations so that you can help guide agents on issues like marketing or lead gen, but it also might look like quarterly group meetings to hear out strategies and issues.
Vice versa, a broker who’s less hands-on still needs to provide those opportunities for mentorship. A mentorship program can benefit both your rookie and seasoned agents — connecting them provides roots and support for the new hire and improved standing for your more experienced agents.
Areas to educate your agents on
Don’t overlook the importance of educating your agents on industry best practices. Most agents have moved on from the brokerage where they first began, which leaves their received mentorship all over the map. Our leadership team at Zipi pulled together three areas in which we believe all brokers should offer additional training:
- Teach them how to manage their money
- How to plan ahead and prepare for tax time
- Budgeting tips
- Reviewing Profit and Loss Statements
Provide career support
Lastly, provide career support to your agents. Real estate is multifaceted — you need to be a people person, have marketing skills, analytical and tech skills, have time well managed, and the list goes on. It’s unlikely that every real estate agent out there is naturally gifted in all of these areas.
Marketing is one area that agents, especially new ones, can benefit from their brokerage’s input. These strategies are endless. We’re talking about their website, social media, email marketing, direct mail, paid search, video marketing… truly, they are endless. Unless they’re a veteran or a top performer, your agent needs your help in this area. Maybe you have the marketing expertise to offer input, or a training might be the next step in line. And don’t forget that this is a key area where mentorship programs can offer help. Keep in mind that agents are in the business of selling. Just by simply helping them to do that, you’re providing a lot of value.
Zipi is the Real Estate Operating System (OS) that aims to make real estate simple from agents and deals to commissions and billings. Request a demo to get in contact with one of our expert team members.