By Liz Dominguez
Brokerages are vying for the business of other agents, but by no means does that equal a level playing field.
RISMedia's recent webinar, "Brokers: Increasing Relevancy—New Ways to Recruit and Retain," sponsored by Imprev and moderated by Terri Murphy, speaker, coach and author with Workman Success Systems, provides insights from industry professionals on creating a strong recruiting platform and retaining agent business. Real estate professionals Nate Martinez, broker and co-owner of RE/MAX Professionals in Glendale, Ariz.; Rick Geha, leader of the Rick Geha Team at eXp Realty; and Bill Yaman, president and chief revenue officer of Imprev, share their tips for increasing a brokerage's relevancy.
How to Attract Top Agents
Use core values to set the tone. Getting agents to join your brokerage isn't as simple as flashing your compensation structure or offering fancy tech. Geha looks for agents who reflect his own values, and constantly works on himself to be the type of person others want to be around.
Geha says that "Recruiting is a mindset. It has to become a part of who you are." And part of that mindset is using a core set of values as your standards for your brokerage. They should set the tone for your business and who it's going to attract.
"What we've always tried to do is have a set of core values and a mission statement that align us with the right kind of people, the right type of leadership and the right kind of tools," said Martinez.
Use behavioral assessments to confirm an agent is the right fit. Behavioral assessments are popular hiring tools that can help with asking the hard, ethical questions. Even though the assessments only show personality traits, you can use the information to bring out answers about integrity and other moral principles.
Geha recommends that brokers take DISC or any other assessment themselves to communicate more easily based on another person's results. These tools are also a great way of controlling the quality of agents your brokerage attracts.
"It's better to have really good agents come through the front door and stay, rather than having a revolving door," said Murphy.
Be upfront about what you offer. Yes, getting quality talent is important, but you still have to work to capture agents' attention. It all comes down to a brokerage's value proposition. It can be location, compensation plan, office culture or anything else. Whatever you offer, Geha says people need to be able to "sink their teeth into it."
Out of all the recruiting systems Geha has used, he says the greatest tool is the three-letter campaign. It's a series of three letters (if mailed out) or emails that get sent out at the beginning, middle and end of a transaction to the opposite agent. The last letter or email should congratulate the agent on the closing, and should include a request to meet in person to receive a gift. If they don't answer with a time to meet, reach out to drop off the gift. Geha recommends you give a book, such as "The Platinum Rule" by Dr. Tony Allesandra.
"I go about three quarters of the way through the book and put a crisp dollar bill in there. And I say to them, 'I promise you, if you read through this book, you will make money as a result from it,'" said Geha.
How to Improve Agent Retention
Use tools and education to keep agents interested. Once talent is recruited, it's not as easy as putting agents to work and forgetting about them.
Martinez believes the key to agent retention is in providing training and showing agents the benefits of working with their brokerage. He also treats his top 50 agents just a little differently from the masses, making sure they stay loyal and help him grow the company.
"What we do is training, coaching and a complete agent development," said Martinez. "It's really about trying to uncover what they don't know they need and putting a plan together for success."
For many agents, tools and systems may not seem attractive if they are afraid of using new technology. When speaking of Imprev, a marketing automation platform, Yaman stated that it's important to shift the conversation from providing tools to delivering services and the value of the capability.
Don't forget about the agents you've hired. Martinez warns that other brokerages are looking to win over your unhappy agents. That's why he hosts anniversary dinners at his brokerage as a way to get feedback and keep the connection between broker and agent alive even after their initial recruitment.
It also has to be a mutual attraction. Geha increases agent retention rates by providing the same level of attention to those in his office as he would to talent he is looking to recruit.
"Have your people fall back in love with you every single day," said Geha. "And at the same time, have others fall in love with you, your company and what you stand for."
Learn more from the webinar in the recording below:
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