Recruitment & Retention: Finding the Best Agents

by Chicago Agent

Office Environments

Too often, the work environment is overlooked when it comes to keeping agents happy and retaining top talent, but it’s a crucial piece of the pie. Once the agent is recruited, retention often has to do with the office environment and how the managing broker interacts with agents.

Popowcer says he works to maintain a happy environment in his Palatine office, and encourages agents to talk with him whenever they may need something – anything.

“In my office, I have four chairs: two sales chairs and two therapy chairs,” he says. “I try to keep up with everything going on in their lives. A managing broker can stand out good or bad, but if an agent likes where they are, they will attract others.”

Keeping agents happy is essential; after all, the point of recruitment is to retain those agents, and thus, keep improving the office with the retention of successful agents.

“I think retention is overlooked in today’s market, and some brokerages have revolving doors,” Fotopoulos says. “I have group and one-on-one meetings to know what’s going on with them. Job satisfaction is not always about compensation and percentages; it could be about other issues.”

The Right Way to Recruit

Agents might be listening to several sales pitches about joining new brokerages every day. At the end of the day, when it comes to recruitment, managing brokers should focus on the success of their own brokerages and rely on their success, office environment, tools and training to attract top agents. Broken down into three points, tips to do this are:

  1. The only way prospective agents can gain an authentic sense of a brokerage’s culture is through first-hand experience. Many industry professionals have stressed that real estate is a people business – for clients and agents alike. A positive culture at the workplace goes a long way in attracting an agent.
  2. The thought of joining a new firm is at once both exciting and troubling for an agent. Sure, a new brokerage could open up more business opportunities for an agent, but it just as easily could be the wrong fit. Furthermore, an agent isn’t always desperate to leave their situation; they might be in their comfort zone, making a possible transition seem even riskier. Should conversation about an agent’s fears be forbidden? Hardly. A managing broker should sit down with a prospective agent and confront the agent’s fears head-on. And don’t tell the agent why joining your firm is worth the risk. Instead, ask what they think makes a transition worth the risk, and provide examples highlighting why this firm can meet their needs.
  3. Letting an agent discuss their fears and allowing them to participate in office events lays the foundation for a trusting relationship. An agent doesn’t want to hear about all the great features a firm offers. The agent wants to witness how a firm can wholeheartedly support them – after all, that’s the purpose it’s meant to serve. Once an agent experiences the atmosphere of a firm, and sees how it plans to help each agent succeed, the agent will begin to trust that the same will happen for them.

In recruitment, it’s really about the big picture. “Every person in real estate is wearing seven different hats,” McShea says. “If agents have an environment of sharing and collaboration to come back to, that can be a great feeling.”

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