Recruitment & Retention: Finding the Best Agents

by Chicago Agent

Change is Already Here

With more and more consumers doing their research before even thinking about buying a home, we will most likely continue to see even more educated consumers who will demand to understand the variances in performance of the individual agent and company they align themselves with. Brokerages will need to move with and adapt to that trend, as well as deliver what consumers want by being knowledgeable of the basics consumers want in an agent. Managing brokers will need to constantly offer training and help so their agents are always on top of their game – they need to know their areas of expertise, how they perform compared to their competitors, study the market in general as well as micromarkets and be able to educate the consumer about their position (buyer or seller) in the market at any given time. The focus on obtaining, conveying and educating market data to consumers will play a greater role in 2015. Management of documentation, secure cloud storage of confidential information and the ability to conduct paperless transactions will no longer be optional, but will be a must as the industry moves forward.

“Some brokerages have adapted to many of these changes, but to survive in this ever-evolving and complicated industry, all will be forced to embrace the change or die trying to compete,” Fotopoulos says. “Consumer education, coaching, business development, services and business-producing platforms, data streaming, programs to strongly identify market and micromarket changes, and individual analysis are all a part of this change.”

McShea agrees. “We see brokerage companies changing over the next few years by providing increased resources towards education, support and professional guidance of their agents. Over the next several years, brokerage firms’ primary emphasis needs to be centered on the increased business growth of the individual agent. We are implementing these positive changes that are consequently increasing the production level of our agents.”

And because of where the trends are going, it’s affecting what brokerages aim to accomplish next year, and brokerage goals which, for Fotopoulos, McShea and Popowcer, all involve some level of education, training and assistance in terms of helpful tools, such as transaction management, marketing and branding, and file security and storage. Brokerages are also staying competitive in terms of tools offered, especially mobile tools. Agents can do everything outside of the office and almost everything at a client’s home, Popowcer says. A CMA and buyer costs can be done at the home while showing the buyer; a property value proposition can be pulled up at the seller’s home.

“Being a Realtor has changed, and people today are questioning the value of a Realtor, especially since consumers are inundated with information on the real estate market,” he says. “I need to help agents show their value, and part of that is educating the consumer, telling information about the market like it is and staying ahead of the curve by using mobile and high-tech tools.”

Along with being mobile and offering convenience, brokerages used to only offer basic real estate services, but the trend is to become a one-stop shop – offer in-house lender/mortgage services, title services and home warranty services to consumers to be more well-rounded. Well-rounded support in all areas is a trend that agents will look for in brokerages in 2015.

“Agents should look to their firm to provide increased support staff, more efficient transactional services and updated state-of-the-art technology,” McShea says. “Brokerage firms need to be focusing on providing agents with the support they need to deliver exceptional results. The current trend in the Chicago market is residential real estate firms focusing more on the number of agents listed on the roster with less attention paid to securing support staff. The focus needs to shift with emphasis placed on the firm’s leadership that will trickle down and result in personal and professional growth for each individual agent.”

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