Hiring new agents in your real estate team is not easy. Improving agent retention needs a plan that will ultimately increase agent productivity and accountability.
In real estate, it’s not easy to pick which new agents will be successful in the long run. The crucial factor behind this is the sheer diversity of people who feel that they have what it takes to succeed in this profession. From corporate professionals and veterans looking at a second career to young college grads entering the job market, prospective applicants come from all walks of life.
Experienced brokers know that many will not make it to the finish line. The retention rate for new agents is low, especially because they underestimate how long it will take them to make their first sale. It is but natural to wonder what segregates the eventual high-performers from one-hit wonders. Is it that they have larger networks? Do they follow-up more consistently?
Most new agents are not well trained in the core art of selling real estate. They get their license, join a team, and are then left to fend for themselves. This frequently leads to high-churn since many of them do not receive the requisite support to succeed.
While there are no hard-and-fast rules, it pays to follow certain core principles that help new agents hit their stride.
Step-1: The Fundamentals
Ensure that your new agents have background knowledge of their subdivision. The catch is that they should be relatively familiar with the area and it should not overlap with some other agent. Ideally, they should find contact information for people in the neighborhood and position themselves as a specialist. It’s helpful to walk the area, speak to local residents, and get a hang of developments in the region.
Fresh-off-the boat agents should be encouraged to reach out to everyone on their contact list and announce the beginning of their journey as a real estate agent. The contact list includes family, relatives, people they went to high school with, and other residents of that area. The main benefit of this is that their contacts can mention their name to other people they know.
Ask agents to go over details of home sales and purchases in the last few years. This also includes identifying locations of churches, schools, and shopping centers. It pays to know the neighborhood’s demographic profile, average home prices, top selling points, and common buyer objections.
By the end of the induction period, an agent should have done active listings, attended a few open houses to find prospects, and done some basic analysis of their sub-division. They should interact with and shadow other agents on the team to understand how to maintain a healthy pipeline. At the end of this exercise, they should have around 80-150 leads across various sources, including sphere-of-influence, Zillow, Trulia, etc.
Establishing daily connectivity goals will help your agents stay focused. In your 1-1s or formal discussions, you should check whether agents have hit their daily prospecting goals instead of asking them about the number of deals in their pipeline. Being concerned about the process more than the outcome will bring in the necessary consistency.
When you stay engaged with your team, you identify agents that are unmotivated and are dropping the ball. Ask them if they are struggling to get appointments, unable to get prospects, and seeing their conversion rates dip. You can only fix what you can diagnose. To improve performance in specific areas, you can recommend coaching or mentoring and conduct regular 1-1s to track progress.
Step 3: Success
As agents master the fundamentals and complete their training, they start looking for personalized coaching to improve their performance. This is why you need to devise strategies and invest in systems that will help them go from 20 to 40 closings in a year. Simple steps like investing in the right lead sources and filtering prospects for intent can pay off rich dividends in the long-term.
Agents are keen on working at outfits that have the latest management systems in place. They can prospect and manage leads better, leading to an edge over the competition. Team Leaders can use systems such as Auctm to understand how leads are moving through the funnel and have structured 1-1s with agents to encourage them to reach higher levels of productivity.
The ebbs and flows in real estate mean that sometimes agents have lean periods, and other times they are so flush with deals that they stop prospecting. As a broker, you should inspect an agent’s pipeline, and schedule 1-1s to resolve their challenges before a problem occurs. You can show them a comparison of their relative performance over previous quarters and help them get back on track.