When it comes to real estate agent recruitment, brokerages can sometimes focus too much on getting the right people on board that retention takes a backseat. However, this doesn’t make good business sense. A truly robust human resource management strategy puts equal importance on recruitment and retention. Some brokerages might even put more effort into retention strategies.
Fortunately, there are tools like Brokerkit that can help with both real estate recruitment and retention. This makes it easier for HR departments and recruiters to manage their strategies and refine their methods to get the best results.
That said, here’s a quick look into why it’s important to make the same if not more investment in real estate agent retention and how it can help brokerages grow:
You Will Reduce Recruitment Costs
According to research, when an employee leaves (voluntarily or otherwise), it will cost a company up to two times the annual salary of the individual. This cost includes the subsequent cost of training, as well as the adjustment period as the new agent acclimates to the new working environment. After all that effort, if the agent leaves again, all that time, money, and effort you spent will be wasted.
When you place importance on agent retention, you can considerably drive down the cost of recruitment. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in hiring new people; in fact, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to add new agents. However, by also working towards retaining your top agents, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars and allocate the money for more fruitful business pursuits.
You Will Improve Customer Experience (and Reduce Customer Service Interruption)
One of the best “weapons” a real estate agent can wield is their rapport with their clients and customers. This can take a bit of time to build, but once it’s there, it’s there forever and can be advantageous to the entire brokerage. Now imagine if, for whatever reason, that agent leaves. What will happen to that rapport? Likely, it’ll be back to zero. Some clients may even prefer to bring their business elsewhere (perhaps the brokerage where the agent transferred).
This interruption in customer service can result in business loss. Even if the new employee is highly skilled, it may still be a while before they can develop the same kind of business relationship once they take over an existing client’s account. Conversely, with your real estate agents staying with you for longer, you can continue to provide excellent customer service.
You Will Retain Top Talent and Company Knowledge
In relation to the first two points mentioned, it costs a lot of time and money to train and upskill an employee. All these will be lost when an employee leaves. Obviously, you can retrain and reskill new hires but again, this will entail new investments. Aside from the talent and knowledge they’re taking with them, employees who leave will also (likely) take their business relationships with them. The losses will be even higher if it’s an experienced employee that departs, since it can also affect your succession planning.
By focusing on agent retention, you’ll be able to retain knowledge, skills, and relationships within the brokerage. Those in senior positions can act as mentors to new hires and those in junior posts, thus increasing the competitiveness of your team. All in all, making people stay in your company will benefit everyone in the long run.
You Will Improve Employee Engagement
When your employees know that you care about them and want them to stay—and you prove it through concrete programs—they’re more inspired and engaged. These result in greater productivity, not to mention loyalty. All of these are big factors in overall business success.
On the other hand, if you have a consistently high attrition rate, it can take a toll on morale. This becomes more serious if your employees have already developed long-term friendships with their colleagues. Some team members may also feel the burden of taking on more responsibilities as you look for a replacement.
In short, if you want to keep the entire company motivated and feeling positive, you have to work on your retention efforts.
You Will Improve Public Perception
One of the biggest elements that influence a customer’s choice in a real estate brokerage is the company’s reputation. This is influenced by a variety of factors, including the brokerage’s capability of retaining their people. If you have a revolving door of agents, the news will get around and affect the public’s perception of your brokerage. Why do their employees keep leaving? Even if the answer isn’t anything bad, people can and will make their assumptions.
Your retention plans can also attract (or turn away) real estate agents to your agency. Again, news will get around and a potential candidate’s decision to submit an application can hinge on employee churn. As a job applicant, ask yourself: would you want to be part of a company whose employees leave after a few months? Probably not. Therefore, to create a positive public perception both to customers and potential future hires, it’s important to develop a healthy retention plan.
As you can see, retention is a huge part of recruitment. You’re hiring people to fill a post and make them stay, not to leave again and repeat the process. Invest in a good real estate agent retention plan, if you haven’t yet. Your brokerage will be all the better for it.