Every brokerage sales manager will know the common frustration of finding and keeping good sales agents in their real estate business. The fact to remember here is that your good agents can and will be ‘poached’ by your competitors and or they may choose to start up their own brokerage business. So, strategies are required to handle the problem, retain good people, and fill the vacancies within the team. The vacancies will happen.
A thriving in commercial real estate business will need and involve quality people with skills, and consistent recruiting strategies. You must work with that scenario and build a productive team over time. These are the facts that are proven and known in the industry:
- You will lose some of your sales team members regardless of what you do, so prepare for the loss.
- Many agents and brokers will stay with a brokerage for only about 3 or 4 years; then they will be looking for ‘greener pastures’ or change.
- Better commission rewards and working conditions are solid reasons for agents to move.
In balance, it is still a good thing to have fresh people with new ideas moving through the real estate team, so a recruiting strategy is required.
To extract the fullest potential from the team, get to know the personal motivators for all members of the team and work the motivators at an individual level.
Here are some simple and direct ideas to help you find new sales agents to work in your real estate team:
- Local area coverage – it takes considerable effort to understand your brokerage competitors working a location and the property precinct. Review all the brokerages and all the agents working in any town or city; identify the top agents and the proven performers. Track all the agents locally that are working with your competitors and focus on finding the proven performers that may be a clear fit for your business; some of those agents will be better than others in both earnings and listing conversions. A direct approach to the successful competitive local agents will be a valuable strategy to undertake throughout the year. Keep in personal contact with the better agents locally. Some of those agents will be looking to move at some stage in the future.
- Property type coverage – some property types will be a priority for your brokerage both in attracting listings and creating business growth over time. Focus your recruiting efforts on the specialist brokers competing in the market. Understand the chemistry and the dynamics of your existing sales team. While most top agents operate individually; they still need to work within the team, so choose your replacement agents carefully and selectively. Choose to recruit the agents with existing coverage in the location, the investors, and the preferred property type.
- Commission structures – the top agents in any brokerage should be rewarded for performance in listings and commissions. Your commission structures should be suitably flexible to encourage improved commission and listing performance over time; in other words, the ratio of commissions should improve each month, each quarter, and annually.
- Career nights – you can run some career nights to attract new people to your brokerage and the industry. Unfortunately, career nights typically attract new people with little property experience and local area knowledge. If you are going to employ new people, then you will need a training program to help them gain market share and listing capability. It takes a good degree of time for new agents to establish skills and market coverage.
In balance, a successful real estate sales team can certainly be created through ongoing tracking and nurturing. Employ the right people with the right skills for your team, the property types, and the location.
Establish a set of key performance indicators at an individual level for each of the members of your team. Those indicators will usually be related to listings, database growth, commissions, exclusive listings, and referrals.