How to Recruit (and Retain) Real Estate Agents for Your Brokerage

How to Recruit (and Retain) Real Estate Agents for Your Brokerage

by The CE Shop Team

Real Estate Agent Recruiting Strategies

Recruiting top real estate agents is at the core of any successful brokerage firm. Whether it’s through reputation, education, or just plain reaching out with some information, getting human capital working for you is no easy task. Many put marketing dollars behind recruiting while some invest their time in networking, and then there’s interviews — but it’s an investment that can pay off. Likewise, getting people to stay can be equally difficult. This guide, while it allows you to do things in your own unique way, offers some “recruit and retain” insider tips that will help you turn up your real estate business. 

Find Who The Producers Are, Then Snag Them

Real estate is a people business, meaning you want the absolute best real estate agents working with you. Getting them to leave their current brokerage and make the jump to yours, however, is one of the most difficult aspects of the recruiting process. According to Sean Moudry in The Close, the key to recruiting effectively is twofold. First, you’ve got to genuinely invest in the people you’re trying to attract to show them you care about them now and after they’ve joined you. Next, you must have a plan. Choose which type of agents you’re looking for (e.g. somebody who specializes in vacation homes), how much experience you need, and how you’re going to sweeten your offer so it’s irresistible to prospective agents. Here are some of the basic ingredients for a great recruitment recipe: 

Highlight the Brokerage’s Accomplishments

People want to be part of something greater, it’s just innate human nature. By highlighting the brokerage’s accomplishments — perhaps it’s the dollar value of homes sold in a year or the number of top agents that already work there —  you’re telling the world that this real estate train is bound for great things. Pumping up the brokerage via your online presence will also likely catch the attention of potential homebuyers, and that’s always a good thing. 

Provide a Clear & Detailed Job Description

Whether you're looking for new agents or experienced agents, potential recruits can tell a lot about an organization by the job description. It’s effective to take a little creative license, but be clear with what you’re looking for and what you’re offering. Avoid cliches like “At Living the Dream Realty, we’re a family” or “At Living the Dream Realty, we work hard and play hard”. Be genuine and get your value propositions out there in a fun but straightforward manner.

Offer Competitive Commission Splits 

Money is the kindling of business. In addition to brand recognition, steady lead flow, and company perks, a competitive commission split can ultimately be the driving factor in attracting — as well as retaining — the market’s top talent. It’s also best practice to make the commission split fair and available to all agents on the team, not just new top-producing recruits. 

Offer Cutting Edge Technology & Tools 

As in other parts of the real estate industry, you’ve got to differentiate yourself from all of the other brokerages. A great way to do that is by offering your agents the latest in real estate technology, like with an all-in-one Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM). Not only will it help keep things running smoothly, and likely lead to more home sales overall, but it will show your potential recruits that you’re serious about setting them up for success. 

Highlight Growth Opportunities

To get someone to make the leap, you’ve got to light the path to success. Help them visualize — through your social media and marketing channels — reaching new heights by highlighting the growth opportunities within the brokerage. Perhaps that’s through a combination of commission structure, real estate tech tools, reputation, a mentorship program, or offering distinguished leadership roles at the firm. Whatever it might be, be sure to communicate why it’s better to plant roots with you rather than another brokerage. 

Make the Application User Friendly

Making the application user-friendly may seem trivial, but it’s one of the most important aspects of recruiting new real estate agents. We’ve all been through a lackluster job application process, and at a certain point have likely moved on. Great agents don’t have the time or need to invest in lengthy or hard-to-use application processes. A great online experience is also a must for reaching millennial prospects. To avoid being overlooked by top talent, be thorough but make sure your process is straightforward and efficient. 

Utilize your Network 

Networking has long been the cornerstone of the real estate industry. Use your network, and your network’s networks, to get the word out that you’re looking to recruit. Words can spread like wildfire if spoken by the right people. 

Pro Tip:

Supplement your recruitment efforts by using sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or other third-party platforms that can get your real estate team in front of seasoned agents who are actively looking to make a switch.

Interviewing Real Estate Candidates 

With a little effort augmented by the tips and tricks above, real estate professionals from around the industry will likely start expressing interest. Once you start attracting what you’re looking for, it’s time to see if they’ll be a good fit for your firm. Here, asking the right interview questions can get straight to the core of what you likely need to know. Interview questions like: 

  • What Are You Looking for in a Brokerage?
  • What Real Estate Databases Do You Use?
  • How Would You Handle a Difficult Client?
  • How Do You Communicate With Clients? 
  • How Do You Market Your Listings? 
  • What Sets You Apart From Other Real Estate Agents? 
  • How Do You Find Leads?
  • How Many Homes Do You Sell a Year on Average? 
  • Why Do You Want to Join This Real Estate Brokerage?

How to Retain Real Estate Agents at Your Brokerage 

Perhaps as important as recruiting, retaining agents makes all of that work worth it and allows you to keep building bigger, better, and faster. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the median tenure for REALTORS® was five years. That’s up from four years in 2020. 

With that said, it's important to invest in your current agents' well-being and do everything you can to create a positive, supportive, company culture — even if it costs a significant amount more. We’ve said it above and we’ll say it again: real estate is a people business and human capital is the most valuable. Put simply, happy agents will result in happy clients, referral business, and ultimately growth so a few investments now can pay off in big production down the line.