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Retaining Talent: How to Build and Keep World-Class Real Estate Teams

It’s one thing to assemble a team of top agents…but how do you keep them? Today we’re examining strategies for retaining agents in a competitive marketplace.

You did it! You realized your lifelong career dream and opened your own real estate brokerage. But before you can even say “open house,” you’re in trouble. Your top agent leaves. Closely followed by another one of your top agents. Pretty soon, it’s a revolving door. You recruit someone new—with all the time and financial resources that entails—only to helplessly watch them bolt for so-called greener pastures.

Before long, your dream, and your livelihood is threatened. How did this happen? More importantly, what can you do?

Unfortunately, this is all too common in the real estate business. It’s one thing to be able to recruit top agents. But for many brokerages, retaining them has proven to be far more of a challenge. Today, we’re going to look at some time-tested strategies for recruiting, training, and most of all retaining a successful real estate team, so your brokerage can stand the test of time.

What The Great Resignation Can Teach Us About Team Building

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a lot about our society, but one of the most far-reaching lessons learned was that many people were “burned-out, unhappy, and re-evaluating their lives.” Post-pandemic, workers want more control and flexibility when it comes to their time. The days of 2-hour commutes, long nights at the office and zero semblance of work-life balance seem to be coming to an end.

As a broker/owner, you can either see this revolution as a threat, or an opportunity. If you choose to embrace the change, the word “culture” should play an outsized role in your business.

In fact, some top real estate brands are confident that the great resignation isn’t a threat to them. As David Marine, CMO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC noted, “We believe our depth of care, our suite of production-boosting resources and our inspiring culture make Coldwell Banker Real Estate an extraordinary home for real estate professionals.” 

Give Your Team the Tools to Succeed

As Realtor Magazine puts it, “Building the best team is about both establishing a reputation that attracts top talent and intentionally fostering an environment that is ever evolving to help them perform their best.”

No business owner (with the possible exception of Ebeneezer Scrooge) is against fostering an environment of growth. The larger question is, how do you implement it, and what does it look like?

  • Employ a light touch. As the Realtor Magazine article says, “The same things that can send clients turning on their heels—like pressure or pushiness—can do the same to agents and employees. Leadership is about guiding your team to their goals, not trying to push them there.”
  • Continue education. As you know, our industry is always changing and evolving. It only makes sense that top agents will want to change and evolve too. It should be no surprise that 86% of workers believe it’s important for employers to offer learning opportunities. A learning-based company culture is a win-win-win: in addition to attracting top talent, ongoing training strengthens your team’s skills, and having a deep well of knowledge about your industry makes clients trust you more.”
  • Have a long-term mindset. The Great Resignation is a clear signal that employees are looking for more than a paycheck. They long for connection and meaningful engagement with their place of employment. That desire can be satisfied by focusing on long-term growth and success. A long-term mindset “makes both emotional and business sense; it will help you attract top talent, give them a career they’re eager to bring their best to each day, and build long-term success for your entire firm.”

More Resources for Attracting and Retaining Talent

  • Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

This Real Estate Expert Series conversation with Peter Sobeck, Executive Vice President of Growth, Realogy Brokerage and Franchise Group, offers some bold strategies and ideas for recruiting top real estate talent. Watch here.

  • Elevating Your Brand in an Evolving Marketplace

This one-hour video from the Real Estate Expert Series features Jen Marchetti, CMO of the Realogy Expansion Brands, and a panel of experts sharing tips and strategies on how a well-defined value proposition can help you attract and retain top agents while you win more business. Watch here.

  • Fueling Your Growth Through the Right Tech

Access to great tools and technology can fuel growth for your business and help attract and retain top agents for your brokerage. In this Real Estate Expert Series webinar, Georgia Perez, VP Business Development & Product Evangelism for MoxiWorks, and a panel of industry leaders shared best practices and personal experiences on how access, flexibility, and choice when it comes to technology and tools can lead to increased productivity and success. Watch here.

  • Agents of Change: The Power of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This recent blog post from features an interview with Realogy’s Ivonne Furneaux, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), with solid ideas for recruitment with an eye for diversity and more. “We must work intentionally to positively impact change to make the industry more welcoming and inclusive for all, to open opportunities for more people and to serve more diverse customers and communities.”  Read more here.

Now It’s Your Turn

What would you say are the biggest hurdles to recruitment and retainment?  What are some of your strategies for attracting real estate agents? What have you done to retain them? Let us know how you did it.

Keep your finger on the real estate pulse with more articlesvideos, and insights from Realogy.

*Please note this document was published prior to Realogy’s rebrand to Anywhere Real Estate Inc. on June 9, 2022.

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