Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Modern Real Estate Brokerages

Robert Dodd | 04/04/23 06:19:19 PM

Improve Your Real Estate Brokerage’s Success with Modern Recruitment and Retention Strategies

As the real estate industry evolves, so do the ways in which brokerages recruit and retain agents. Traditional methods of tackling these ideas may no longer be effective due to the emergence of a new generation of young, educated, and ambitious agents who seek more than the standard tools, training, and support from their brokerage. Today’s real estate agent is an entrepreneur seeking a brokerage that can foster an atmosphere of success and retain them with a culture that aligns with their values.

A recent article in Fast Company stated that culture has become more important to millennial workers with nine in ten saying it is “extremely important” for them to have nurturing culture at work.

Brokers frequently regard recruitment as their most significant goal, yet often do not have a dedicated focus on it. Many tend to recruit only when they have time or have lost agents. Their approach to outbound marketing initiatives is often too generic to appeal to modern agents, and they fail to distinguish themselves from other brokerages in their market. They don’t even establish a profile of their ideal agent, taking a “Spray and Pray” approach to recruit, which involves sending out mass messages via text or email without any real strategy.

The Push vs. Pull Approach

Brokerages must understand that recruitment and retention are equally crucial to their success. Instead of pushing their message out to every agent in the market, they should focus on building a strong, loyal, and productive team of the type of agent they are looking to attract. To do this, brokers must know who their ideal agent is and how much the lifetime value of that agent is worth before embarking on any recruiting outreach.

Brokers need a dedicated recruitment and retention strategy with a clear and well-defined process that outlines the steps that should be taken to attract, train, and retain the best agents in their market.

There is also a need for a shift in the verbiage used in the traditional brokerage model. Expressions such as “attraction,” “investing in,” and “talent” or partnering with are more professional, modern, and appealing to the modern-day agent. This language change can help brokerages better connect with agents and convey a sense of partnership rather than ownership.

Do you Speak Their Language?

Most recruiting materials fail to convey recognition, respect, and a sense of partnership. They don’t speak the language of modern agents, even though the agent is the prime customer. Brokerages need to elevate their messaging, separate themselves from their competition, and move their target agents to action with value-based messaging to attract a steady stream of quality agents. To do this, brokerages must take an omnichannel approach, with targeted advertising campaigns, social media marketing, display advertising, and email campaigns that communicate value over features.

In fact, a recent survey of hundreds of agents in the United States and Canada, conducted by RE/MAX, found that a positive brokerage reputation is one of the driving forces behind an agent’s decision to join any particular brokerage. Therefore, it’s critical for Brokers to establish themselves as leaders in the market.

Stop Yelling Into an Empty Room.

Providing competitive compensation plans, tools, and resources for success is one of the critical factors in attracting and retaining top real estate agents. However, if a prospective agent never gets that message, it’s like yelling into an empty room; nobody will hear you. Therefore, brokerages should invest more in omnipresence advertising and marketing to keep their message in front of the agents in their markets. This allows them to maintain top-of-mind awareness, so when agents are ready to make a change, they are drawn to the messaging and take the desired action to reach out and start a conversation.

Developing an Omnipresence?

Some way to develop omnipresence is to:

  • Define who your ideal agent is and what their lifetime value is.
  • Develop clear, concise messaging that focuses on value, not features.
  • Advertise that value on multiple platforms, so keep your message in front of your target agents.
  • Automate the process to nurture agents from the initial consideration stage to onboarding.
  • Conduct surveys of your current agents to understand why they joined you and what makes them stay with you.

Look in the Mirror.

Remember that most brokerage owners are not great at objectively evaluating themselves. Therefore, it’s best to leverage a marketing and advertising firm specializing in developing and executing omnipresence advertising campaigns. For instance, when we work with our clients, the first thing we do is¬†conduct a series of interviews with leadership and develop an objective SWOT analysis before any messaging is developed.

SWOT Analysis

This initial research is critical to ensuring the messaging and value are clearly defined. Next, we help them determine the ideal agent they want to attract. This is done through a series of exercises and analysis of their current roster. Once we have our perfect target agent to communicate with, we look at the competitive landscape. This involves researching what each competitor in the market is doing to attract and retain agents. From there, we decide on the target platforms best suited to reach their ideal agent avatar. After completing all the research, we start designing a strategy to communicate our client’s value. This often requires a complete overhaul of all massaging and outreach strategies to pull in the targeted agents. This can include social media advertising, retargeting campaign, and developing a dedicated recruiting website so prospective agents can investigate the positive impact of making the switch. It’s important to remember that having one page on your current consumer-facing site with a list of bullets and a form is not enough. The copy and imagery on the page need to convey value, not features. Copy needs to be structured to highlight how the agent’s 0life will improve by making a change. It must logically walk them through the broker’s value proposition so they want to contact you and learn more.

In conclusion,

Modern brokerages need to develop a solid recruitment and retention strategy that aligns with the values and expectations of today’s real estate agents. To attract and retain top talent, brokerages must focus on building a culture of success, speak the language of modern agents, and use value-based messaging to differentiate themselves from their competition. Investing in advertising and marketing campaigns that communicate the brokerage’s unique value proposition can help keep their message in front of their target agents and foster a sense of partnership, resulting in a steady stream of quality agents who will drive the brokerage’s success.


Robert Dodd

Robert has been involved in Internet marketing and consulting for over 20 years. He started his career as a developer turned consultant in the early 90s when the internet was in its infancy. Over the years, he has worked with major brands on their development and marketing initiatives, like Reebok, The National Football League, New York City Police Department, the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, and hundreds of small to medium-sized businesses. Currently, Robert is CEO of XL Technologies, a digital advertising agency dedicated to helping real estate brokers build their brands and grow their agent rosters by assisting them in architecting and executing sophisticated omnichannel advertising and recruiting campaigns using PPC, video, email, and digital advertising strategies utilizing a proven, tested Agent Acquisition Framework.

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