How to recruit the best agents to your firm

by Rincey Abraham

One of the main challenges a managing broker will face is recruiting top agents to join their team — someone who not only fits their culture, but can achieve sales and serve as a brand ambassador for their brokerage.

Engel & Völkers Americas surveyed agents for its State of Real Estate Recruiting report to find out what agents like best about their brokerage, and which factors might influence their decision to look for a different one.

  • Overall, almost all agents are happy where they are, with 96 percent of agents saying they are satisfied at their current job.
  • Ninety-four percent said they plan on staying at their brokerage for another year.
  • Ninety percent of agents said they would recommend their brokerage to other agents.

But while satisfaction rates are generally high, 35 percent of agents say they consider leaving their job at least once a year.

One of the best ways for managing brokers to recruit a top agent is to appeal to them as individuals by showing that you know who they are and what your brokerage can bring to the table.

“As a broker, you must be proactive in knowing the top talent in your local market and tailoring specific, regular messages to those prospects,” the report states. “Thoroughly research these agents, and certainly before meeting with them have an understanding of their production level, style of doing business and reputation in the industry.”

Some of the top reasons given for leaving a brokerage include higher commission splits, increased lead generation opportunities and better benefits. Kelly Stephens, vice president and managing broker at Engel & Völkers Atlanta North Fulton and Engel & Völkers Buckhead Atlanta, has found that the two main things agents are looking for are support and leads. The large international network of agents allows smaller agents have a larger reach and the company provides many technologies and tools so agents don’t have to pay for those a la carte.

“They get a CRM tool and a robust website, a full service staff and a marketing coordinator,” Stephen says. “So that is available here to support them and to grow in their business.”

The report also points out that while many brokerages may offer higher splits for agents, it’s important for managing brokers to highlight some of the other benefits agents may gain — or lose — by making the switch.

“While an agent might feel like they are getting a better deal, they do not realize that brokers are likely offering these splits because they do not offer a better value proposition and have more difficulty attracting home buyers and sellers,” the report notes.

As you would expect, the reputation of a brokerage and its managing broker is a significant factor, with 73 percent of agents saying they would work for an office based on reputation.

“It really is a partnership so you want to make sure that your partner is making you as a successful as you can me. It is important to have a good reputation,” Stephens says, noting that she highlights the company’s per person productivity to show how they compare to larger real estate organization.

Location matters, too: Seventy-two percent of all agents said they prefer to work in a brokerage with a physical office space, and 28 percent of luxury agents said they wouldn’t work for a brokerage without a physical office.

In fact, Engel & Völkers found that luxury agents have higher standards and expect more from their brokerages. This includes investment in individual marketing, new technology options and professional development.

In the end, it comes down to personalizing your recruiting efforts to match the profile of the agent you hope to attract.

“Recruiting top talent is not something that will happen without a brokerage’s concerted effort into reaching prospects with the right message that will resonate,” the report stated.


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