NEW YORK — Brokers, be concerned about the loyalty of your top agents.

A survey conducted by InmanNext, an agent-focused website operated by Inman News, found that 61 percent of agents earning over $100,000 per year are considering whether to open their own brokerage.

Chris Smith, Inman News evangelist and a contributor to InmanNext, and Katie Lance, Inman News social media director and contributing editor to Inman Next, revealed the results during a session at the Real Estate Connect New York conference on Wednesday.

Those top-earners may not hold the brokerage’s services in high regard –the survey revealed that broker or franchise websites and social media presence ranked 10th on the top 10 list of things that provide the highest return on investment among agents earning $100,000 or more.

Among the biggest bang for the buck:
1. Their past clients/referrals.
2. Their website.
3. Their social media presence.
4. Their lawn signs.
5. Their search engine efforts.

The Inman survey gathered 1,345 responses, with 250 respondents reporting that they earned between $100,000 to $200,000 and 108 respondents reporting that they earned $200,000 or more.

Why are most of the agents earning $100,000 or more considering whether to break away from their brokers?

Smith said the No. 1 reason agents are considering a split is that they are dissatisfied with technology support.

The No. 2 reason is company culture, and the No. 3 reason is a lack of confidence in their vision for the future of the brand.

Agents earning $100,000 or more said that, on average, they spend $7,500 annually for marketing and $3,750 annually for technology, and 98 percent said that email marketing was their most effective way to convert leads into sales.

Also, those agents earning $100,000 or more are more likely to be using social media for business purposes than lesser-earning agents, the survey found.

Respondents cited paperwork as the No. 1 time-waster.

The survey also found that agents earning $100,000 and up tend to be more engaged in social media than other agents, with a larger number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers than other agents.

Likewise, 81 percent of those agents reported that they maintain a YouTube video channel that they use for marketing, and 44 percent report that they post to their social media networks at least once per day.

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