Ask real estate brokerage leaders about the most crucial business challenges they face today and most will say it’s not about picking the right technology, getting the most out of social media, or even the hot-button topic of listing syndication.

It’s recruiting younger agents, according to a survey by Imprev Inc., a provider of integrated marketing tools.

The National Association of Realtors’ own member surveys have found that more than 40 percent of all Realtors are older than 60, and 1 in 4 is 65 or older.

“The real estate business is aging out,” said Imprev CEO Renwick Congdon in a statement. “Broker-owners and other top real estate executives are under pressure to find new talent.”

Many brokers surveyed by Imprev — the Bellevue, Wash.-based company works with 150,000 agents and brokers, and about 260 participated in the survey — said it’s harder to recruit agents than it was 10 years ago.

There’s more competition from other brokers, some of whom are offering “unsustainable programs.”

“More brokers are attempting to just put ‘butts in seats’ by giving away the farm as they attempt to recruit agents without paying attention to future profitability,” complained one respondent.

Agents are looking for “the quick buck or easy fix,” said another.

Some brokers who are succeeding with recruiting say their market share and tools they provide to agents gives them an edge.

Recruiting has become “much easier due to the systems, technology and training we provide each agent,” said one. “It is also easier because we now have the majority of market share within my territories.”

Imprev Thought Leader Survey

What are some of the most crucial business challenges you are thinking about today (check all that apply)?

Percentage who checked

Recruiting younger agents


Recruiting top talent


Staying ahead of competitors


Quality leads for agents


Agent satisfaction


Better use of mobile technology


Getting agents to do their jobs


Recruiting younger managers


Picking the right technology


Better use of social media


Listing syndication issues


Agent compensation


Value of MLS membership


Source: Imprev survey of broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms conducted in late October. Approximately 70 percent of the more than 260 respondents oversee brokerages with more than 100 agents; 26 percent have more than 500 agents; and 12 percent have more than 1,000 agents.

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