For two years running, real estate brokerage leaders surveyed by Imprev Inc. have identified recruiting agents as the biggest challenge to growing their business — bigger than picking the right technology, getting the most out of social media, or how they approach listing syndication.

Now Imprev, a provider of integrated marketing tools, has released a report taking a deeper dive into the issues surrounding recruiting raised by Imprev’s “Thought Leader” surveys.

Available as a free PDF download, “The Recruiting Report: Insight into real estate’s top business challenges,” provides insights and commentary from four industry leaders: Jennifer Alter Warden, president, Baird & Warner Residential Sales, Chicago; Gary Scott, president, Long & Foster Real Estate, Chantilly, Virginia; Al Rowe, broker-owner, Re/Max Advantage, Portage, Michigan; and John Snavley, senior vice resident and chief marketing officer, F. C. Tucker Co., Indianapolis.

Taken at face value, the survey numbers are eye-opening. Think agents are swayed by a broker’s brand, technology, mentoring or fancy offices? Think again.

While a few brokers said those were among the three biggest competitive challenges to recruiting top talent, the biggest motivators boil down to — surprise! — money.

Namely, what brokers can offer in terms of commission splits, costs, market share, bonuses, leads and marketing.

Three biggest recruiting challenges

Commissions (competitors offer a better split)

49 percent

Costs (competitors offer lower costs)

46 percent

Market share (competitors have more market share)

23 percent

Bonuses (competitors offer signing bonuses)

22 percent

Leads (competitors offer more leads)

21 percent

Marketing (competitors offer more support)

21 percent

Brand (competitors have better brand recognition)

15 percent

Technology (competitors offer better technology)

10 percent

Mentors (competitors have better agent mentors)

9 percent

Benefits (competitors offer better benefits)

7 percent

Facilities (competitors offer better facilities)

6 percent

Source: Imprev Thought Leader Survey.

Reputation, culture, leadership? Those factors barely registered in the survey, each being cited by 3 percent or less of respondents.

But to put those numbers in context, Warden says that while commission splits are important to top producers, “we rarely see anyone move just for commission purposes. In addition to commission splits, agents are looking for support and autonomy.”

“It’s our experience that people do not leave for commissions or for the money,” Scott said. “If they did, then everyone would work at a single place that pays the most.”

While many brokers surveyed said they aren’t able to spend enough time recruiting or nurture prospects long term, the biggest problem they face is in attracting younger agents.

Three biggest challenges in recruiting top talent

Not attracting enough younger agents

51 percent

Not able to spend enough time recruiting

44 percent

Not able to get top producers to apply

36 percent

Too few quality prospects

33 percent

Not able to get your team to help recruit

28 percent

Not able to find prospects that fit your culture

27 percent

Not able to nurture prospects long term

18 percent

Not spending enough to recruit

17 percent

Source: Imprev Thought Leader Survey.

The challenge, Scott says, is how to “create an environment that attracts the multiple generations, so that my 22-year-old son is comfortable working with me and with someone who has 22 months left in their career? I’m not sure we have an answer.”

Rowe said Re/Max Advantage is “looking for good people with either sales skills or other ancillary skills that we can retrain. We’re seeing people in their 30s and 40s, and that’s still a lot younger than the rest.”

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