Brokerage

10 ways to attract (and keep) millennial agents

Gen Y might just be the most valuable asset out there

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Millennials are more than the selfies they post, the music they identify with and the wacky ’90s TV shows that make them feel nostalgic. The many BuzzFeed articles that sum up Gen Y would like you to think otherwise, but I’m here to tell you, millennials are quickly becoming our most valuable clients and our hardest-working agents.

I work at dotloop, which is first and foremost a millennial company (90 percent of our employees are from Gen Y). Although I might be the “mom” of the group, I enjoy every minute of it. As a general rule, millennials are willing to go above and beyond job requirements, which makes them a valuable asset to any company. Their work ethic, dedication to teamwork and positive attitude is bound to benefit fellow agents and boost brokerage success. And, on top of that, millennial homebuyers, a group that represents nearly 80 percent of first-time homebuyers, are often more inclined to work with millennial agents.

So how do you attract them to work at your brokerage? Here are 10 ways to attract millennial agents:

1. Create a company culture millennials won’t be able to resist

Millennials want to work in a fun and friendly environment. Foster engagement, keep your offices up-to-date and find your niche. A great example of a company doing this well is Starbucks. The stores have a culture and a soul that people want to join. It wasn’t easy getting there, but now Starbucks boasts a culture that attracts Gen Y in hordes.

2. Build trust with transparency

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Be open with your agents about how your brokerage is doing, share metrics and give honest feedback. Millennials are team players, so don’t be afraid to share both good and bad numbers. Transparency will build trust and motivate your millennials to pitch in to make necessary improvements.

3. Offer technology solutions that allow agents to work remotely and communicate effectively

Millennials are tech-savvy and will expect tools that allow them to work on the go, communicate effectively and simplify business procedures. Mobility is an absolute must for attracting millennials. Look for lead, listing and transaction management tools that are mobile-friendly. The right technology offerings will mean happy agents and increased efficiency.

4. Foster teamwork

Millennials thrive in group settings. Make sure your brokerage fosters teamwork and gives agents the opportunity to collaborate. Consider pairing new agents with mentors, provide the tools necessary for easy collaboration and encourage cooperation.

At Re/Max Preferred, new agents are enrolled in one of two programs geared specifically toward attracting Gen Y employees. The first is a four- to six-month mentorship program that pairs new agents with experienced agents, and the second is a training program that allows agents to shadow an in-office trainer. Both programs are a win-win, as new agents get to learn the business and the existing agents get support in servicing their clients.

5. Offer autonomy

Millennials have come to expect more flexibility than the 9 a.m to 5 p.m. workday in which past generations are accustomed. Gen Y agents won’t want to feel chained to their desk. That means granting a reasonable amount of autonomy when it comes to when and where they work can give your brokerage a significant advantage for recruiting new team members. Being able to accommodate a fluid work schedule is a huge draw for millennials and, with the right technology, shouldn’t hinder productivity.

6. Invest in professional development

Offer continual support and educational opportunities, whether it be in the form of webinars, virtual training sessions, self-paced learning activities or meetings. Tackle new real estate techniques, train agents in the latest technology and offer feedback for improving skill sets. Millennials value education and will be drawn to brokerages that will help them grow and evolve throughout their career.

But keep in mind, the days of standing up at a chalkboard and lecturing are over. Millennials want to learn from a variety of teachers and peers. They’re looking for more than your typical “how-to” training, so make sure to teach creative tips and tricks that take systems and software above and beyond.

7. Get involved in community outreach programs

Pick a philanthropic project for agents, and get involved. Millennials are often interested in companies that give back to the community and are working toward a bigger vision. Getting involved in the community is also a great way to meet and interact with millennials who might be a good fit for your brokerage.

One brokerage that does a great job of this is Century 21 Novus. Agents are encouraged to participate in 5Ks, charity events and spend time getting to know community members and officials. Not only does it help to attract young agents looking to get involved in the community, it helps agents to become experts in their community and attracts clients. On top of that, Century 21 Novus often features community events and services on its YouTube channel, which becomes a resource for clients who are interested in learning more about their new home.

8. Be social with your agents and build personal relationships

Encourage agents to get to know each other and offer off-site activities. A brokerage that hosts social events such as team dinners, outings and happy hours is likely to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to recruitment. Young agents want to get to know their co-workers in a more personal setting. And a team that gets along inside and outside of the office is likely to work better together.

9. Market yourself for millennials

If you want to attract millennials, you need to gear your recruitment marketing toward that audience. Your website should be up-to-date, with a fresh interface, and you should have a presence on social media. Another helpful resource is Young Professionals Network (YPN), an association created to support young real estate agents as they enter the industry. It’s important to go where the millennials are.

10. Walk the walk

Don’t just tell potential agents what they want to hear. Show them that you are focused on their generation and the culture they desire. Highlight other millennials in your office in industry news or industry conference panels, testimonials, videos, etc. Keep your office up-to-date and fresh with open workspaces that foster communication and collaboration. Be the office where millennials want to work.

Millennials have a lot to offer the real estate industry. They’re a highly motivated, well-educated generation willing to go the extra mile and work closely with colleagues. Being able to attract millennial agents to your brokerage is essential for growing your business, as well as drawing in new clients. Millennials are the future. Meet their needs now, and you’ll have a group of dedicated agents by your side for years to come.

Marnie Blanco is the executive director of industry relations and national accounts at dotloop. You can follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Email Marnie Blanco.