SAN FRANCISCO — Agents are the lifeblood of a real estate brokerage, and smart firms think carefully about how to recruit and retain them. Leaders from three successful real estate firms shared their secrets at an Inman Broker Connect panel today and had one takeaway: Build a good culture and agents will come.
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- Broker culture is key to recruiting agents.
- Happy, productive agents attract peers to their firm.
- Brokers should have training and support systems in place if they want to recruit agents successfully.
SAN FRANCISCO — Agents are the lifeblood of a real estate brokerage, and smart firms think carefully about how to recruit and retain them.
Leaders from three successful real estate firms shared their secrets at an Inman Broker Connect panel today and had one takeaway: Build a good culture and agents will come.
When a firm shifts when necessary and has a strong support network, its agents are happy, productive and will attract other agents, said Charles Moore, president and CEO of San Francisco Bay Area-based McGuire Real Estate.
“The best source of finding new agents is our agents,” he said. That’s even with a full-time “Mr. Woo,” whose job is to woo new agents.
Moore’s message was echoed by the two brokerage leaders he shared the stage with: Glenn Sanford, CEO of the cloud-based brokerage eXp Realty International Corp., and Mark Bennett, the designated broker for Redfin in California.
“Agents are our clients,” Moore said. McGuire Real Estate, which has close to 200 agents, is squarely focused on how to make their jobs easier.
For example, the firm has a central marketing center that handles all the marketing needs of its agents; it includes two graphic designers, one social media manager and an ad coordinator.
“Everything that’s mundane we want to take off the superstar’s plate,” Moore said.
EXp Realty has close to 700 agents and has grown by 50 percent this year, Sanford said. Eighty percent of its agents were referred to the firm by one of eXp Realty’s existing agents, he said.
Although the firm places a heavy emphasis on virtual workflows in its cloud-based business model, connection is one of the key features of the firm’s culture, Sanford said.
The firm’s new cloud campus it introduced this year allows eXp Realty agents to network and attend workshops virtually, using avatars they can dress up and move.
“We’re using technology to make sure we’re one big family,” he said.
Redfin has built a consumer-focused brand with a website that’s nationally known.
The firm’s hyperattentiveness to clients has become the metric by which it recruits and attracts new agents, Bennett said.
The best thing about an agent referral is that your team knows what a good culture and values match would be, he added.
Redfin also takes a factory approach to recruiting.
The firm’s always on the hunt for potential agents who have a customer service glint in their eye, Bennett said.
The firm has a boot camp and an apprenticeship program that gives new agents a firm grasp of its business and how to be successful within the company.