Automation, automation, automation. Oh, and taking the time to phone your agents and remind them that you value them. Those are the keys to mastering recruiting, productivity and retention — at least as three panelists explained it at the Inman Connect Thrive Broker Workshop on Monday morning at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Taking the stage joking, “We’re about to solve all your problems in 20 minutes!” moderator Katie Kossev, well known to the Connect crowd and a managing broker at Intero Real Estate in Houston, TX, steered the conversation towards discussing best practices around agent training, productivity and retention.

Katie Kossev.

“You have to stay in front of your agents and show them that you are doing things for them, and the way to do that is to automate,” said Jay Hall, chief revenue officer for Adwerx. Using e-commerce platforms as an example, he said, “If you talk to someone who sold on eBay but moved to Amazon, they’re never going back to eBay. In our industry, if an agent attempts to leave and go to another firm, we want them to think, ‘Where’s all my automated stuff?’ Adwerx provides that stickiness.”

In a similar vein, panelist Keith Pike, broker-owner of RE/MAX Elite in Little Rock, AR, observed, “I got an award last year for being the number one recruiter in the U.S., and I did it through automation and systems,” calling out the software platform Trainual for its ability to automate agent training.

Jay Hall.

And Jason Sherman, president and co-founder of Clearwater Benefits, also talked about the value of systems. “In terms of being more productive, coaching is the easiest way to do that,” he said. “We did a survey of 4,000 agents we work with and 90 percent said having a coaching program is why they stay with their brokerage. So everyone loves the idea of coaching, but not everyone follows through on it. Our systems help solve that.”

Keith Pike.

“There is not enough time in the day for you guys to do this yourselves,” Hall added. “Whatever you do, automate it. Whatever you do, personalize it for your agents.”

But automation and systems aren’t everything when it comes to agent retention, Pike reminded the crowd. “I have four offices, and in the past five years I’ve only lost four agents. One reason for that is that I constantly check in with my agents. If I’m taking a recruit out, I’ll check in with my agents too. This past Saturday, I called 10 of my agents to say thank you. Because if I’m not taking them out to lunch, I know another brokerage is.”

Adwerx, Trainual, and Clearwater Benefits were paid sponsors of the session.

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