Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Livian. He believes that business is nothing but a conduit for personal growth and embraces the company’s vision to Love How You Live. When he’s not leading and growing his organizations, you can find Adam either in the mountains or out in nature with his wife and three children.
Earlier this month, we discussed the winning formula for recruiting the right agents for your team or brokerage. Great! You’ve now found new agents with lots of potential or experienced agents with a track record of success. Either way, it looks like your team is poised for some serious growth and success.
Now you must turn your attention to retaining the great agents who joined your team. Here are four areas to focus on to create a winning formula for retaining agents.
Deliver a proven playbook for productivity and income
One of the best ways to retain agents is to ensure they are earning an income that supports their lifestyle and allows them to make as much money as they want. Knowing your agents’ production goals and why those are important to them is a great place to start. But if you really want to create a winning formula for agent retention, then you will need to provide them with a prescriptive playbook to show them the path towards earning that income.
Keep your playbook simple. I would recommend focusing on only three to seven core activities that your agents need to do daily or weekly to hit their goals. Keep it broad as well — remember, you’re working with entrepreneurial independent contractors. Having options and some freedom of choice is paramount. But so, too, is giving them the framework that you know will produce predictable success.
For example, there are hundreds of ways to lead generate. Some of your agents are going to love cold calling or door knocking. Others prefer working their Instagram influencer status, and others may lean into hosting in-person events. The “how” doesn’t really matter. Your playbook will show them — through a detailed analysis based on the market and industry averages — that if they hold X appointments a week and add X number of contacts to their database a week, they will hit their goals.
When your playbook is based on the results (which are based on a formula), then it’s easy to dial up the deliverables each week if they want to up their goals. They will know exactly what they need to do to get where they want to go.
In addition to the roadmap, I would recommend you have each type of program built out to support your agents’ preferred way of lead generating. You want to give them options and also have a playbook ready to go to support their chosen activity. Playbooks and resources for door knocking, events, social media engagement, cold calling, etc. should all be available, so all your agents have to do is choose from their menu of options and get to work.
It is much easier to retain an agent when they are earning an income that supports their vision and lifestyle (and which also allows them to earn as much money as they want). You give them control, empower them through coaching and training, and support them with playbook on exactly how to get what they want.
Create a culture of conscious leadership
Conscious and holistic businesses are gaining traction and more and more people want to partner with companies who take the whole person into account. Agents want to be able to go to work and truly be themselves and be celebrated for it. They want to work smart and have their hard work matter. Conscious leadership will soon be a requirement for companies who want to compete at the highest level, as well as attract and retain top agents.
So, what does conscious leadership look like? Conscious leaders stay centered and neutral. This just means that you are dealing with your team without allowing your energy to get disturbed (positively or negatively).
Conscious leaders are very self-aware. Self-awareness comes from a commitment to question who you are and your motivations, it means studying your behavior and personality, it means being willing to go inward and look at your flaws and strengths without judgment.
Conscious leaders serve and contribute. Conscious leaders are not concerned with what they can “get” from their team and their business, but rather about how they can serve and contribute.
Conscious leaders let go of the outcome. They understand what they can and can’t control. You can control how tactical and comprehensive your agent training is. You can’t control whether or not your agents will actually get on the phone and lead generate.
Conscious leaders let go of the outcome of how others will respond, and instead, they stay laser-focused on the goals and activities.
And finally, conscious leaders work with the other leaders on their team to ensure they are practicing the above. It’s not enough to just have one conscious leader making decisions from the top. Rather, having a whole team of conscious leaders will create a vibrant environment that will retain agents long-term.
Provide opportunities for growth
To retain agents, you will need to show them how they continue to grow while staying with your team. For some agents, this means more income and more leverage. For others, this may look like more leadership and less transactions. For others, it’s a combination of it all.
Too often we leaders assume that talented agents want to move into a leadership position. And sometimes we mistake the highest performing agent as potential leadership material. But they are actually two very different career paths.
It’s why some of the world’s best athletes fail as coaches and why some of the greatest sports coaches of all time weren’t elite athletes. Two different career paths. Two highly specialized skill sets. We like to show agents how they can choose either path and continue to grow and achieve their goals.
The first option is an individual contributor growth path. This is for the talented agent who truly loves sales, real estate negotiations or working with clients and investors. As they grow and continue to increase their number of transactions and clients, they have the opportunity to add leverage to their life.
This could be in the form of a showing assistant or a personal assistant or both. The key here is to show how an agent can continue to grow themselves and their income, while adding back time to their lives, without having to leave the career in real estate sales that they love.
The second option is for a talented agent who decides to go down the path of leadership, as I did many years ago. First, they must prove that they can handle a certain volume of real estate transactions per month. Next, they begin to test out their vision casting, recruiting, mentoring and leadership skills by recruiting an agent to the team and taking them under their wing.
The talented agent who successfully continues down this path has the opportunity to explore leadership opportunities with our company, such as Director of Sales, a leadership position with Livian, or even start their own team in another location.
Again, the key is to outline the path, with specific metrics they have to hit, in order to show them where they can grow and what they need to do to get there.
Foster a fun environment for agents
Talented individuals want to be surrounded by other talented individuals. But, they also want to have fun and enjoy what they are doing every day and who they are doing it with.
Yes, fun is subjective. Some agents love team happy hours at Top Golf. Some agents will enjoy a monthly book club with their fellow agents and team members.
A fun environment isn’t just about what you do, but really more about how you interact with each other daily. You get to decide what “fun” you develop on your team. But, the bottom line is, agents want to work with people whom they enjoy being around.
Do you make it a point to get to know your agents and create ways for them to get to know each other better? Starting with a simple gratitude exercise at the beginning of each team power-up or every team meeting is a great way to get to know what is important to each of your team members and usually sparks a fun conversation as agents connect on a more personal level.
Trust and deeper connections allow everyone to let their guard down a little, which in turns creates a more light-hearted environment.
There are times to be serious, times to laugh at yourself, and times to laugh and have fun with the team. In fact, incorporating humor into the workplace is a good thing! According to insights from McKinsey & Company, “Leaders with a sense of humor are seen as 27 percent more motivating and admired. Their employees are 15 percent more engaged. Their teams are more than twice as likely to solve a creativity challenge.”
Bottom line, don’t take yourself too seriously, but be serious about the work you do and the impact you make on your agents. Your culture and environment are a big factor in agent retention.
Be the person that makes others want to show up every day. And encourage them to be that person for others too. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire team of fun, productive, thriving, conscious leaders and agents.
Retaining agents requires specific intentions and systems on your part to ensure that agents who join your team are not forgotten as you go out to recruit new agents to your team. It’s a delicate dance between spending your time recruiting and ensuring your team agents are set up for success and achieving at the level they want to be. But if you set aside time each day for recruiting and retention activities you will be in a constant flow, rather than experiencing whiplash.
Remember, consistency is everything with recruiting. Brand building through thought leadership + highlighting your agents’ success + following a recruiting model + conducting consultations + always recruiting = the winning formula for recruiting agents. Keep it simple. Execute. Repeat.
The same goes for retention. Stay consistent, keep it simple, execute and repeat. Agents want to know how they win and how they grow. With conscious leadership, proven playbooks, growth opportunity roadmaps, and a culture of fun and success, you will be well on your way to retaining top agents on your team for years to come.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Livian, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s companies and culture here.