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Despite the stream of announcements about million-dollar teams and individual top producers switching their affiliations, a recent Coldwell Banker survey reveals 75 percent of agents plan to stay with their current brand at least for the next two years — a 24 percent increase from the previous survey in 2019.
The survey includes answers from 1,322 agents, 45.6 percent of which are affiliated with Coldwell Banker. The surveyor, Questor Research, also separated responders into two categories, called waves, to account for a general national sample and a national sample based on agents who are multiple listing service (MLS) members.
“Amid economic headwinds, it’s no surprise agents are reticent to move,” Anywhere Franchise Brands President and CEO Liz Gehringer said of the results in a prepared statement on Thursday.
As market activity slows and deals become harder to come by, a brokerage’s ability to offer best-in-class service to customers (95 percent), navigate the future of real estate (91 percent), provide local expertise (91 percent) and meet individual agent needs (90 percent) has become increasingly important, with the significance of each factor increasing upwards of 9 percentage points from 2019.
Meanwhile, surveyed agents placed lesser value on a brokerage’s luxury real estate offerings (66 percent in 2019 versus 50 percent in 2023), strong global networking opportunities (65 percent in 2019 versus 50 percent in 2019) and training programs (86 percent in 2019 versus 77 percent in 2023).
The value of great technology, advertising and marketing support, strong brand image, and several other factors remain relatively unchanged from 2019, with modest upticks of 1 to 2 percentage points compared to 2019.
Outside of technology and training, commission structure and brokerage culture were the two greatest factors in an agent’s decision to stay or leave.
In 2019 and 2023, roughly 30 percent of agents left a brokerage due to the commission structure. Meanwhile, the share of agents who left a brokerage due to a weak culture roughly doubled from 2019 to 2023, signaling the growing importance of strong support and team morale in a rough market. A lack of training accounted for another 30 percent of departures, while lackluster national/corporate support accounted for roughly 10 percent of agent count loss.
Unsurprisingly, respondents had a positive view of their respective companies, with all surveyed Coldwell Banker agents (604 or 45.6% of all respondents) saying they trusted the brand. Re/Max, Keller Williams, Compass and eXp also ranked well in comparison to the number of respondents from each company represented in the survey.
“Agents should remain open to the opportunities a more established brokerage can offer including award-winning and powerful branding that is not only recognizable worldwide but is also customizable to appeal to their market area, international and domestic networking opportunities, and resources to grow their business like the Coldwell Banker Listing Concierge program, which provides white glove branded marketing for listings,” Gehringer said. “A strong brokerage can help agents weather any storm.”
“The findings in the Agent Priority Report confirm that Coldwell Banker is succeeding in providing agents with what they want most: A deep level of caring within its culture, personalized solutions including desired powerful marketing resources, full service and perhaps most important, integrity,” she added.