Finding the right agents for your business in today’s challenging market is crucial. But how to best attract and retain those agents is something that requires a strategic approach.
During an Inman Connect panel, Brandon Martinez of Keller Williams Legacy, Suneet Agarwal of Best Sac Homes Group and moderator Kymber Lovett-Menkiti of Keller Williams Capital Properties discussed how to build strategic growth into a business plan for 2024 as team leaders and brokers think to the year ahead.
Before business leaders go out and try to recruit new talent, they should first establish their core identity, Menkiti said.
“Before you can attract somebody, you need to know what your unique value proposition is.”
Part of establishing a value proposition is also understanding what is valuable to agents, Agarwal said, while identifying eight top things that agents are typically concerned about:
- How quickly they’ll get paid
- Branding and marketing
- Office space
- Technology and
“That is the value stack that most agents are looking for,” Agarwal said.
Martinez agreed, noting that targeting those paint points is how to best create value.
“We’re in a market where we’re seeing really a divide between the haves and the have-nots,” he said.
“The people who know how to get it, they’re able to go out and can grab everything, and if they are missing something, they know who to call, they know who that support system is and they’re getting that information. Well, if you’re mid-tier, you don’t know that person, you may not know who to connect with and now you’re searching.”
It’s on his team, then, Martinez added, to show those searching agents, “We heard you. We can hear where your pain is and now we can show you the path, we can show you the model. We can show you the system that will make your world easier, make it better and make this a career and business that you want to stay in.”
By outwardly articulating your business’ vision, you can get agents to come to you, rather than having to go out and get them, Menkiti added.
“It’s going to make it less about going out and recruiting and really [about] attracting,” she said. “Think about this as an attraction in.”
For Keller Williams Legacy, Martinez said, attracting agents comes in the form of maintaining authenticity and working to expand the business’ exposure.
“The first thing that I was told by an agent in my 20-something years in this industry was ‘always be authentic.’ If we are true to our mission, if we are true to what we believe, it shows up, and what that allows the agents who are in our world to do is spread the word,” he said.
“The next part is the exposure,” Martinez continued. “Exposure comes in many different ways ….”
It could be through social media or other forms of advertising, or it could be done in the way that Martinez does it — by showing up to community events and showing his support for others, even agents from different brokerages.
“So authenticity, build in referrals within your own community — that will take everything off your plate right there,” he said.
Agarwal added that everyone you know should know that you’re recruiting as well. In fact, he once recruited an agent who was trying to acquire his aunt as a client. When she told the agent she already had a nephew who led the No. 1 team in California at the time, the agent asked her, “Is he hiring?”
“And this is what my aunt said,” Agarwal told the panel. “‘I know he’s hiring — he always is.’ So, does your aunt know that you’re hiring?”
In general, the panelists said that business leaders should take advantage of every marketing strategy available to them, whether “fancy” or “basic.”
Retention comes back to creating a productive environment in which agents can succeed, Agarwal said.
“You have to facilitate the productive environment,” he said. “As long as you do that, people are going to come and go … and that’s ok. Everyone’s on their own journey.”
Martinez added that the company culture also plays a huge role in retention.
“I love the standards conversation because if you have standards, agent will replicate their business off of what we do with ours,” he said.
“Are we showing them how to show up?”
In his brokerage, Martinez said agents have to follow the mantra of “engage, work and share.” In other words, if agents engage with others, put in the work (not necessarily closing deals left and right, but working) and share their experiences with their colleagues, it fosters a healthy culture that attracts and keeps agents close.
Menkiti and Agarwal heartily agreed.
“That’s a writer-downer, folks!” Agarwal declared.