As the CEO and founder of The Agency, I’ve spent the past 13 years building a team of the most ambitious, driven and service-oriented agents in the luxury real estate market. But here’s the truth: Even after all these years, it is crucial to retain your talent to drive your success.
The talent wars are hotter than ever, and the allure of greener pastures is strong. So, how can we stand out amid the noise and keep our top performers loyal, fulfilled and thriving?
Here are four key strategies that have not only worked for us but are also shaping the future of our luxury real estate agent growth in the year ahead.
1. Fuel their growth, not just their commissions
Luxury agents are hungry learners. They crave the skills and knowledge to not only close deals, but also to become trusted advisers to their discerning clientele. Enter continuous learning and development initiatives:
Invest in cutting-edge training programs
Go beyond traditional real estate courses. Offer workshops on negotiation, communication mastery, building personal brands, and leveraging technology like AI and virtual tours. We host a range of educational content — from team meetings and workshops to speeches from our top agents and renowned motivational speakers from our past events.
Pair experienced agents with rising stars, fostering knowledge transfer and a supportive culture. We have a “Culture Committee” comprised of employees from different areas of the company. They meet regularly to discuss ways our agents and employees can connect and learn from one another. Even though we’ve expanded to more than 100 offices around the world, we can always find ways to connect.
Sponsor relevant conferences and industry events
Show your commitment to their professional development and expand their network. We implemented a “Level Up” program that provides a financial stipend employees can put toward attending skill-specific conferences or educational courses.
We’re also always encouraging our agents to attend conferences, industry events like Inman Connect, and even community events to not only grow their knowledge but also connect with others in person.
2. Empower them, don’t micromanage them
Top agents thrive on autonomy and a sense of ownership. Shift your mindset from command and control to collaboration and trust.
Provide the tools and resources they need
Cutting-edge CRM, marketing support, and a dedicated transaction coordinator can free up their time for what they do best: build relationships and close deals. Be sure each member of your team understands their role and how they can grow into greater responsibilities and continue to level up.
Offer flexible work arrangements
In the post-pandemic landscape, work-life balance is paramount. For agents and their administrative teams, embrace remote work options, flexible schedules and performance-based incentives. For our physical locations, we have an open office policy, meaning that each office is open to the local agents and staff to come in, work, meet, collaborate or play a game of pingpong.
Encourage them to build on their expertise
Offer personalized marketing and social media initiatives that showcase their expertise and unique value proposition. A great example of this is my daughter, Alexia, who recently took to the stage at Inman Connect New York to speak about her social media and marketing strategies as a newer agent.
She shared how she hosts local events, publishes guides to LA and other creative concepts to produce interesting and relevant content for her followers and clients. As she said, find your niche, and build your business around it.
3. Foster a community, not just a company
Luxury real estate isn’t just about million-dollar listings. It’s about building a trusted network. Prioritize the creation of a nurturing, collaborative and supportive work environment.
Regularly host social events and team outings
Believe me, in-person time together matters, and it needs to be taken seriously. From impromptu dinner gatherings, pickleball outings, happy hours or a challenging ropes course — find ways to build camaraderie and connections that go beyond business. We host many events throughout the year to celebrate new offices, discuss what’s happening in our industry and connect with one another.
Celebrate successes together
Acknowledge individual and team achievements both within the company — during all-hands meetings or smaller regional gatherings — and publicly via company newsletters or social media posts. All of this is to bolster morale and foster a sense of belonging and appreciation among team members.
Encourage peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing
Create platforms for agents to connect, learn from each other and build long-lasting relationships. We recently launched a monthly masterminds meeting, in which top-producing agents and dynamic team members with unique points of view share specific tips and guidelines for success. This initiative has been very well received, and it speaks to a broader need among new and experienced agents for peer-to-peer connection.
When it comes to keeping talent and deepening your employees’ feelings of connection with your brokerage, I recommend companies look within and make investments in educating and creating spaces for mentorship within the team you have.
4. Invest in their well-being, not just their bottom line
Top performers are often high-achievers and prone to burnout. Prioritize their well-being and mental health. I would venture to say the majority of our employees are high-achieving workers, so this tip extends to them as well.
Offer wellness programs
Encourage healthy habits with locally hosted fitness classes, mindfulness workshops and access to mental health resources. I also recommend including a short breathing meditation at the end or beginning of certain group meetings to set the tone and align everyone’s focus.
Mindfulness is very important to me personally and our Director of Agent Marketing, Lesley Stern, inspired me to take this a step further with the team — she always leads meetings with a grounded sense of purpose and direction.
Promote work-life balance
Although today’s nonstop communication style makes unplugging a challenge, I must stress the importance of putting work aside when it’s time to put it aside. Discourage “hustle culture,” and emphasize the importance of personal time and family.
I’m not saying to promote not working hard, but it’s essential to have a balance. No one can do it all, all the time and not feel the repercussions — mentally, emotionally or physically. We must acknowledge the toll the demands of this industry and occupation take and provide support systems to keep agents healthy.
Remember, today’s luxury talent deserves a modern luxury experience. By investing in their growth, fostering a supportive community and prioritizing their well-being, you can not only retain your top agents and best employees in 2024 but also attract the next generation of superstars to your brokerage.
Get creative, and stay in touch with the human needs of your team members to make your company a haven for talent, innovation and genuine employee satisfaction.