How can agencies recruit new agents this winter?

November 14, 2016

After the summer real estate sales season and the cooler autumn months, many agencies begin to wind down a lot of their activity for the winter. And as those real estate professionals who have been in the business for a long time know, this is the perfect time for agencies to on-board new agents so all involved are fully prepared for the busy spring and summer ahead. A recent poll of real estate brokers and agency owners across the U.S. found that more than 2 in 3 felt recruiting should be their top priority in the first half of the year, according to Contactually. And in general, the findings also highlight a number of ways in which these businesses can successfully connect with the best hopeful agents in their areas. "The study's findings have significant implications for the real estate industry," said Zvi Band, Contactually CEO and founder. "Every broker or owner has, at one time or another, struggled with both recruitment and agent retention. Our study's findings identify an empirically derived framework that can be used prior to the creation of an agent recruitment or retention strategy, which will increase its effectiveness." What works? When it comes to reaching top agent recruits, the firms that had the most success shared a number of common traits. First and foremost, broker/owners were clear about what they were trying to accomplish with both their recruitment effort and the overall company going forward, which gives would-be agents a clear idea of what all involved want to accomplish. In addition, it's also important to show joining the agency will be a long-term benefit to the agents. That effort can mean anything from making connections to training and support from broker/owners, and some agents may want a little more guidance than others, especially when they're just starting out. Taking steps to make everything as clear as possible in the recruiting process - and trying to keep that process as uniform as possible - will give agents and owners alike a better idea of whether there's a good fit there. Getting better with young people Interestingly, while many brokers recognize the need to continue branching out and recruiting more real estate agents, only about 44 percent did so over the course of 2015, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, it's also vital for agencies to make sure they're doing enough to keep their current agents from going across the street to competing brokerages. This kind of effort is so important because agencies saw a full 65 percent of their sales volume last year come from either past clients or referrals from former buyers or sellers. Ideally, efforts to connect with new and existing agents will continue throughout the year, but because winter is less busy for many agencies, ramping up outreach and training now is crucial. Agents who are more enthusiastic about their brokerages and the chance to make connections in their communities are the ones most likely to lay the groundwork for a successful spring and summer during the long, cold winter months.