How do you know when agents are ready to switch brokerages?
Switching brokerages is more common than one thinks. In 2015, one-third of Realtors started at a new firm. In the same report, 44% of brokers reported that they are actively recruiting. It’s important to keep this in mind when focusing on recruiting as well as retention.
So, why do real estate agents want to switch brokerages in the first place?
Reasons to switch
The reasons agents want to switch are varied. Unless an agent is extremely unhappy or struggling, it remains a difficult and time-consuming decision.
Sticking with one brokerage does pay off over time, but if an agent is really struggling or unhappy, they will want to find the brokerage that works the best for them and make a commitment to that one.
Some agents consider whether the brokerage is in line with their own goals. They might worry about the backlash they might experience in the industry. The brokerage may not offer the tools and support that every agent needs and the list goes on. In the end, if the agent has already started to think about switching brokerages, they will still need to be sold on the idea.
Agents who are thinking about making a move will need words of encouragement. Providing insight, wisdom and knowledge with them will solidify the idea that your brokerage would be a better fit. But, how do you make the pitch?
Offering something else
Agents who are thinking of moving brokerages will weigh the pros and cons. If you are unable to offer them something that will make their life easier or better, the likelihood of winning them over gets smaller and smaller.
One of the most common questions that come up in the recruiting process is commission. Of course, prospective agents will want to know your commission rate, and, for some, that might be the only thing that will be of interest to them. If you can’t compete with the commission structure that they already have, you will need to offer them something else.
Find out what makes you unique. What things can you and your brokerage offer agents that will help their business grow? What are your strengths, your weaknesses? Only by looking deeply at what you can offer can you accurately communicate that with a prospective agent.
Do you provide your agents with business supports beyond commission?
Around 89% of top producing agents spend something on their annual marketing. Taking on some of that spending could be something that is part of your package that you offer potential recruits.
Another thing that you will want to consider is: what does that individual agent want?
Not all agents want to be top producers. Some want more time or a bit more flexibility. Knowing what you can offer in each unique case will help you be prepared for what an agent is looking for. Building a diverse team will reflect that your brokerage is able to provide different agents exactly what they are looking for.
Agents who are looking to grow their business or free up a bit of time will be the most open to discussing factors other than commission rates.
Help them organize the leap
Offering help through the transition process is crucial when talking to potential recruits. For some, the change will be scary and new. Knowing that they have the support and help that they need will be a huge relief.
Timing is so important. They will need to inform their clients, their coworkers and rebrand their business.
Here are some suggestions when organizing a checklist for them will help them and you get prepared for them to make the switch.
- Export data into new sources, like contacts, referrals, and calendar schedules.
- Order new collateral, such as business cards, signs, name tags, etc.
- After their announcement, update the platforms such as Docusign, real estate associations, etc.
- Update their digital collateral, such as website, e-newsletter, and socials.
- Help them spread the work by terminating listings, resigning them to a new brokerage, and informing past clients.
By offering something else beyond commission plans, not only will you attract the right agent to join your team, you will also discover what your brokerage brings to the table. For some agents, it is all about the commission and that’s ok! If you aren’t able to offer those agents what they’re looking for, they won’t be the agents you are looking for either.
Questions that might come up
We did a bit of digging and found a few examples of some of the questions that might arise if a prospective agent is looking for something other than a competitive commission plan:
What are the fees? What do they cover?
What’s the culture like? Is there a high turnover rate?
What is the support staff like?
What kind of training will I receive?
How available will the broker be?
These are all questions you should have prepared in a positive light to ensure that you can offer prospective agents what they are looking for. In the end, being prepared to offer something more than a commission could enhance your recruiting efforts.