5 Tips to Improve Retention

Retaining your best sales associates may be your most important job. If agents feel your office is stagnant, they may look for a more dynamic alternative. Here are five ways to boost your chances of keeping your best and brightest associates at your side.

March 1, 2012

1. Recruit them honestly.

“Avoid unethical recruiting,” says Ty Carey, broker in charge and vice president of Jackson Stanley, REALTORS®, in Greenville, S.C. “When sales associates leave, go back and review how you recruited them. What picture did you paint? Did anything you do give them fair reason for wanting to part ways?”

2. Give them the right tools.

A good company Web site that helps produce leads is essential. Other tools important to retention include electronic contracts, real estate software programs, computers, trained staff, and transaction coordination.

3. Don’t play favorites.

“Continually provide assistance and opportunities to all salespeople,” advises David Fialk, ABR, CRS, broker-owner at Choice Realty Co. in Iselin, N.J. “You don’t want sales associates saying behind your back, ‘He did that for this salesperson but not for me.’ ”

4. Pay attention to what they post online.

“Set up Facebook lists, subscribe to sales associates’ personal and business blogs, and occasionally make a comment on one of those to let them know you’re listening,” suggests Doug Devitre, ABR, CRS, a technology and social media consultant and president of Doug Devitre International Inc. in St. Louis. “If you don’t know how to actively listen online, I’m willing to bet another broker does.”

5. Ask how you can help.

Practice MBWA—management by walking around—and ask sales associates: “How can I help you?” Respond right away to their requests. “As a broker, I’ve gone on listing appointments, helped write sales contracts, and let sales associates use my office with buyers if there’s no other place to work,” says Dave Tina, general manager of Realty One Group in Las Vegas. “The best retention and recruitment is walking the walk every single day.”

Sources: Ty Carey, broker in charge and vice president, Jackson Stanley, REALTORS®, Greenville, S.C.; Doug Devitre, ABR, CRS, president, Doug Devitre International Inc., St. Louis; David Friedman, president and founder, Boston Logic Technology Partners Inc., Boston; David Fialk, ABR, CRS, broker-owner, Choice Realty Co., Iselin, N.J.; Tom Guest, president, Metro Brokers Inc.—Key Masters Real Estate, Denver; Brad Hanks, ABR, CRB, president, Brad Hanks Seminars, Bellingham, Wash.;  Bill Richardson, managing broker, The Keyes Co., Boca Raton, Fla.; Dave Tina, general manager, Realty One Group, Las Vegas.

freelance writer

G.M. Filisko is a Chicago area freelance and former editor for REALTOR® Magazine.