Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Young Agents Flourish
Learn three ways to attract and retain young, newly licensed real estate practitioners at your brokerage.
May 12, 2015
Engaging young professionals is important for the future growth of the real estate industry, both at the brokerage and association level. But the process doesn’t have to be time consuming – or awkward. Brokers and association leadership discussed strategies for reaching out to younger licensees during the Ideas Exchange Council session Tuesday morning, May 12, at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington D.C.
Here are three ideas for appealing to and recruiting the next generation of real estate agents:
1. Shift your culture. An inclusive environment is attractive to many young practitioners. Tyler McKenzie, managing broker with John L. Scott Real Estate and 2015 president of the Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®, says that by adopting a “we attitude,” the association has successfully recruited more young members into positions of leadership, which works at the brokerage level as well. Brokers and practitioners in positions of leadership can create inclusive environments by recognizing accomplishments, showing up to Young Professional Network events, and fostering collaboration.
2. Hire young, qualified staff. Leadership and support from within the same peer group creates encouraging resources for agents. Whether it’s support staff at your brokerage or association staff positions, hiring younger people can motivate young, new practitioners to get involved and excel in the business. Linda Formella, branch manager at Michael Saunders & Company and president-elect at the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee in Sarasota, Fla., says that hiring a younger professional for the governmental affairs director position has helped bring younger agents into conversations about real estate issues. She says that as a result of this, young agents are now engaging with city council members and county commissioners about housing-related topics.
3. Create educational opportunities. It often falls on the broker to train newly recruited licensees. Besides in-house coaching, brokers can take a cue from the North Oakland County Board of REALTORS® in Michigan and provide avenues for supplemental education. NOCBOR offers educational loans to newer licensees so they can take designation courses to better equip them for the market. Of the more than 400 members who have taken advantage of the program, only two have failed to pay back the loan.