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The Dirty Little Secret You Need To Know About Agent Retention

As enterprise homeowners, it’s vital to do the mathematics and perceive what causes some brokers to depart your brokerage.

In these instances, double down — in your expertise, in your information, on you. Be a part of us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Join Las Vegas to lean into the shift and study from the perfect. Get your ticket now for the perfect value.

That is the primary of a two-part sequence showing in Dealer Edge.

In fairly probably essentially the most aggressive brokerage atmosphere we’ve ever seen, retention is a scorching subject. And rightfully so. In reality, retention has lengthy been a scorching subject, particularly for brokerage homeowners, as a result of we provide blood, sweat and tears to the brokers who be a part of us, and these brokers simply so occur to be the first income supply for an actual property brokerage.

To not point out, many enterprise homeowners throughout many industries would let you know it’s simpler (and cheaper) to maintain a present buyer than to discover a new one. Primary fundamentals of enterprise. You get it. 

So what’s the soiled little secret? There may be nothing you are able to do to retain everybody. There. I mentioned it.

Nothing you are able to do.

Now earlier than you trash that remark and the remainder of this content material, or take too large a sigh of aid as if you’re “off the hook” from the retention accountability, let’s rewind. I particularly mentioned there may be nothing you are able to do to retain everybody. It’s essential perceive this earlier than you’re taking significant motion to retain as many individuals as attainable, which you completely ought to do.

Why is that this the soiled little secret? The maths behind retention and attrition. The attractive factor about math is, you’ll be able to’t argue with it.

To be clear, retention and attrition aren’t the identical. Let’s take a minute to unpack the variations and similarities between the 2.


Analysis from the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors (NAR) tells us that the common actual property agent stays at a brokerage for 5 years. As impartial contractors, brokers are free to roam in regards to the trade as they select.

I’ve by no means seen an impartial contractor settlement that had “lifetime” written into the phrases, nor have I seen an agent signal one in blood. You’ll be able to combat again towards the common after all (and you must); nevertheless, over time and with the Regulation of Giant Numbers, you can’t keep away from it completely. 

Let’s be trustworthy: when folks go away, it hurts. We might really feel as if we’ve failed them, we might really feel betrayed, we might really feel a scarcity of loyalty. These are actual feelings. Understanding you’ll be able to’t hold each agent might assist you transfer by means of a few of these feelings in a wholesome approach.

My expertise tells me that 99 p.c of the time, folks go away for causes far more private to them than something you’ll be able to management, so half methods on a excessive word. Examine your ego on the door, take the excessive highway, study what you’ll be able to to enhance and want them effectively.

In spite of everything, you may nonetheless be cooperating with them from throughout the road, and you can be shocked what number of resolve to come back again when they’re handled with respect upon their exit. I’ve seen it occur extra instances than I can rely.

It’s possible you’ll personal your brokerage, however you don’t personal your brokers — so don’t act prefer it.


Attrition is retention’s ugly twin. They’re related however not the identical. In the true property trade, we function on commission-based gross sales, due to this fact the speed at which individuals fail or stop is routinely increased than different industries.

This may be for plenty of causes: Retirement, a change in profession path, life change, or they merely didn’t discover the success or achievement they had been searching for and in the end resolve to give up their license. 

NAR stats additionally inform us {that a} mind-numbing 87 p.c of Realtors get out of the enterprise inside 5 years. Which means solely 13 p.c survive longer. As an proprietor, hold this in thoughts while you’re beating your head towards a wall working to assist brokers succeed.

Don’t cease doing that, simply perceive that always you will have it for them greater than they do. You’ve most likely heard the saying you can lead a horse to water however you’ll be able to’t make it drink. I’ve heard a greater one: Discover thirsty horses.

As leaders, we sometimes need everybody to succeed and genuinely consider they’ll. That’s what makes us leaders. Nevertheless, as enterprise homeowners, we have to perceive and plan for the mathematics across the trade we function in. That’s simply good enterprise savvy.

Able to combat again towards these averages? Good. Let’s get to work subsequent week partly two.

To learn the way to combat again, take a look at half two of this sequence, showing in subsequent week’s Dealer Edge.

Chase Williams is the co-founder of NW Wealthbuilders and development chief for the Keller Williams Northwest Area. Join with him on Fb or LinkedIn.