Real estate companies that focus on growth seek to attract agents that are committed to our industry as a profession. How does a new agent decide who to work for? Experienced agents may realize that there are better options than their existing business relationship. Technology and current market conditions have changed the traditional process of recruiting and retention.
Attracting New Agents
In the old days, agents were attracted to a real estate company based on branding value, market share and training. New agents would become established by working their sphere of influence and taking floor time (working the buyer flow from ads, walk-ins, etc.). If they worked hard, they would survive and eventually thrive.
However, as stated in an earlier post (The Traditional Real Estate Model Has Changed), this business model no longer works. Customers are no longer walking through the door to talk with Realtors. To attract new agents, real estate companies must establish a viable on-line marketing process that will replace the old buyer flow. This assumes that the company believes that they have a partial responsibility to develop leads for the agents.
Real estate companies must also understand that younger agents have different expectations today. They expect comprehensive training and support. They expect to use technology as a way to communicate instantly and effectively with customers. And they expect the technologies to be in place to help them perform their jobs.
Future Success Will Depend on How Quickly Companies Can Adapt
The real estate industry is currently in flux. Traditional real estate companies are finding it harder to compete with increased offline and on-line competition. And the generation gap between buyers and Realtors threatens to limit the success of companies.
To succeed in a Web 2.0 world, real estate companies must embrace and adopt this new customer-focused, technology driven business model. This means developing the necessary tools and resources internally or engaging with vendors who offer the technologies and processes to increase lead production and successfully service Internet Buyer leads.
Companies need to invest in training, as well. Realtors with less experience in technology need to know how to use these new technologies efficiently and effectively. They also need to learn the customer service skills that today's generation of buyers expect.
Finally, real estate companies must also start getting younger. Just as they have to adapt to a new breed of buyer, they must also adapt to a new breed of worker to attract new agents.
The future will not accommodate a middle ground. Companies that can't-or won't-adapt will be forced out of business. For those companies that can adapt to these changes, the future of real estate looks brighter than ever.
Virtual Homes owns and operates RE/MAX franchises in New England (RE/MAX Innovations, Boston, MA and RE/MAX Country Properties, Amherst, NH). The company also provides a complete Internet market solution for agents, broker/owners and lender including lead generation, lead notification, management tools (CRM), training and support. In MA, we offer a MLS search tool http://virtualhomesmls.com.