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The Dirty Little Secret You Need To Know About Agent Retention

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

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

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

In fairly probably probably the most aggressive brokerage setting we’ve ever seen, retention is a scorching matter. And rightfully so. Actually, retention has lengthy been a scorching matter, particularly for brokerage homeowners, as a result of we provide blood, sweat and tears to the brokers who be 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. Fundamental 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 stated it.

Nothing you are able to do.

Now earlier than you trash that remark and the remainder of this content material, or take too massive a sigh of aid as in case you are “off the hook” from the retention accountability, let’s rewind. I particularly stated there may be nothing you are able to do to retain everybody. You want to perceive this earlier than you are 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 may’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 typical actual property agent stays at a brokerage for 5 years. As unbiased contractors, brokers are free to roam concerning the business as they select.

I’ve by no means seen an unbiased contractor settlement that had “lifetime” written into the phrases, nor have I seen an agent signal one in blood. You possibly can struggle again towards the typical after all (and you must); nonetheless, over time and with the Legislation of Massive Numbers, you can’t keep away from it totally. 

Let’s be trustworthy: when folks depart, 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 may’t hold each agent might show you how to transfer by a few of these feelings in a wholesome approach.

My expertise tells me that 99 % of the time, folks depart for causes way more private to them than something you may management, so half methods on a excessive notice. Verify your ego on the door, take the excessive highway, study what you may to enhance and need them effectively.

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

Chances are 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 actual property business, we function on commission-based gross sales, due to this fact the speed at which individuals fail or give up is routinely increased than different industries.

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

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

Don’t cease doing that, simply perceive that always you want it for them greater than they do. You’ve in all probability heard the saying that you may lead a horse to water however you may’t make it drink. I’ve heard a greater one: Discover thirsty horses.

As leaders, we usually 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 business we function in. That’s simply good enterprise savvy.

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

To learn how to struggle again, try half two of this sequence, showing in subsequent week’s Dealer Edge.

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