The Dirty Little Secret You Need To Know About Agent Retention

As enterprise homeowners, it’s essential 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 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 collection showing in Dealer Edge.

In fairly presumably essentially the most aggressive brokerage surroundings we’ve ever seen, retention is a scorching subject. And rightfully so. The truth is, 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 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’s 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 large a sigh of aid as if you’re “off the hook” from the retention accountability, let’s rewind. I particularly stated there’s nothing you are able to do to retain everybody. It’s worthwhile to perceive this earlier than you are taking significant motion to retain as many individuals as potential, 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 typical actual property agent stays at a brokerage for 5 years. As impartial contractors, brokers are free to roam concerning 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 battle again towards the typical after all (and you must); nonetheless, over time and with the Regulation of Giant Numbers, you can not keep away from it fully. 

Let’s be sincere: when folks depart, it hurts. We could really feel as if we’ve failed them, we could really feel betrayed, we could really feel an absence of loyalty. These are actual feelings. Understanding you’ll be able to’t maintain each agent could enable you to transfer by means of a few of these feelings in a wholesome method.

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

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

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 comparable however not the identical. In the actual property trade, we function on commission-based gross sales, subsequently the speed at which individuals fail or give up is robotically increased than different industries.

This may be for various causes: Retirement, a change in profession path, life change, or they merely didn’t discover the success or achievement they have been in search of 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. Meaning solely 13 p.c survive longer. As an proprietor, maintain this in thoughts once 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 that you could 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 usually need everybody to succeed and genuinely imagine they’ll. That’s what makes us leaders. Nonetheless, 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 battle again towards these averages? Good. Let’s get to work subsequent week partially two.

To learn how to battle again, try half two of this collection, 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.

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