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The Dirty Little Secret You Need To Know About Agent Retention

As enterprise house owners, it’s essential to do the maths and perceive what causes some brokers to go away your brokerage.

In these occasions, 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 be taught 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 presumably essentially the most aggressive brokerage surroundings we’ve ever seen, retention is a sizzling subject. And rightfully so. In actual fact, retention has lengthy been a sizzling subject, particularly for brokerage house owners, 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 house owners throughout many industries would inform you 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 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 massive a sigh of aid as in case you are “off the hook” from the retention duty, let’s rewind. I particularly mentioned there may be nothing you are able to do to retain everybody. It’s good 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 are usually not 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 trade 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’ll be able to combat again in opposition to the typical in fact (and it is best to); nevertheless, over time and with the Legislation of Massive Numbers, you can’t 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 may’t maintain each agent could provide help to transfer by means of a few of these feelings in a wholesome method.

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 word. Test your ego on the door, take the excessive highway, be taught what you may to enhance and need them properly.

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

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 comparable however not the identical. In the actual property trade, we function on commission-based gross sales, due to this fact the speed at which individuals fail or stop is robotically larger 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 success they have been searching for and in the end resolve 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, maintain this in thoughts once you’re beating your head in opposition to a wall working to assist brokers succeed.

Don’t cease doing that, simply perceive that usually you will have it for them greater than they do. You’ve in all probability heard the saying you could lead a horse to water however you may’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 house owners, we have to perceive and plan for the maths across the trade we function in. That’s simply good enterprise savvy.

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

To learn how to combat again, try 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.