The Dirty Little Secret You Need To Know About Agent Retention

As enterprise homeowners, it’s vital to do the maths and perceive what causes some brokers to depart 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 study from the perfect. Get your ticket now for the perfect worth.

That is the primary of a two-part collection 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 truth, 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 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 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 large a sigh of reduction as if you’re “off the hook” from the retention duty, let’s rewind. I particularly stated there’s 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 doable, which you completely ought to do.

Why is that this the soiled little secret? The mathematics behind retention and attrition. The gorgeous factor about math is, you’ll be able to’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 impartial contractors, brokers are free to roam concerning the business 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 may battle again towards the typical in fact (and it’s best to); nonetheless, over time and with the Legislation of Giant Numbers, you can not keep away from it completely. 

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’ll be able to’t maintain each agent might enable you to transfer by way of a few of these feelings in a wholesome manner.

My expertise tells me that 99 % of the time, folks depart for causes rather more private to them than something you’ll be able to management, so half methods on a excessive be aware. Examine your ego on the door, take the excessive highway, study what you’ll be able to to enhance and want them properly.

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

You could 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 business, we function on commission-based gross sales, subsequently the speed at which individuals fail or give up is robotically larger 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 success they had been searching 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, maintain 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 usually you want it for them greater than they do. You’ve in all probability heard the saying which 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. Nonetheless, as enterprise homeowners, we have to perceive and plan for the maths across the business 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 the way to battle again, take a look at 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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