Friday, September 7, 2007

Agent Retention - In A Slow Market

Many brokerages seem so focused on recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, that they lose sight of keeping and maintaining the agent partnerships they have today. With the market being “slow,” there is an enormous opportunity to train agents on the systems and tools provided via your franchise relationship to increase their business, which, I believe, will lead to keeping that agent through the bad times and into the good ones (they will come again).

So, here are three quick items to focus your agents...

1. Contact Management
Real Living provides its agents a contact management solution and makes it easy for the agent to market to their database when populated. Agents need to, to quote a leader in our company, “see the people, see the people, see the people,’ which will create contacts. Encourage agents to add 10-20 contacts to their database weekly. A good book to refer agents to is, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. This book has changed the way I view relationships.

2. Continue Marketing
If agents do not continue to invest in themselves during the down-times when money is tighter, consumers may assume they’ve went away. There always seems to be a news story telling consumers how difficult the real estate market is - which could plant the seed in their minds that the agent has cut-and-run from real estate. At Real Living we provide agents free and inexpensive opportunities to market themselves including e-cards (an online Hallmark store – free), e-newsletters (goes out monthly – free), direct mail ($.35-$.60/card), agent websites (marketing opportunities nationally – free), and opportunities to tap into blogging systems (minimal cost).

3. Blog
Slow markets create more time and some of this time can be used to establish a blogging presence. This presence will enhance SEO and improve your visibility in the market. It can also, if used properly begin to position an agent as an “expert” in a given area. One of our franchisees from Real Living Southern Homes, Calum MacKenzie is a great example.

Ultimately, take the time the slow market has afforded you and your agents to re-engage with your company’s systems and tools. You want them positioned for the market up-swing that WILL come. Agents will appreciate your dedication and caring for their careers and thank you with their success later.

If your brokerage or franchise does not provide tools and systems for agents, or if you are interested in partnering with a company who provides the systems highlighted above (and more), call me at 614-203-0801 or e-mail
chris.svec@realliving.com.

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