Why do real estate agents leave their brokers?

Why do real estate agents leave their brokers?

If you’re a broker who’s ever had a productive agent leave, you’re aware the wound can go much deeper than just that agent’s production alone. An agent leaving can be indicative of negative culture and shortcomings within the brokerage, and the action of them leaving often garners the attention of the other agents under your command, resulting in a snowball mass exodus effect and essentially battering the revenue stream of your brokerage to critically low numbers. There are three essential components to all business. In fact, one can argue these are the only three components to business:

  1. Obtain Clients
  2. Retain Clients
  3. Develop Clients

It’s that simple. Get new clients, keep them coming back, and make them better clients. In the case of a real estate brokerage, it’s tempting to identify home buyers and sellers as the clients, but this is a common misconception. Buyers and sellers are the clients of the agents.


Some may consider better technology, lead generation, strong referral networks, training programs, or an adept, responsive administrative team to be the direct cause of brokerage prosperity. However, these are just the tools for obtaining, retaining, and developing agents. Obtaining, retaining, and developing agents is the true catalyst for the prosperity of a brokerage. So how is each one of these contributing factors best achieved? Is there more you could be doing as a broker to recruit more agents, keep them from leaving, and increasing their production?


Every brokerage has means of attempting to recruit experienced agents from other brokerages and reach out to newly licensed agents with a list of benefits of their brokerage. The problem many brokerages suffer here is there is little deviation between each brokerage’s process, offers, and material. As a relatively new agent, I can tell you in the months following receiving my license, I received 10-15 letters from brokers attempting to incite me to hang my license with them. I couldn’t have told you anything specific about any of the brokerages the next day, because all the recruiting materials looked the same and the benefits offered sounded the same. All the materials boasted the best technology, hands on support, or some other vague cliché. What attracted me to the brokerage I ultimately signed with was their demonstration of positive company culture. Agents can find technology driven lead generation and training programs anywhere. Finding a brokerage that treats you like family is difficult. A quick solution to the issue of obtaining clients is actually retention of current clients. Host more events for your agents, give more awards, and cultivate an atmosphere of comradery among them. Once this is achieved, invite potential recruits to these events so they can experience the energy themselves. It may be a data driven industry, but people will always be emotionally driven when it comes down to it.


In addition to changing company culture to better reflect what’s described above, retention of agents can be trickier since loss of an agent is often a result of personal issues that can’t be fixed by the broker, like location of the office. The success of this metric can be better attributed to the delivery of benefits spelled out in the aforementioned recruitment materials. A well-trained administrative team to support the agents is key. Technology, lead generation, digital marketing, and training programs will suffer without regulation. A strong administrative team that can organize, implement, and track the progress of each of these for each agent from initiation to execution will lead to happy agents, regardless of the technology or processes used. Lights and bells can help brand awareness, but nothing correlates to customer retention stronger than good customer service. Treating your agents like customers and training your support staff like customer service is the first step to laying the foundation for a powerful, well-oiled agent retention machine.


This is where the training programs and technology come into play. Once your well-trained administrative team sets new agents in motion on your brokerage’s assembly line that goes through proven course instructors and effective technology education and follow up to insure adoption, your agents will be ready to begin obtaining, retaining, and developing clients of their own. There is a common, but complimentary issue experienced by new agents and seasoned agents. New agents struggle to obtain clients as a result of a lack of experience, while veteran agents struggle to retain and develop clients as a result of flooded inboxes and a general disorientation prompted by lack of organization and time. These problems can be solved symbiotically by instituting mentor-protégé relationships between newer and experienced agents. Newer agents will gain valuable experience and take a small cut of the commission while they learn handling the overflow from experienced agents, while experienced agents can be freed up to not only obtain new clients, but provide more focus to current clients.

Contrary to the behavior of many brokerages who think the secret sauce to agent happiness lies within the client management and lead generation technology provided to them, the answer is to go back to the roots of what made a functional brokerage in the pre-internet era. Worry less about what technology to provide, and more about establishing a competent, happy team. Once that is done, they’ll tell you what technology is best and how it should be implemented within the brokerage.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

  • Steve Jobs

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What Gifts Should Real Estate Agents Give to Clients?

What Gifts Should Real Estate Agents Give to Clients?

It’s that time of the year again. Lights, turkey, stuffing, family, songs, and business opportunity. If you’re a real estate agent, you know your gift obligations go beyond friends and family. Christmas is the perfect time to remind your clients you’re there when it’s time to sell and a good potential referral source when their friends visit, see your gift, and ask, “Where did you get that?” There are four characteristics you should aim for when getting your client a gift that will keep you at the forefront of their mind, and more importantly, their future business:


Unique gifts will stand out amidst knickknacks and the cornucopia of articles of clothing, gift cards, and other standard gifts that have come to be expected each Christmas, resulting in their recipience being less than memorable. A unique gift has a greater potential of leaving an impression, as well as inciting questions from any friends or family members, resulting in your name being mentioned to the benefit of both a potential referral and a reminder to your client.


The gift you get your client should be a reflection of the hands on, white glove concierge service you provide them. Clients will likely conflate the value and craftsmanship of the gift with the type of customer service you provide. Consequently, a cheap, poorly made gift could actually have the opposite of the desired effect, subconsciously slating yourself in your client’s mind alongside the sultry condition of the gift. Instead, we recommend a luxury/boutique gift in an industry that typically churns relatively cheap materials and products. This way, you can create an association in your client’s mind between you and boutique style and class without breaking the bank in the process.

Repeat Delivery/Subscription

The reason for this is simple. Repetition breeds familiarity. A subscription service delivered monthly to your client is a good gift for the same reason so many agents turn to email drip campaigns for their marketing. It allows you to remind your client often and easily of you and the help you provided them in the past with no intervention on your part beyond initiation of the subscription service. What’s better than marketing that’s done for you?


This last one will require more thought on your part. It’s a good idea to show clients that you listen and you’re emotionally invested in the relationship you’ve formed with them over the course of your business dealings. Nothing shows you care and you’ve listened more than a gift that panders exclusively to the personal interests of your client. You wouldn’t get your mom a gift card for Christmas, would you? She would likely be hurt at the lack of effort you put into a present like that. A client should be treated no differently. Real estate agent as a profession can be somewhat of an outlier in this sense. Unlike other industries, as a real estate agent, the best way to maintain and cultivate a business relationship is to treat it like a personal relationship. Doing this will create a bond between you and your client, increase repeat business, and increase referrals.

Now that we’ve laid out the foundation for a good client gift, please take a look at some companies that provide gifts we believe meets the criteria described above:


Refresh Glass Client Gifts


Atlas Coffee Club

Do you have a favorite gift that you love giving to your clients? Comment below and ad links!

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States on the Rise: What data influences home prices?

States on the Rise: What data influences home prices?

Article Highlights:

  • If current household income and educational attainment rate trends continue in Washington, Ohio, and Colorado, the rate of change of median home prices in those states will greatly exceed the national average.

US News state rankings give insight into where each state stacks up in many lifestyle, political, and economic categories including health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability, and quality of life. And while many syndicates claim to have discovered the holy grail of real estate investing in the form of an infallible algorithm, the truth is no one has a tool that can accurately predict the future of real estate prices. But in regard to the rankings assigned by US News, is there any correlation between any of these categories and real estate prices in corresponding states? We ranked each state by median home price, then performed linear regression analyses between each category and home price ranking to determine if there is in fact a correlating category that could be influencing real estate prices, and consequently, determine where real estate prices would be likely to go up based on local trends that could potentially raise a state’s ranking in relevant categories. Here’s what the numbers suggest:

OVERALL R^2 Value Correlation
Health Care 0.411 Moderate
Education 0.1685 Weak
Crime & Corrections 0.1355 Weak
Economy 0.108 Weak
Fiscal Stability 0.017 None
Opportunity 0.0115 None
Infrastructure 0.0001 None
Quality of Life 0 None
Public Health 0.497 Moderate
Health Care Quality 0.2526 Weak
Health Care Access 0.0473 None
Low Obesity Rate 0.6135 Strong
Low Mortality Rate 0.5217 Strong
Low Smoking Rate 0.5197 Strong
Low Infant Mortality Rate 0.321 Moderate
Mental Health 0.2021 Moderate
Low Suicide Rate 0.0202 Weak
Preventable Admissions 0.3959 Moderate
Nursing Home Quality 0.1664 Weak
Medicare Quality 0.075 None
Fewest Hospital Readmissions 0.0489 None
Adult Dental Visits 0.2266 Weak
Health Care Affordability 0.0966 Weak
Child Dental Visits 0.0391 None
Health Insurance Enrollment 0.0179 None
Adult Wellness Visits 0.0163 None
Child Wellness Visits 0.0031 None
Higher Education 0.1216 Weak
Pre-K – 12 0.0348 None
Educational Attainment 0.4328 Moderate
4 Yr College Grad Rate 0.0502 None
Low Debt At Graduation 0.0107 None
Tuition and Fees 0.0093 None
2 Yr College Grad Rate 0.0007 None
PRE-K – 12
NAEP Math Scores 0.1334 Weak
College Readiness 0.101 Weak
HS Grad Rate 0.0549 None
NAEP Reading Scores 0.0483 None
Preschool Enrollment 0.0422 None
Pre-K Quality 0.0017 None
Corrections 0.2097 Weak
Public Safety 0.0405 None
Low Incarceration Rate 0.266 Weak
Sexual Violence in Prisons 0.0758 None
Least Juvenile Incarceration 0.0625 None
Low Recidivism Rate 0.0311 None
Equality in Jailing 0.0281 None
Low Violent Crime Rate 0.0711 None
Low Property Crime Rate 0.0143 None
Business Environment 0.2464 Weak
Employment 0.1095 Weak
Growth 0.0226 None
Venture Capital 0.2572 Weak
Entrepreneurship 0.2347 Weak
Patent Creation 0.1824 Weak
Low Tax Burden 0.0349 None
Top Company Headquarters 0 None
Labor Force Participation 0.2111 Weak
Job Growth 0.0801 None
Low Unemployment Rate 0.0032 None
Net Migration 0.0458 None
GDP Growth 0.0387 None
Growth of Young Population 0.0019 None
Long Term Fiscal Stability 0.0123 None
Short Term Fiscal Stability 0.0046 None
Pension Fund Liability 0.0125 None
Government Credit Rating Score 0 None
Liquidity 0.0227 None
Budget Balancing 0.0015 None
Economic Opportunity 0.3323 Moderate
Equality 0.0217 None
Household Income 0.5576 Strong
Low Poverty Rate 0.3605 Moderate
Low Food Insecurity 0.2462 Weak
Gini Index 0.02 None
Income Gap by Gender 0.2365 Weak
Employment Gap by Race 0.1294 Weak
Education Gap by Race 0.0834 None
Income Gap by Race 0.0504 None
Disability Employment Gap 0.0269 None
Employment Gap by Gender 0.0039 None
Internet Access 0.0491 None
Transportation 0.011 None
Energy 0.0085 None
Broadband Access 0.09999 Weak
Ultra-Fast Internet Access 0.0226 None
Public Transit Usage 0.2968 Moderate
Commute Time 0.1279 Weak
Road Quality 0.1276 Weak
Bridge Quality 0.0994 Weak
Electricity Price 0.122 Weak
Power Grid Reliability 0.0596 None
Renewable Energy Usage 0.0011 None
Natural Environment 0.029 None
Social Environment 0.0087 None
Low Pollution Health Risk 0.2218 Weak
Low Industrial Toxins 0.1014 Weak
Urban Air Quality 0.0457 Weak
Drinking Water Quality 0.0002 None
Community Engagement 0.0747 None
Voter Participation 0.01 None
Social Support 0.0077 None

As you can see, very few categories demonstrate a correlation between their rankings and median home prices with the exception of several public health categories, household income, and educational attainment. While this likely doesn’t suggest a direct cause and effect relationship, the fact that there is a correlation between some categories and median home prices alludes to a possibility for predicting where some state’s markets are likely to outperform the national average based on which states are trending in the positive direction for relevant categories. While there is little data on general health trends by state over the years, it’s safe to assume that public health is a direct product of educational attainment and household income, so we’ll only be examining those two categories instead.

US news defines educational attainment, “The achievement of college degrees in any state is a measure of how well the educational system has prepared its citizenry for advanced study beyond high school and enabled students to succeed.” Interestingly, this refers to the quality of high schools in each state, not necessarily universities. The top-ranking states in positive change in high school education over the last three years are as follows:


State Total Rank Change
Washington 28
Colorado 22
Ohio 14
Florida 13
Idaho 13
Minnesota 12
Oklahoma 12
Wisconsin 11
Utah 10
Wyoming 9

As for household income, here are the top ten ranking states in greatest rate of change since 2014:


Rank State Total Change
1 Washington 26%
2 Tennessee 24%
3 Arizona 22%
4 South Carolina 22%
5 D.C. 21%
6 Mississippi 21%
7 Indiana 21%
8 Colorado 20%
9 Alabama 20%
10 Ohio 19%

So, assuming these trends continue, Washington, Colorado, and Ohio, being the only three states in the top ten in both likely influential categories, expect the median home price to exceed the national average in these three states in the near future. To reference descriptions and explanations for any categories, visit https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states, or if you have any questions or would like to see our full data lists for this study, please contact our Director of Marketing at tommyw@realestatebackops.com.