What Are Agents Looking For?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Ryan Taylor Homes

As the managing broker for a real estate firm, I am constantly trying to develop services and support that will satisfy my current associates and attract new associates.

Recently, I have heard through the grapevine that agents are leaving their companies because of the slow market in our area. I wonder why?

For example, we have national advertising, Interent lead generation and management, a design/marketing center, in-house continuing ed and other training, satellite training, coaching and mentoring programs, online forms, prompt commission payment, low fees, an web-based "office" so agents can get forms, faxes, and other information anywhere they have a connection to the Internet.

I know all of these things are useful. I also know most good companies have systems similar to ours. Yet I've heard that agents are leaving firms left and right because of the slow market. I wonder why? If you are with a reputable firm with good services, why wouldn't you make better use of the services offered by your current company instead of switching? The new firm probably has the same stuff, or maybe even less?

Is it a "grass is always greener" scenario. Did a good recruiter catch you at a vulnerable time? I'm curious.

To my Active Rain colleagues who have switched firms in the last few months, I'd like to ask you why? What started your thinking to switch? What happened, or what was said or done, to finalize you decision? Then, how is your new firm different from you previous one?

Last, are you happy with the deicison you made? If so, why? If not, why not?


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Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO
What agents are looking for is money.  If the market is slow, some agents will drop out.  The good ones, however, are going to seek out the best split- why wouldn't they?  As commissions become more competitive, they are often losing business because of a rate dictated by the broker.  Leads?  For new people, manning the phones?  It's often little else, and that can be automated with a smaller company, bigger split...or, their OWN COMPANY.  Training is fine, but selling involves personality.  If someone has it, why on earth compromise with no ability to negotiate, or having a bad (70 and below) split.  ReMax figured it out years ago.
Mar 31, 2007 01:12 PM #1
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
There is always a huge drop out rate when the market turns south.  Agents will start flooding back when the market turns back around.  I don't think it has anything to do with your broker, besides it's a pain in the A to switch brokers and a market downturn is not a market to switch in anyway, why cause yourself more stress than you already have with a changing market. NOT ALL AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR MONEY either.
Mar 31, 2007 01:23 PM #2
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
I think it's the whole 'grass is greener' scenario.  Money is a part of it, but in my experience it just seems to be an event that pushes somebody over the edge (fight over office space, broker made a bad decision, colleague stole a client), and off they go.  We try to stay in front of our 'hit list' agents so that if and when something happens, they know we're there for them. 
Mar 31, 2007 01:24 PM #3
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN

Hi Kathy - I haven't left my company but have thought about it a few different times.  It's not that my company lacks in advertising or that it doesn't offer training events.  Heck even the desk fee is nothing.

My problem is that I'm constantly shelling money out and not getting much business in return.  (Just lately the company I'm with decided to implement a lead generation program.  But only a limited number of people are allowed to participate and I am one of them.)  The people of my company that have done well as far as sales are the ones that get the most opportunities.  They've been allowed to be on lending tree leads, something with Cosco that gives opportunities for leads and Relocation.  They can get their postage paid.  Watching this for the last year has been a bit discouraging. 

I have not left because the company I'm with has good name recognition and as I said very little desk fee.  I could not afford to go to another company, pay desk fees and have the same situation happen.

I do wish my company had a mentor program/coaching that would help us to get further ahead in our careers.  For me, the next step is another job all together.  That's my two cents, I hope it helps.


Mar 31, 2007 01:30 PM #4

Things tend to look better elsewhere, especially in a slow market.  I guess we are niver happy with what we have and feel we can do better elsewhere for one reason or another.  You have to do what youfeelis right for you and go for it.  Good or bad, follow your instinct.

Patricia AUlson/SEACOAST NH & ME 

Mar 31, 2007 01:49 PM #5
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Kathy-

The first time I switched company's was the hardest. I basically left for a better split. This was not the best move for me, even though I was getting a higher split, the environment lacked structure and the broker was not very experienced. Now, I feel I have the balance I was looking for a higher split with access to all the tools I need to succeed!

Mar 31, 2007 02:01 PM #6
Sabine Pyrchalla
Colorado Springs, CO

My personal two cents worth of opinion: after talking to other agents - sometimes a switch occurs because either the agent is changing their business, ie implement technology, different marketing, become more or less agent-centric and the company is not able to meet those new needs, or it's an accumulation of things - small things that might have accumulated (gone wrong) over time, maybe both combining to make the grass look greener elsewhere...?

Mar 31, 2007 02:07 PM #7
David Edwards
Edwards Real Estate Group, Inc. - Newcastle, WA
I am extremely happy with my brokerage company. It all comes down to our training calendar. The brokerage doesn't promise leads, they promise and deliver on their training. The training gives me the tools to go out into my marketplace and make it happen. In addition to training, my brokerage provides brainstorming sessions, mentors and the opportunity to be held accountable. It doesn't matter how long you have been in the business, you will always benefit from quality training. This approach also attracts the type of agent interested in learning how to build a business versus the type of agent interested in having everything handed to them. 
Mar 31, 2007 02:38 PM #8
Laurie Manny
Long Beach CA Real Estate - Long Beach, CA
One of the industry magazines did an article on this a while back.  They reported that the predominant reason Realtors changed brokerage was "for a better deal".  They went on to report that when asked what kind of a better deal they were surprised to find out that it was not money.  The predominant reason they left was because they wanted a stronger managing broker who took an active interest in managing the business and in their careers.  
Mar 31, 2007 07:14 PM #9
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO
Thanks for the correction, Laurie- that's very interesting.  When we used to have to deliver info to realtors (as a builder rep) or gift baskets to broker offices, or whatever, what we would always tell the builder, based on our experience, is that THE GOOD AGENTS aren't languishing in the office- they are out getting business.  My assumption was that these are the 10% doing the business (based on their sales).  They aren't reliant on training programs, or phone duty- they're past that.  I'm sure that there are people that appreciate a "warm" office environment, structured meetings, etc.- I just didn't see too many producers partaking.  Many of them had their own home office set up, and avoided the office environment altogether.
Apr 01, 2007 12:01 AM #10
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