10 ways an improved agent onboarding can improve retention
Agent onboarding, if done well, can set agents on a path to unlimited success. Onboarding is much more than a one-time event, it’s a continued process lasting up to two months.
Taking the time to set your agents up for success is as much an investment in their future business as it is in yours. Well-onboarded agents feel supported, become productive faster, and are ultimately more likely to stay within your office.
In this article, we’re going to be pointing out a few of the areas you can consider when customizing an agent onboarding program for your new recruits.
A quick side note before we get into the takeaway points: This article is not a complete checklist of agent onboarding activities. If you would like a complete breakdown of how to successfully onboard an agent, take a look at the RE/MAX Compass Training available from your Regional Office.
START THEM OFF WORKING WITH BUYERS
It may be one of the last things office owners may want to hear but working with buyers is an excellent way to encourage early wins for agents – especially those new to the industry. Having your new agents collaborate with listing agents is a win-win-win. Your agent receives a commission split as they learn, the listing agent receives qualified buyers, and the buyers themselves receive dedicated customer service.
As an added bonus, the new agent now has a reliable contact to collaborate with in the future, creating an excellent second revenue stream when they themselves become a listing agent.
COMPLETE ANY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
This should go without saying, but it is crucial all new recruits conform with the necessary legal requirements to become a real estate agent in your country.
SET A CLEAR TIMEFRAME AND FIRST STEPS
Letting new recruits know how long their onboarding will take and when they can expect to be flying solo is a big motivator. Whether it’s four weeks or two months, new agents should know exactly what to expect and when. Use RE/MAX Compass as an out-of-the-box solution for your onboarding processes.
Top tip: Check out RE/MAX Europe Academy for onboarding trainings as well as further agent development materials.
ASSIGN A MENTOR TO NEW RECRUITS
Agent onboarding can take time and energy. But remember, as an office owner you don’t have to do it alone. Including office staff and experienced agents is a great way for everyone to feel responsible for new agent success and builds trust between new and existing team members.
Assigning a mentor to a new recruit gives them an extra layer of support, and shows they are part of a wider network that cares about their development.
PROVIDE STRUCTURE AND SET EXPECTATIONS
It is essential that office owners set expectations for their agents from the very start. It’s also important that these expectations are well communicated and visible to the incoming agent. They need to see a goal and a very clear path toward achieving that goal.
LEARN THE SCRIPTS
One of the best things about joining the RE/MAX network is most of the hard work has already been done before. Make sure your agents know exactly what to say to customers and how to handle objections in areas such as exclusive listings. Let them know that, so long as they follow the formula, success is only a matter of time.
KNOW THE INDUSTRY
It is unfair on the agent and unwise from an office owner's point of view to send a newcomer into the marketplace without first educating them about real estate in your area. Give your new agents time to research local prices, inventory, and buyer/seller trends. Also, provide them with a process of keeping up to date with local real estates activity such as a Slack Channel, newsletter, or regular morning huddle meetings.
GET MARKETING MATERIALS
Once the agent is settled into your office, it’s time to set an appointment with a professional photographer and create a suite of images for online and offline marketing materials. If your new recruit has their own business cards and website they will feel much more professional. They can also present themselves at their best to new customers.
Bonus tip: Provide your new agents with a short training on how to use the Marketing Center and MY RE/MAX Europe. Highlight the benefits and deals available to RE/MAX agents on marketing materials.
FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR NEW AGENTS FREQUENTLY
Once your expectations have been set and clearly communicated to your new recruits, check back in with them each and every week. Make sure that they know you are there to support them with any challenges they may have and amplify any wins they may achieve. Make sure your new agents know you are invested in their success.
LET THEM SUCCEED
This is another point that sounds obvious but can also be very challenging. Your role as an office owner is not to sell real estate but to provide an environment where your agents can take their own stories further. High performers may eventually want to break away from your office and become a Broker/Owner themselves. Keep an open line of communication and take an interest in your agent's future goals. There may be an opportunity to offer them a partnership, build an agent team, or open a new location.
With RE/MAX there is always a way for brokers and agents to succeed together.