“The only constant in life is change.” -Heraclitus

It may be cliché, but nonetheless, this well-known quote should be the anthem for every real estate agent. Agents who entered the business 10 years ago, possibly even 15 years ago, have never known a down or recessionary market. Other than a few blips here and there, prices have steadily appreciated while supply has not kept pace with population growth, thanks in large part to immigration policy and major world events.

The biggest stimulus, of course, has been the almost non-existent interest rate environment, which led most buyers to shop for the “right payment” instead of considering a property’s price, or the potential risks associated with variable rate mortgages. This resulted in agents having their best and most productive years ever, notwithstanding a global pandemic.

A career in real estate can be exciting and financially rewarding, but it is also challenging and competitive for agents and brokerages alike. I am of the firm belief that a brokerage is only as successful as its agents, which is why Right at Home Realty (RAHR) invests heavily in our agents’ success – to ensure a long-term and rewarding relationship. Our method is threefold, and today, I will walk you through it.

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Foster Expansion Through Technology

RAHR has undertaken a major technology initiative to help agents access tools to support their back office and front-end requirements. We developed our own proprietary Transaction Management Solution that provides immediate access to and information on current and pending transactions. The built-in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) function provides an easy-to-use client contact mechanism, which allows agents to maintain and build client relationships.

The solution also allows agents to establish individual business plans, and monitor their own production against it.

Foster Productivity Through Support

Support is provided at every level: directly from branch administrators, the agent care team, and of course, branch managers. Further, our Mentorship program helps guide, support, and drive productivity for newer agents who need an extra level of accountability and support.

One of the main lessons we learned from the pandemic is that real estate selling is very much a human-to-human service, and is not something that can be “outsourced” to technology. This is one of the overriding reasons RAHR has maintained a network of physical branch office locations – so our agents and their clients have somewhere to connect. Also, our branch administrators and managers are available onsite to assist, including after hours.

This level of support can make the difference between an agent successfully or unsuccessfully completing a sale.

Foster Growth Through Training

As staunch believers of continuing professional education, we provide a complete training curriculum that offers ongoing, free training for all our agents, at all levels of their career. This curriculum – our online Training Academy – offers a self-paced training component on demand, 24/7. RAHR agents who completed the Personal Development Plan (PDP) program earned 23% more than those who have not undergone the training.

Look Beyond Recruitment

According to data from Statistics Canada, the number of businesses in the Real Estate and Rental and Leasing sector, which includes the Real Estate Sales & Brokerage industry, has increased steadily over the past five years. Specifically, the number of businesses in the whole sector increased from 110,738 in 2016 to 118,444 in 2020 – a growth rate of 7%.

In the last five years, we have seen an increase in new agents and new licensees entering the industry. But, once the market changed and interest rate hikes started cooling things down, we also saw an exodus of non-producing, part-time and retiring agents. Traditionally, a brokerage would just hire new agents to compensate for the attrition, however, this model does little to support current real estate agents in terms of improving their skills and productivity.

Moving forward, I believe that the growth and success of brokerages no longer lies in that old formula of just adding warm bodies. Technology, tangible support, and agent training must all be given equal priority to ensure long-term productivity and advancement.

This article was produced in partnership with STOREYS Custom Studio.

Real Insights with John Lusink