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5 Ways Coaching Can Help Brokers Retain Their Agents

author: aaron hodson brokerages team management Mar 08, 2023

As a coach and consultant, I have the privilege of helping brokers around the nation. Whether I’m working with a large luxury broker in Orange County or a small team in Pennsylvania, one challenge is ubiquitous: they struggle with agent retention. According to a report by The Close, a typical real estate agent stays at a brokerage for five years. This number even feels high in my experience. Agents are constantly jumping ship and costing brokers time and energy spent onboarding and training.

I credit much of my success recruiting and retaining thousands of agents in my career to investment in coaching. The benefits to the broker are varied — with the caveat that you invest in a program that truly works. Here are some of the reasons an in-house coaching program is well worth the investment and then some.

1. Don’t just “tell” them. “Show” them that they are supported. 

Too many brokers overpromise when recruiting and underdeliver once agents are onboarded. By introducing a coaching program, you will show that your commitment to them is legitimate and ongoing. 

While mentoring is a popular and impactful way to create a positive onboarding experience, I’ve seen a lot of mentors fall short on delivering what’s expected — let alone go above and beyond to support new agents. This is understandable. In real estate, each agent is essentially a small business owner and the incentive to help a green agent just isn’t there. Coaching, on the other hand, can easily fill this gap.

Managing an in-house coaching program is often simpler than trying to oversee a mentorship circle while holding mentors accountable (herding cats in most cases…). With coaching, you get the type of goal-oriented structure and hefty dose of motivation that keeps agents engaged for the long haul. 



2. Support agent growth. 

In a traditional workplace, goal setting and accountability are typically built into employee evaluation programs. In a real estate brokerage, you are relying on agents to prioritize their growth on their own. Does that work? Not often.

With in-house coaching, you are able to evaluate each agent’s strengths and weaknesses, help them set appropriate goals, and hold them accountable. Not only does this type of structured growth help the individual agent (success=bigger paycheck=happy agent), but it helps overall job satisfaction. If they tie their growth trajectory directly to the benefits you are providing as a broker, they are much more likely to stick around.



3. Teach them how to utilize industry partners.

One of the greatest tools an agent has is their industry partnerships. In my own career as an agent, I cite my lender partners as some of the single biggest factors in my success. But if you don’t know how to nurture and utilize these partnerships, they won’t work in this way.

A good in-house coaching program will show agents how to work with these vendors on an everyday basis. It should go beyond the basics and work with agents on growth strategies they can easily implement.

The impact will eventually go beyond the everyday agent and build a reputation for your brokerage as one that vendors pursue for partnerships. A win, win!



4. Get the right materials and communication tools in their hands.

A good in-house coaching company will also help agents streamline their communication and marketing. This can feel overwhelming and confusing to a lot of new agents. Even more experienced agents who are switching brokerages will often put off updating their online information and marketing materials.

With in-house coaching, you can add structure to the madness — helping agents update their branding step-by-step and creating consistency across your brokerage. You can also help coach their communication style and method. This type of guidance saves agents time and effort, so they can focus on selling. Remember: more sales=more money=happy agents.


5. Create team camaraderie.

Being an agent can often feel like being on an island. If you’re in the business of retaining agents, it’s in your best interest to minimize that feeling across your team. Group coaching encourages sharing, collaboration, and accountability. Agents will feel less like they’re in competition and more like the team that they are. 

It’s no secret that employees who like the people they work with are more likely to stay. Of course, I’m not saying you can make your agents like each other. But what I am saying is that in-house coaching can create an environment that helps collaboration thrive. Build a team that wants to stick together and they might just stick together.


About the Author

Aaron Hodson is a keynote speaker, business strategist, and CEO of SellWell. He’s spent 25+ years in the real estate industry in various capacities — from selling homes, to becoming CEO of one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the world, to coaching high-level sales agents and executives. Fair warning: Aaron originally hails from New Zealand, so Kiwi-isms are to be expected.