Today’s real estate brokerage has several potential models to work with — alternative brokerages, digital, traditional, you name it, there’s an option for everyone. However, one that’s philosophy focuses on the importance of agents more than anything else is the agent-centric model. Regardless of your brokerage type, applying a few agent-centric characteristics to your management style can better support your real estate agents and keep them content with your company.
1. Keep in mind that customers choose to work with an individual agent, not necessarily the brokerage
Let’s start by mentioning the importance of the real estate agent — 73% of buyers only interviewed one real estate agent during their home search. By the majority electing to work with the only realtor interviewed, it shows that if potential buyers like an individual agent, they’re most likely going to hire them. And this is why it’s important to recognize that your individual agents are the ones picking up clients and attracting new ones, not necessarily the name of your brokerage. Becoming more of an agentic-centric brokerage means you realize how powerful your agents are and you will do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
2. Foster a culture in which agents help each other to succeed
Keller Williams, one of the most successful real estate brokerages in history, operates with an agent-centric approach. The brand’s VP of Marketing, Annie Switt, follows up on its agent-centric branding with unique programs like its profit share program. With this benefit, every associate can earn a stake in the company — in fact, the company has shared over $1.2 billion with its associates. Programs such as this foster a culture in which agents want to see one another succeed. As associates become more profitable, it only increases the profitability of the company overall.
3. Support your agents with appropriate technologies
One aspect of following an agent-centric approach is ensuring that your agents have what they need to be successful. Now more than ever, that includes supporting them with appropriate technologies. Top on our list: cloud-based technologies. This is huge for agents since they are constantly on the go — cloud-based services provide a platform for the agent to plug into services from anywhere to get the job done. The flipside is desktop software, which would require your agents to drive back to the office to take care of any accounting measures or even submit an offer. This takes away from their productivity and simply makes their job more difficult. Find other ways to add value by supporting your agents in this realm — consider areas like your back office and accounting software. Is there any value for your agents? If not, it might be time to consider alternatives.
4. Show your agents that they are your top priority
If you take a step back, it’s pretty simple to understand why agents would prefer an agent-centric management style. Work for a company that only prioritizes sales and numbers, or work for a company that prioritizes its support of you becoming a successful team member? Seems pretty straightforward! Show your agents that they are your top priority, just like you would show a customer that they are your top priority. Find ways to offer added value. This could be actions as simple as by being readily available to your agents, including them in the hiring process for new staffing, remaining transparent, and creating a culture that is collaborative, supportive and responsive.
5. Agent-centric is the smart move for your business
According to NAR, 87% of realtors are paid as independent contractors. What does this mean for the agent-centric brokerages? First of all, consider how the traditional real estate transaction is most likely done: potential homebuyers or sellers reach out to a real estate agent (or vice versa), and from there, they work together on the purchase or sale of a property. These realtors are paid as an IC, meaning they are not technically employees of the brokerage, and essentially, brokerages are supporting several small businesses at once to make a profit. In order for the deal to be successful, these realtors need to have everything in order from the real estate side to the business side, and if not, both the realtor and the brokerage lose out. Brokerages who side with an agent-centric philosophy recognize that their success depends on whether they have supported and prepared their realtors well enough.
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