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Real estate agent retention: Proven strategies to attract & keep the best talent

To retain real estate agents in 2024, brokerage and team leaders need to follow a strategic and consistent path to success

Real estate agents socialzing at a party

Trying to build out your real estate team in 2024? The churn rate for real estate agents is high and it can be a major hit for brokerages and teams, particularly considering the investments made in training new agents. Here, we look at how brokerages and teams can take a strategic approach to agent retention to protect their investment, build a positive team culture and grow their business.

When the market is booming, many new agents flock to the real estate industry expecting to make commissions without much effort. Sound familiar? When the pandemic hit and mortgage rates dipped, record numbers of new agents entered the market. Many of those newcomers may be ill-prepared for the ups and downs.

Last spring, Axios cited data from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) that indicated more than 60,000 real estate agents exited the industry over the previous six months. AP News has since reported that 2023 was the slowest year for U.S. home sales in nearly 30 years. With current mortgage rates hovering around seven percent, can the industry expect more of the same through 2024?

Add to this that in the wake of NAR’s recent settlement, some experts speculate that as many as 80% of agents could lose their jobs or leave the real estate profession as commission rates drop, in pursuit of more reliable income.

Setting aside current market conditions, normal attrition, and the outcome of the NAR settlement, agents are prone to switching brokerages in any given year. Last year, the National Association of Realtors reported that the median tenure for Realtors® is six years at a firm. It’s not uncommon to lose agents lured by hefty signing bonuses, higher commission splits and other perks. Here are some strategies to keep you best agents engaged.


1. Invest in leading-edge technology

While it’s a sizable financial investment, the best technology on the market has a strong ROI for brokerages.

“Part of retention is delivering the best possible experience of being an agent,” says Tripti Kasal, senior vice president of residential sales at Baird & Warner, Illinois’ largest family-owned independent real estate services company. “We believe providing our agents with leading-edge technology isn’t just about driving productivity; it fosters long-term loyalty by offering tools agents won’t necessarily find at other brokerage firms.”

Scott Hill, director of agent operations at SERHANT., points to the direct benefit to agents of high-quality tech, “Technology is crucial for real estate agents as it streamlines transactions, expands market reach, and provides sophisticated tools for market analysis, enhancing service delivery and client satisfaction.”

Clearly, agents equipped with excellent technology have the upper hand and can tackle the industry with a stronger grip. 

A comprehensive CRM

An agent’s carefully cultivated client network is their most valuable asset, and consistent, meaningful outreach to their clients is essential to a thriving real estate business. A comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) software translates strong client relationships into successful sales. Choose a tool that does more than just store contacts.

Market Leader is a must-have for generating monthly leads, managing them, marketing to them, and assigning new leads across your team. Its CRM offers so much more than contact management. Agents can automate email & SMS messages, set the frequency of listing alerts, and plan daily tasks and goals with a user-friendly dashboard — all for a starting price of $139 per user, per month.

Lead generation strategies

Top-of-the-line lead generation tools that help agents build and expand a pipeline of steady leads (and client relationships) are worth sticking around for. With access to a greater pool of potential homebuyers and sellers, real estate agents can steadily build their business.

Consider a real estate software like Top Producer, which can help your team populate its leading-edge CRM with active leads based on analysis of hundreds of data points — and put automated marketing campaigns in motion for them.

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Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is more than a hot topic. Access to AI provides agents with a competitive edge they can capitalize on — making them more effective at pinpointing promising buyer and seller leads, and more productive by taking over tasks they used to do manually.

There are a variety of useful ways AI can be integrated into your business to benefit your team. For example, Top Producer’s Smart Targeting feature uses predictive analytics to identify likely sellers in your zip code or neighborhood. Top Producer’s marketing tools take it from there, with automated lead follow up.

AI is also a game-changer for staging properties, with apps like Virtual Staging AI doing the work to select furniture and declutter listing and marketing photos.

Video Technology

You’ve probably heard the phrase “pivot to video” several times, and for a good reason. Video is an essential component of technology for real estate agents, and allows them to attract buyers and sellers with ease. With video, agents can share information in a more timely manner, minimizing the need for potential clients to read through long text.

Equipping your team with video technology with a brokerage-wide subscription to use Matterport for 3D property videos is a nice perk they’ll appreciate. You can invest in a Matterport compatible camera for your office or contract with a local photographer to take professional photos (at a cost per listing).

These 3D tours have become an integral part of marketing a listing in recent years (fueled in part by the pandemic) and they’re a key viewing tool that many consumers have come to expect — and agents have come to expect access to them in many markets.

2. Train, educate and mentor agents consistently

Three gents discussing an issue in a stylish office with lofted ceilings

As a broker or team leader, providing your team with sufficient professional development opportunities is one of the best ways to maintain a solid, loyal team. It helps with retention, of course, but having properly trained agents with deep local market expertise and knowledge is great for your team or brokerage’s reputation.

Ensuring that agents are well-informed and knowledgeable about current market conditions and market trends leads them to greater success. When given consistent learning opportunities, agents have the potential to thrive — and where they thrive, they’ll stick around!

Courses and continuing education

Agents appreciate access to new training opportunities. If they’re given the tools to navigate slow periods, agents will want to stick around when business picks up. A down market is the perfect time to dive in, develop their skills and invest in your team’s skills and knowledge.

Aside from their required continuing education hours to renew their license, agents covet access to content, courses, and training sessions that help them become better at their jobs.

Maybe it’s a social media strategy seminar, like Passive Prospecting’s “YouTube Editing for Real Estate Agents,” which helps build video skills. Or perhaps it’s a virtual class that teaches agents to build their own real estate development models in Microsoft Excel.

Coaching programs, like Tom Ferry’s Fast Track group coaching program for new agents, could also be an incredibly useful and time-efficient way to build the skills of new agents on your team.

Mentorship Programs

In 2023, 40% of firms reported that they were actively recruiting sales agents, according to the NAR. New agents need the guidance of someone with more experience, and mentorship is an often overlooked form of learning. There’s a very good reason why 84% of Fortune 500 companies have a mentorship program, according to Forbes.

No matter the industry, having a source of guidance is essential. In real estate, pairing seasoned veterans with newer agents on your team can be a strategy to boost agent retention and help newer agents navigate difficult situations, complex transactions, real estate law, and tricky client interactions.

The benefits of mentorship aren’t one-sided, though. People who served as mentors experience lower levels of anxiety and describe their job as more meaningful, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Stylish open kitchen and dining-room with wood ceiling beams and matching cabinets

Keeping your team members abreast of market conditions and trends at regularly-scheduled events like weekly team meetings or group calls can build team loyalty. Agents who are up-to-date on what’s happening can more easily build trust with their clients.

Provide these essential opportunities to make sense of data. Have your team leaders break down your association’s data into bite-sized, valuable insights that can be passed along to your team’s buyers and sellers. Become your market’s leading source of meaningful insights into market trends through effective email marketing delivered to your entire team’s clients.

A subscription to Altos Research can help you and your team win business with market data. A white-labeled version lets you add this tool to your brokerage website, making it a conversation starter between agents and their clients.

These frequent learning sessions reinforce relationships, subsequently encouraging your team to stay with you, since you’re investing time and energy in their success.

Subscribing to industry publications like ours (or subsidizing their subscriptions) is yet another way to keep agents on your team informed. Inviting prominent and informative guest speakers to weekly sales meetings is also a great perk that may secure agents’ loyalty to your organization.

4. Cultivate a positive company or team culture

While commissions are important, the quality of a brokerage’s culture shouldn’t be underestimated. Agents are unlikely to stick around where they don’t feel valued. After all, feeling like your voice is heard and your work is appreciated can be powerful motivators. Here are some ideas for maintaining a positive workplace culture.

Team events and activities

Building a sense of camaraderie is one way to make your team feel part of a larger whole. Incorporating DEI initiatives into your recruitment plan can help to make everyone feel welcome.

Consider hosting activities, such as a monthly cocktail night or weekly yoga class where team members can forge strong relationships. Or maybe it’s a more in-depth group experience, like a company retreat or a trip to a real estate or housing conference as a group.

Choose from a variety of real estate events and housing conferences across the country and encourage your team to attend a few near you throughout the year. Real estate events and conferences can motivate, educate and create closer bonds between the agents on your team — and friendships can be the glue that keeps them onside.

Held in Scottsdale, Arizona this year, The Gathering by HousingWire brings together some of the industry’s most influential leaders across the housing industry. Attendees can make connections, learn, and explore solutions to the housing industry’s most critical challenges and promising opportunities.

Focus on health and wellness

Real estate agents are often on the go. Providing greeat client service can mean being available 24/7. Demanding schedules can lead to missing meals, skipping workouts, and ultimately, a lack of self-care. Establishing a robust wellness plan that values the holistic health of your team members is a worthwhile investment. Real estate tends to be high-stress, so providing agents with access to counseling and encouraging their work-life balance can make them feel valued.

Consider giving your team members the resources they need to keep themselves happy and healthy, like a stocked office kitchen with coffee, water, and healthy snacks they can grab before heading out for a showing. Encouraging their physical health by subsidizing gym memberships or holding walking meetings are some other ideas for making wellness your team’s priority.

Invite a teacher to lead a meditation session at your next sales meeting or offer free subscriptions to apps like Calm as an inexpensive perk to show you care about their wellness (not just their ability to generate revenue for your firm). The more balanced lives they lead, the more satisfied they’ll be on your team.


A good sense of competition can be very beneficial in the workplace. Agents actively working toward a goal are more likely to perform better. Providing incentives — whether in the form of strong commission splits, bonuses, incentive trips, or gift cards — can reward the best performances and motivate others to achieve higher levels of success.

But incentives can be as small as recognizing and celebrating your team members’ achievements. Share new listings, career firsts, challenges overcome and celebrate your team’s wins at every office or off-site gathering.

5. Engage in polished marketing and public relations


By investing in effective brokerage marketing and a clearly defined public relations strategy, you can make the agent’s job that much easier — by creating a polished profile in your community.

Social media

Consider how essential social media is for marketing a property and staying in touch with clients. In the same way, social media is essential for marketing the expertise of your brokers. Social media channels like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow agents to show pride in their organization.

At SERHANT. Studios, an in-house production team guides agents on how to use social media to best create, maintain, and grow their personal brand to achieve their goals. “While our competitors shy away from individualized creative services, we encourage agents to blaze their own trail,” Scott Hill shared.

Paid advertisements on social media are also incredibly useful for getting agents’ names out there. Agents want to be associated with a well-known, trusted brand, and a solid social media campaign helps solidify their name in relation to it.

Check out Coffee & Contracts as a way to deliver polished, consistently branded social media messaging across all your brokerage’s social channels. For a low monthly subscription fee, you gain access to a suite of social media content ideas and branded templates that you can customize with your brokerage’s brand colors and fonts.

Media outreach

The media is always looking for interesting real estate stories to feature. Garnering coverage from newspapers, magazines, and web publications can be challenging, but a public relations firm that specializes in representing real estate agents and brokerages can be a valuable tool to unlock positive coverage.

In New York and Los Angeles, firms like Murphy O’Brien or The Society Group frequently use their strong media relationships when they craft great story pitches alongside high-quality images and pitch them to story-hungry editors and reporters.

Publications like the Wall Street Journal frequently featured luxury properties in their incredibly popular Mansion section, while historic homes go viral thanks to posts on sites like Old House Dreams.’s real estate site, which is owned by the Boston Globe, frequently features stories about listings in every price range.

Leverage opportunities in local publications to highlight your team’s accolades and accomplishments, including their inclusion in RealTrends annual lists of best brokerages and teams nationwide. Most city magazines publish an annual “Top Real Estate Agents” issue, so be sure to have your PR team working on behalf of your team to give them the flowers they deserve in your local market.

Inclusion in these lists is often a result of building strong relationships with the media, and promoting an agent’s status as the best in the business can go a long way to making them feel that your brokerage is their forever home.

6. Invest in strong and impactful branding

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Both consumers and agents are drawn to a strong brand identity. Agents are proud to be associated with a successful brokerage and they’ll be eager to align themselves with yours if you have an impactful, well-designed brand mark and branded collateral. Having a recognizable brand not only creates a vibe for your clients — it builds a sense of unity and loyalty amongst agents on your team, and they’ll stick around for the gold dust it rubs onto them.

Build a strong website presence

Every brokerage should have a strong website presence that serves as a touchstone for anyone potentially interested in connecting with their agents. With clearly stated contact information, professional photography, and a well-designed logo, a brokerage or team website ensures an agent’s presence in the field. Investing in what is essentially your most important business card shows your support for your team.

Dedicated agent landing pages that showcase their biography, career stats, accolades, current listings, and total career sales volume are the foundation of an agents’ web presence. Consider using a template from Agent Image. They design award-winning, IDX-enabled brokerage websites to elevate your online presence.

Brand awareness campaigns

Common strategies include running ads in the real estate edition of your local luxury magazine or using paid targeted advertisements on social media. By familiarizing potential clients with the agents on your team through ad campaigns, event sponsorships, charitable giving, volunteerism, or active networking, you’re investing in their success.

7. Charitable giving & philanthropy


Consider how important it is for an agent to know the area in which they work like the back of their hand. “Brokerage is, and has always been, most successful when it is hyper-localized,” Hill shared. His company created SERHANT. Serves, a philanthropic arm that invests in community service programs and causes that are important to their agents and the communities they serve. Similarly, Compass Cares provides agents and employees with the opportunity to support causes they find meaningful within their community.

By being deeply rooted in your community and clearly defining the ways your brokerage gives back, the agents on your team will feel part of a meaningful mission. Another example is the Hawai’i Life Charitable Fund (HLCF), a donor-advised fund held at the Hawai’i Community Foundation. The brokerage’s brokers, agents, and clients can make donations to the fund at the close of escrow (or anytime, online).

The fund supports state-based nonprofits and local causes through an annual grant-giving program, and through ad-hoc fundraising drives for more immediate, urgent needs. As one example, the HLCF recently supported residents affected by the Maui wildfires.

If creating a fund isn’t possible where you’re located, consider organizing an agent-led fundraising drive to benefit a local nonprofit or having a volunteer day at your local soup kitchen. Brokerages that incorporate opportunities to help others are likely to have a higher agent retention rate — while cultivating a sense of community and belonging on their team.

Real estate agent retention: The full picture

With weak home sales, a purported exodus from the industry, and gnawing questions about agent commissions, real estate agent retention is especially challenging right now. It’s a tough career path in the best of times. Agents need to consistently hone new skills and knowledge to evolve with the industry, and doing it well requires unusual and long hours, thick skin, and the ability to work with a wide array of clients under stressful circumstances.

However, agent retention doesn’t have to be a losing battle. Teams and brokerages can keep agents engaged using the strategies we’ve outlined here. Do you have any other ideas for keeping your team members happy, motivated and loyal? Please let us know in the comments.

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