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Real estate firms struggling to attract younger agents

In an improving market, not only are brokerages struggling to find time to recruit, the top challenge according to one study is attracting younger agents in an aging industry.

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Brokerages are finding it tough to attract younger agents

According to the 2013 Imprev Thought Leader Survey, recruiting younger real estate agents is the top challenge for survey respondents comprised of top real estate executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms responsible for nearly one in three residential real estate transactions last year.

In an improving market, agents and brokers are increasingly busy which respondents indicate is a challenge not only because their time is restricted, but because top talent they seek to convert has become too busy to even discuss the possibility of switching brokerages.

Veterans aren’t aging out of the industry

Imprev notes that “the aging of the real estate workforce has been well documented,” citing National Association of REALTORS® data which reveals that the average real estate agent is 57 years old, though the average American worker is 41 and the typical age of a first-time buyer is 31.

“Over the last five years the average age of real estate agents has almost moved in lock-step with the calendar,” which is also supported by NAR research, said Imprev CEO, Renwick Congdon.

Research indicates that veteran agents are opting out of retirement and are unlikely to switch firms, leaving firms struggling to attract top producers, particularly veterans.

Why the need for agents?

When new talent isn’t coming in, brokerages’ bottom line is impacted. Imprev’s study found that the biggest obstacle to profitability is the need for more agents, even more than the physical space costs and commission splits.

While these challenges remain, one in three respondents cite too few quality prospects as one of their biggest recruiting challenges, indicating a talent gap in the industry.

Other highlights from the Imprev Thought Leader Survey:

According to Imprev:

  • Competitive challenges: Nearly half (49 percent) cited competitors offering “a better commission split,” followed by competitors offering lower costs for affiliation
  • (46 percent); having more market share (23 percent); offering signing bonuses (22 percent); and providing more leads to agents (21 percent). Trailing those concerns were: offering more marketing support (16 percent); having better brand recognition (14 percent); and providing better technology (10 percent).
  • Profitability challenges: Other profitability challenges the executives said they face included support-staff costs (31 percent); the “impact of discount brokers” (22 percent); and technology costs (18 percent). Fewer than one in 10 executives (9 percent) cited “benefit costs” as a top profitability concern.
  • More recruiting challenges: The No. 2 recruiting challenge the executives face is not able to find enough time to recruit (44 percent). Respondents also cited an inability to get their teams to help recruit (28 percent) and finding “prospects that fit your culture” (27 percent) as other significant recruiting challenges.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. CJ Johhnson

    July 8, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Our industry is focused on the wrong demographic for new agents. People over 50 are the best untapped workforce for our industry. Many of them have grown children not needing time off for parenting, are not pressured by needing to make a steady pay check due to pensions from prior occupations, and are actually grateful to have a job that does not discriminate due to their age. The Boomers and above group 47-67 fit into our demographic perfectly and want to work every day if for no other reason to have a place to socialize and be useful which is how many of us prospect in the first place.. Anyone can be taught technology but experience is something earned over time. More patient, better focused, can accept failure and move on because they have done so in many areas of real life, etc. When I entered the business 23 years ago most of my mentors and brokers were 50, 60, and even 70 years old. They were treated with respect and we watched their every move so we could emulate their success. The above study revealed that these new young guns recruiters were concerned with “(46 percent); having more market share (23 percent); offering signing bonuses (22 percent); and providing more leads to agents (21 percent). Trailing those concerns were: offering more marketing support (16 percent); having better brand recognition (14 percent); and providing better technology (10 percent)” What they failed to mention was the need for training and a business plan to carry them through the ups and downs of a challenging and rewarding industry which is why 80% of their new agents fail in the first 18 months. Change your focus to train and retain rather than having to constantly be recruiting might be a better plan. Add to that more focus on the not so “old” generation and you just might find yourselves with a long range plan and profitable business model.

  2. Pingback: RE Buzz - Real Estate News Roundup - July 16, 2013 - spake.com

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Keep your company’s operations lean by following these proven strategies

(BUSINESS) Keeping your operations lean means more than saving money, it means accomplishing more in less time.

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The past two years have been challenging, not just economically, but also politically and socially as well. While it would be nice to think that things are looking up, in reality, the problems never end. Taking a minimalist approach to your business, AKA keeping it lean, can help you weather the future to be more successful.

Here are some tips to help you trim the fat without putting profits above people.

Automate processes

Artificial intelligence frees up human resources. AI can manage many routine elements of your business, giving your team time to focus on important tasks that can’t be delegated to machines. This challenges your top performers to function at higher levels, which can only benefit your business.

Consider remote working

Whether you rent or own your property, it’s expensive to keep an office open. As we learned in the pandemic, many jobs can be done just as effectively from home as the workplace. Going remote can save you money, even if you help your team outfit their home office for safety and efficiency.

In today’s world, many are opting to completely shutter office doors, but you may be able to save money by using less space or renting out some of your office space.

Review your systems to find the fat

As your business grows (or downsizes), your systems need to change to fit how you work. Are there places where you can save money? If you’re ordering more, you may be able to ask vendors for discounts. Look for ways to bring down costs.

Talk to your team about where their workflow suffers and find solutions. An annual review through your budget with an eye on saving money can help you find those wasted dollars.

Find the balance

Operating lean doesn’t mean just saving money. It can also mean that you look at your time when deciding to pay for services. The point is to be as efficient as possible with your resources and systems, while maintaining customer service and safety. When you operate in a lean way, it sets your business up for success.

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How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping

(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.

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There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.

However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!

In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.

The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.

Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.

The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.

There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.

“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”

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