Tips for Brokers to Improve Agent Retention

While a career in real estate can be exciting and dynamic, it can also be demanding and competitive, both for salespeople and brokerages.

We’ve all heard it before, a brokerage is only as successful as its agents. For this reason, it’s important to invest in agent retention for the long-term success of your brokerage.

For Faith Wilson, whose Vancouver-based brokerage focuses on luxury real estate, the key to making her brokerage more appealing to agents is to help them concentrate on building their individual businesses.

“We do this by providing quality, tangible services that agents can draw upon,” she says. “In providing services that augment their business, agents can focus on the most vital aspects they need to focus on, which is generally relating to their clients.”

Competition is a big challenge brokers face when it comes to agent retention. How can they help their agents grow their books of business and differentiate themselves in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace?

“Maintaining open lines of communication is key,” Wilson says. “Checking in on agents and their business; not only doing annual business plans with them—but quarterly as well, and ensuring their business is on track—is essential to set them up for success.”

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“It is also important for agents to know the management team is here for them,” she adds. “They can call or come in and discuss anything on their mind, from problems they are having to brainstorming for practical solutions. And celebrate their successes! This shows agents that we are in it with them and dedicated to helping them grow and reach their goals and dreams.”

Katherine Minovski, a broker based in Unionville, Ontario, says some brokerages offer different financial structures and that can impact agent recruitment and retention.

“Brokerages should always support their staff, have great customer service and provide more leads.”

There’s a balancing act every brokerage lives with, says Matthew Honsberger, a part owner and a managing associate broker in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Honsberger says his office has an entire program designed to attract and retain agents. The management team is divided into five departments:

  1. Business development (attracting agents)
  2. Training and coaching
  3. Broker services
  4. Deal support
  5. Operations (non-deal related services)

Some examples of these services include having six dedicated business coaches on staff designed to work one-on-one with agents to support their career growth. They also have a full photography team on staff to help shoot agents’ listings as well as promotional videos, and a “deal support” team that provides full administrative support.

Recognition events, which could be as simple as quarterly lunches and which salute successes and achievements by agents, are key as well, says Honsberger. These don’t have to be just for sales—they might recognize agents for community contributions, charitable donations, years of services, or contribution to office culture.

“All of the above is designed to ensure that agents either can get training from us on how to do something or can choose to simply have us do it for them,” says Honsberger.  

Recap: Tips for brokerages to retain agents

  • provide quality, tangible services;
  • maintain open communication;
  • reinforce positive office culture;
  • offer support (both emotionally and for business); and
  • celebrate successes.

Do you have tips that have helped your brokerage succeed? Tell us in the Comments below.

There are many ways CREA supports brokers and their agents. Learn more and discover resources on our

The CREA Café team is responsible for the official blog of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The CREA Café is a cozy place for CREA to connect with our valued members and friends by sharing our thoughts and insights over a virtual cup of coffee.

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