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3 ways to use culture to attract and retain top broker talent

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Company-Culture-320x213If you’re growing your broker team, finding and retaining the right talent can be tricky. In any trade where commissions are involved, salespeople have to walk a fine line between their obvious financial motivation to make a sale and the client’s best interest. And thanks to deal cycles that can span years, brokers especially have to make large investments in establishing rapport with everyone involved.

At the management level, it’s your job to empower the sales team to cultivate the relationships that drive revenue. An environment that attracts and retains top brokers comes down to an investment in company culture. If your employees are happy, motivated, and working towards a common goal, then you’ve unlocked the key to a productive workforce.

What motivates your employees can vary; chances are that a natural team culture already exists in some form, and you can use that to your advantage. Make the most of culture’s ability to empower your current team and attract top talent in these three ways.

Market yourself honestly

If you haven’t taken the time to articulate your company culture to your team, do it now. A great company culture blends together the attitudes and values of your current team with the long-term vision of your company.

If you’re a newbie to company culture, start with what you can easily observe in the actions and demeanors of your employees. There are many ways that your culture may have already manifested itself—do teammates meet regularly outside of work? How empowered do individuals feel in their roles? Take note of these things and weave them into the culture you’re forming according to your vision and mission.

Start by asking yourself some simple questions: What is your vision for your brokerage team? Tailor it to your niche or specialty: whether you focus on multifamily or industrial or generalist, if you serve a national market or are the regional specialists. This can guide the development of a company culture that you can market to candidates.

Then use a careers page and job descriptions to speak to your vision and culture: Do you divide tasks by role (ie. junior brokers prospect, senior brokers mentor and close deals)? What’s your fee and commission structure and how does that affect motivation? Do your employees exude passion for their jobs? Include a “day in the life” video on your careers page to give potential candidates an inside look into the types of people they’d interact with on a daily basis.

Simple ways to get started:

Celebrate success

Top salespeople are naturally competitive. If you’re trying to attract (or if you are worried about retaining) the best, make sure that your culture is one that acknowledges and publically rewards team members for personal success. Yes, a big commission check might be enough for some people, but going the extra mile can help draw in and keep the very best.

A rewards system doesn’t have to be incredibly elaborate (although no sane person would say no to an all-inclusive cruise if it’s offered to them). Chances are, your employees already congratulate each other on accomplishments with memos, team announcements, maybe even treats. Use these facets of your team culture to lay out a concrete plan for rewarding staff.

Your rewards system can start as simple as a memo or congrats email. As you scale up and become more and more profitable, you can throw in higher-value rewards like additional paid time off. (One creative tip: buy a high-end desk chair to be the top performer’s throne and rotate every quarter.)

Simple ways to get started:

  • Highlight how you reward top earners in your hiring materials (careers page, job description, etc).
  • Mention goals and rewards during interviews. Ask candidates how they typically celebrate hitting numbers.
  • Reward team members publicly to maintain the competitive edge.

Offer the right perks

More and more, fun and creative office perks are setting top companies apart in their industries. Going above and beyond the typical 401k and paid vacation could help bring great talent to your team. Don’t get us wrong here: nothing attracts a salesperson like a competitive compensation plan, but other perks and benefits of your company keep them on board.

What perks and benefits you should offer is dependent on how your culture is set up. Some companies stress things like flexibility and family time. In commercial real estate, mentorship programs and continuing education can be a big draw.

Other companies focus on employee happiness while in the office, and seek to establish genuine bonds between staff members with monthly lunches, happy hours, and other activities outside of the office.

While everyone loves perks, they aren’t usually what gets a candidate in the door. However, in this competitive talent market, they’re a great way to remind employees why they should stay.

Simple steps to get started:

  • Decide what elements of your company culture are perks (hello offices that have free coffee and don’t advertise it) and create hiring materials that emphasize them.
  • Research what your competition in the hiring space is doing to retain talent.
  • Beta test with current employees and solicit feedback.