How Estate Agents Can Help Reduce Their Staff Turnover

Published: 23/04/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website Consultant

The world of the estate agents has always been one of hard work, long hours but unlimited earning potential. It can certainly be a rewarding career and has the potential to be extremely lucrative – but the industry is also known for its high levels of staff turnover and churn.

For hybrid estate agencies, the issue of staff churn has been on the rise for a number of years now, but even with the more traditional high-street estate agencies, it’s long been the case that staff turnover can - on average - be as high as 40-50%, with an average industry career length at a leading agency of just 2 years

Of course, you could argue that this is perhaps to be expected in a target-driven and highly competitive industry – but why should this be the case?

Why High Staff Turnover Can Be Damaging for Estate Agents

Staff turnover can be one of the biggest barriers to success at any business – and this is especially true of estate and lettings agencies.

Think about it: if you have a constant revolving door of personnel at your business, you’ll constantly be on the back foot in having to not only spend a huge amount of time on recruitment, but also potentially picking up the slack due to holes in your workforce. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

  • Deteriorating levels of service - It’s often the case that businesses with high levels of staff turnover will experience lower productivity and a poorer quality of service. This is because if you’re constantly burning through employees year after year, there’s simply no chance you can build a culture that encourages knowledge transfer and succession – both critical aspects for growth and sustainability of an agency.
  • Endless cycle of identifying, interviewing, recruiting and training – Speaks for itself really! The recruitment process isn’t quick – plus, it can also be expensive; both in terms of time and money!
  • Lower staff morale – Staff churn simply isn’t conducive to a happy work environment as it can cause employees to fear for their own jobs, or lead to increased workloads, responsibilities and stress for your other members of staff.
  • No chance for a positive company culture to establish – A thriving, positive company culture means your staff will enjoy coming in to work and will more likely to stick around for longer and be more productive, too! High rates of staff turnover can prevent this from happening, meaning it’s unlikely you’d see those wealth of added benefits!
  • Poor brand reputation – Finally, if your business begins earning a reputation for a hire & fire culture, it’s likely you’ll find it difficult to attract the best talent to your agency, or build a respected brand presence against your competitors.

What your estate agency can do to reduce staff turnover

With so many negative aspects to high staff turnover, it makes sense that, as part of any business improvement strategy, estate agents actively try improve their rates of staff retention. Luckily, there are a number of simple tactics you can employ to start doing just that…

  • Discover the real reasons your staff leave

Yes, it may sound deceptively simple, but simply asking why someone has chosen to leave is the best way to discover any issues that could be bubbling away under the surface. If you haven’t already, establish a proper exit interview process with your HR teams so you can glean vital intel about what is really going on at your agency behind the scenes. You could discover that the main reasons for your staff to be leaving could be a very simple or easy thing to fix!

  • Employ people right for your business, not just the role

There will of course be times when some staff are simply ‘not right for the role’ – but this should be the exception, not the rule. This is where hiring the right people in the first place comes in…

When recruiting someone to your agency, don’t simply hire someone because you need someone right away -  choose the perfect individual that fits not just the role, but also your own company’s profile, too. If the candidate has all the qualifications and experience you need, make sure you also find out what their own goals and aspirations are – if they align with your own company’s goals, ambitions and values, then there’s a better chance they’ll contribute to that positive culture we mentioned earlier on, and stick around for longer, too.

  • Give them to tools they need to succeed

Does your agency empower its staff to achieve success, or is it always a case of ‘making do’? In a sales-driven business, you need to ensure that you not only have the right people to do the job, but they also have the right equipment in order for them to flourish.

If you find that a common theme to your employees leaving are down to failing targets or poor lead generation or conversions, it may be time to investigate whether the sales and lead management software is really up to the task. Given that lead generation and management plays such a vital role at an estate agency, ensuring that the software and solutions you provide make the job of a busy estate agency easy should be a top priority for any agency owner – plus, the easier you make it for your employees to manage and convert their leads effectively, the better chance there’ll be that they’ll stick around for longer!

  • Recognise, reward and encourage

No-one likes the feeling of being undervalued or useless in their job, and all employees will want their employers to show their contributions are valued.

Of course, your sales agents will undoubtedly be rewarded for their property sales; but also make a conscious effort to specifically recognise and reward their efforts that go above and beyond the call of duty; like giving up their own time to help others within the business, taking on extra responsibilities or providing exceptional customer service. When an employee feels their hard work and contributions are recognised, they’ll be more inclined to go that extra mile more often!

  • Engage with your staff openly and honestly

Lastly, when it comes to keeping employees happy, it’s not always the case that silence is golden! By implementing regular communications with your agency’s employees, you can help reinforce your company’s goals, its values, and what is expected of your employees.

Open and honest company communications can contribute to employees feeling trusted and respected by a business. Not only that, but they can also have a positive impact on employee motivation (pretty important when it comes to sales-based environments!), support employee happiness, loyalty and their mental health and wellbeing, too…

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