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Retaining Sales Associates
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Wondering what you can do to retain solid sales associates? Broker John Adams offers his tricks of the trade.

Successful real estate brokers and managers know there’s no substitute for a strong team of sales associates. But, they also know that offering a higher commission split isn’t always the answer to keeping them loyal.
 “Our retention strategy is based on supporting agents in every way possible,” says John Adams, manager of Adams, Cameron & Co., a Daytona Beach company with 11 offices and 250 associates.

Having long-tenured associates is important to the company, which was founded in 1963 by Adams’ grandmother Helen Adams. She still comes to work every day, and her son Bob Adams is president, running its overall operations., Adams. Cameron & Co. has more than 10 associates who have at least 20 years of service and several associates who have been with the firm for 30 years or more.

John Adams has five suggestions for retaining top professionals:

1. Foster team spirit. The firm’s managers and sales associates participate as volunteers in events like the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and attend minor league baseball games together.

2. Deliver consistent training. Recognizing that the world of real estate is always changing, the company holds monthly training sessions to help sales associates grow their businesses. “We have agents with six months’ experience sitting next to those with 20 years in the business, and they’re both taking notes,” Adams says.

3. Support associates’ marketing. Adams, Cameron & Co. provides free Web sites and places listing ads in trade magazines and newspapers without a charge to associates. “We also pay for their signs and lockboxes,” adds Adams.

4. Capture and distribute online leads quickly and fairly. Adams says the firm generates “a ton of business” online and has a smooth system for distributing new leads to sales associates at no cost.

5. Recognize associates’ success. Every week, the firm sends an e-mail celebrating recent individual and team accomplishments, and recognizing associate birthdays and anniversaries.

Finally, Adams emphasizes the overall importance of communication. “Staying in touch with your sales associates is a fundamental aspect of any retention strategy,” he says.