Technology, training, and lead generation strategies have undoubtedly taken a leading role in most brokerages’ methods of recruiting and retaining agents.
However, while it is impossible to deny the importance of these resources, a brokerage culture that places an emphasis on ensuring agents succeed in the industry seems to be the most significant factor in whether an agent joins, and ultimately stays with, a firm.
In New York City real estate’s post-COVID era, boutique firms have been leading the way in retention, specifically with new agents.
With fewer agents than the city’s leading brokerages, boutique firms have a unique opportunity to prioritize their company’s culture and pay attention to each and every one of their agents – unquestionably a significant factor in their outstanding retention rates.
Special Note: Boutique firms are defined as firms with less than 300 agents.
At Corofy, we’re obsessed with tracking emerging retention trends, so we decided to take a look into how boutique firms are growing and maintaining their retention rates in a post-COVID-19 market.
Warburg Realty’s Unique Style Of Handling Retention
Our CEO, Eddy Boccara, sat down with Frederick Warburg Peters, CEO of Warburg Realty to discuss their firm’s stellar retention rates and exactly what they’re doing to maintain their growth and retention rates.
With over 30 years of experience, Frederick Warburg Peters has earned a reputation for maintaining a sense of integrity and honesty in his business model. This has certainly made a positive impact on Warburg Realty’s retention, which stands at an average of 98%. In the last 30 days alone, the firm has experienced a 100% retention rate.
Frederick Warburg Peters attributes his brokerage’s admirable retention rates to their status as a boutique firm. He explains that it’s much easier to keep your team happy and satisfied when you have 150 agents versus 1,500.
“For me, size has always been an important part of my retention strategy. My goal has always been to try and create the best metric of successful agents with the lowest denominator of failing agents.”
The Agent Is The Brokerage’s Client
While Warburg Realty’s size has naturally been effective in maintaining their retention rates, their methods of retaining agents go beyond remaining a boutique firm. The firm relies on a philosophy we promote here at Corofy – treating the agents as their clients.
“In the brokerage business, the agent is the brokerage’s client and the buyers and sellers are the agent’s clients.”
Frederick Warburg Peters has made it a point to treat his agents as he expects them to treat their clients, which he characterizes as with dignity and respect.
“I’m trying to build the same depth of relationship with my agents that I hope for them to build with their clients, which is through transparency, guidance, and care for their best interests.”
Leading From The Top Down
Warburg Realty’s commitment to treating their agents as clients works cohesively with their dedication to helping agents find success by leading by example – a pillar of their firm’s culture since its inception.
“Whatever success you have as a culture is a question of leading from the top, it’s a question of modeling the behavior that you hope will be emulated by the people that are in the ranks – the agents and the staff.”
By leading from the top-down, Frederick Warburg Peters has been able to maintain Warburg Realty’s status as a firm with high retention while also creating a unique model of training agents.
He explains that you can teach most agents the transactional skills they’ll need to succeed, but setting a model for how to treat clients with integrity goes much further.
“If I can model a way of being that infuses agents with those traits and that confidence then they are going to be able to display those traits to clients in a way that makes them keep coming back.”
A Commitment To Integrity
For Warburg Realty, it’s clear that helping agents truly succeed in the business starts with leading by example. This philosophy goes hand in hand with Frederick Warburg Peter’s personal commitment to working with integrity with his agents, staff, and clients.
“You have to be rigorously honest and place integrity above any single transaction or amount of money.”
With this mentality, Peters has been able to cultivate an in-house culture that has done more than keep clients happy and returning to their agents – it has instilled a sense of moral etiquette into agents that is not often seen in an industry as competitive as ours.
Building Lasting Relationships
As previously mentioned, technology has become a leading player when it comes to methods of recruiting and consequently retaining agents. The impact cutting-edge tech has on efficiency in the real estate business can not be understated, whether it is tools to helps agents improve their client experiences or tech that helps brokerages drive their growth and retention.
“I’m a big fan of the technology that helps agents be more efficient in their business.”
To that point, Frederick Warburg Peters explains that technology is an integral tool in the real estate industry, but it isn’t necessarily a lasting differentiator for retaining talent.
“Corofy has built a tool for efficiency, we haven’t built a tool that will replace a brokerage.”
While Peters has welcomed the industry’s new technology with open arms, he has placed a larger emphasis on helping his agents build lasting relationships within the industry and with clients. He explains that in his experience, the agents who really succeed are the ones who build strong client relationships that generate repeat business and referrals.
“All the technology in the world is never going to change the fundamental fact that our industry is a relationship business.”
With high retention being a significant mark of a brokerage’s success, keeping agents satisfied, and more importantly successful is more important than ever. Frederick Warburg Peter’s unmatched experience and knowledge of the industry has helped his brokerage, Warburg Realty, master this and produce unparalleled retention rates.
His commitment to sticking to his core values, rather than following trends, has allowed him to not only maintain exceptional retention rates but also offer a fresh perspective to an industry he’s been in for 30+ years.
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