Running businessmanIn a recent meeting I attended of broker owners, there was a questions posed:

What’s more important in your business – Recruiting or Retention of agents?

There seemed to be an overwhelming lean toward recruiting and it is hard for me to understand why.

When we look at operational effectiveness in a brokerage, we look at things like brand, leadership, and culture. Brand is measured by the opinion of agents and customers. Leadership is measured by the popularity of executives among staff, managers, and agents. Culture is the happiness measurement of executives, staff, managers, and agents.

The common goal of building strong brands, leaders, and culture is accomplished over time. These are things that are developed through trust.

Are we overly concerned about getting people in the door to the detriment of the people already amongst us? Sometimes broker are.

Is the brokerage more concerned with lead generation than customer for life?

Is the brokerage more concerned with recruiting new agents rather than completing the process of developing a successful agent who loves their company?

For me, great companies are like families. Everyone is a part of something that they are vested in and have pride in. The fastest growing companies I know are succeeding by firing disruptive, selfish, and unproductive agents and managers. In doing so, they became recognized for quality by many of the elite agents from other firms. The company becomes attractive. They run their business like a private club for the best of the best.

Obviously the answer to the question is that both recruiting and retention are vital to growth. Recruiting becomes the outcome of retention. My point is that retention precedes recruiting. Essence precedes existence. What are you recruiting people to? What are your core values? What are your core beliefs? How are you benchmarking or indexing those things? When you truly believe in your business, its impossible not to invite others to join the company. But you recruit selectively because you owe it to your colleagues to invite people who will add value, not detract from it. Of course it will add unit and revenue value, but more importantly you add to the culture.

As business people, we all have a tendency to look at the logic and not pay enough attention to the emotion. How many companies pull monthly reports but fail to do a survey to ask agent and customers about how they feel? Nations are easily toppled by beliefs. Perhaps we think too much and feel too little.