The Boutique Broker's Guide to Delighting Agents and Winning Star Talent

Seth Price
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Seth Price
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Hands across your agents’ farms: Partnership synergy

We’ve mentioned a few ways that partnerships or relationships with different companies can help support your agents—accounting and taxes, financial planning, and so on. Another way brokerages can give agents an edge is by working with ancillary services that solve different problems for buyers and sellers.

One time-tested and ongoing example is partnering (legally!) with local lenders who help buyers navigate down payment assistance programs. You’ll need to ensure there are no kickbacks or other questionable partnership behavior taking place, of course, but giving buyers somewhere to turn if they feel stuck and unable to figure out how to make a purchase happen is a huge value-add for you as a brokerage, and for your agents.

New service partnership opportunities might introduce sellers who are hesitant to sell their house before they buy (and who also don’t want to try to win an offer in a hot market with a sales contingency written into the contract) to a bridge solution. This type of service will offer homeowners a minimum price for their current house, so they can start shopping for a new home with an understanding of their budget, and allows them to both avoid a sales contingency in their new home’s contract and alleviate the stress of uncertainty around buying and selling at the same time.

Another opportunity to turn your agents into problem-solvers for homebuyers is to collaborate with mortgage providers that will give those buyers the ability to make a cash offer on homes and close the mortgage later, especially in red-hot markets where cash offers are running rampant. The mortgage isn’t written into the offer, so sellers get their cash more quickly, and buyers can still take advantage of low mortgage rates (not to mention, they don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid cash ready to buy a house).

As a broker, when considering ancillary services and partnerships like this, it’s critical to do your due diligence and ensure that the partnership is a natural fit for you.

  • How has the company traditionally presented real estate agents to consumers? Do you feel comfortable with its discourse up until this point?
  • What kind of funding does the company have? How do you feel about its longevity?
  • What other brokerages does this company include in its client pool? How do they align with your brokerage and your values?
  • Is this a service that agents want or need us to provide? Would this be better individually sourced by agents instead of by the brokerage?

As an agent, the appeal to working with a brokerage that can do this is clear. It elevates the agent from a local market specialist to someone who understands and can offer access to complex financial tools. That makes them look really good to their clients—a great way for you to cultivate agent happiness within your brokerage.

Agents also often become interested in real estate because of the flexibility and independence that the career can offer with it, so it’s wise to also consider how much leeway you’re giving them to come up with their own solutions and pursue them. If that’s something your agents would prefer, then explaining how these ancillary services work and trusting them to make their own decision might be a preferable pathway for your business.