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Field Guide to Recruiting & Retaining Salespeople

(Updated April 2014)

In this highly competitive real estate marketplace, how do you find and hire successful agents—and what's the best way to prevent your top producers from switching to another firm? The material on this page will help you discover what makes a top producer and offers some of the latest tips and techniques for hiring successful, reliable agents and keeping them on your team. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)

Tenure of REALTORS® at Their Present Firm


Source: 2014 NAR Member Profile, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2014).

Recruiting Basics

Are You Sure Your Agents Have the Right Personality for the Job?, (REALTOR® Magazine – Speaking of Real Estate Blog, Apr. 11, 2014).

How to Build an X-Factor Team, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2014).

Attracting Talented Real Estate Agents, (RISMedia, Feb. 20, 2014).

Real Estate Industry Cites Recruiting Young Agents as No. 1 Concern, (RISMedia, Sept. 25, 2013).

45 Recruiting Ideas in Real Estate, (Slideshare.net, July 19, 2013).

10 Ideas for Successful Real Estate Recruiting, (BHGRealEstateBlog.com, June 12, 2013).

The Recruitment Tool Kit, (REALTOR® Magazine – Tool Kits).

Choosing a Path (Best’s Review, Mar. 2013). Q

LinkedIn as an Information Source for Human Resources Competitive Intelligence, (Online Searcher, Mar./Apr. 2013). Q

Recruit Your Way to the Top (RISMedia, Nov. 11, 2012).

Recruit, Ramp, Reward and Retain (RISMedia, Oct. 1, 2012).

Recruiting, Aging Workforce and Competition Top List of Crucial Business Challenges (RISMedia, Sept. 26, 2012).

Why Old School Recruiting is the Right Answer in Today’s Market (RISMedia, Sept. 21, 2012).

Pulling at the Leash – A New Age of Recruiting (RISMedia, Sept. 13, 2012).

5 Steps to Becoming a Rock Star Recruiter (RISMedia, Aug. 22, 2012).

Do You Recruit? Be Aware of FTC Rule (REALTOR® Magazine – Speaking of Real Estate Blog, Mar. 20, 2012).

Recruiting: 5 Ways to Cross the Line (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2012).

5 Tips to Improve Retention (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2012).

Avoid Threats to Your Livelihood (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2012).

Ten Steps to Hiring Top Salespeople (QuickandDirtyTips.com, Sept. 11, 2011).

Recruit, Retain, Expand (RISMedia, May 17, 2011).

3 Unexpected Places to Find Sales Associates (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2011).

Gen X / Gen Y Agents

Decoding the Millennial Workforce, (Businessline, Feb. 27, 2014). Q

Tips for Recruiting Gen Y to Your Real Estate Brokerage, (Realrecruiting.co, Jan. 14, 2014).

Attracting younger talent into real estate, (Chicago Tribune, Jan. 4, 2014).

Warren Buffett’s new real estate brand wants to learn from – and recruit – millennials, (Inman News, Dec. 12, 2013).

Challenge: Recruiting Younger Agents, (Real Trends, Nov. 7, 2013).

Five Tactics for Recruiting Millennial Agents, (Boomtownroi.com, Sept. 19, 2013).

A New Business Model to Attract Young Talent into Real Estate, (Inman News, July 1, 2013).

Recruiting Generation Y: The Future of Real Estate (ERA Real Estate).

Gen X Versus Gen Y Agents: Different Work Mentalities Require Different Recruiting Tactics (RealEstateCoachingBlog.com, Mar. 18, 2013).

Real Estate Industry Searches for its Next Generation (The Business Review, Mar. 1, 2013).

Pittsburgh’s talent wars challenging companies (Pittsburgh Business Times, Jan. 17, 2013).

Tips for Recruiting Gen Y (CompensationMaster.com).

How Different Generations of Americans Try to Find Work (Time.com, Sept. 24, 2012).

Real Estate Agencies Recruit Gen Y Brokers (Chicago Tribune, Sept. 14, 2012).

"Jen Dollar: Recruiting Gen Y Sales Associates" (Florida REALTORS®, Apr. 20, 2012)

What Does Gen Y Want? (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2011).

Gen Y Talent - Tips to Turn Gen Yers into Productive Assets (RISMedia, July 10, 2010).

Like it or not, employers need gen-Y (Canadian HR Reporter, Nov. 16, 2009). Q

Recruiting the Agent of the Future (RISMedia, Oct. 6, 2009).

On-boarding Millennial Talent: 5 Tips for Effectively Attracting & Recruiting Generation Y (jobdig.com, n.d.).

Hiring Adjustments for Generations X & Y (articlesnatch.com, n.d.).

Generation Y - An Opportunity and a Challenge (RISMedia, May 29, 2009).

5 Ways to Recruit and Retain Gen X, Gen Y (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2009).

Real Estate as the Hot New Career Choice

The Agent Funnel: Recruiting Tomorrow’s Agent with Today’s Technology, (RISMedia, Oct. 29, 2013).

What Type of Person Succeeds in a Real Estate Career? (About.com, n.d.).

Building a Career in the World of Real Estate (Palm Beach Post, n.d.).

Real Estate Training Is Hot for MBAs (Business Week, Jan. 17, 2013).

Boomer finds New, “Hot Niche” in Real Estate Sales (Career Choices With Laura, May 2, 2012).

Recruiting Experienced Agents is More Important Than Ever (RISMedia, Oct. 22, 2008).

Attracting Quality Agents (Realty Times, Mar. 28, 2008).

Personnel Assets (Commercial Investment Real Estate, Jan./Feb. 2008).

How Do I Recruit the Experienced Agent? (Realty Times, Oct. 24, 2007).

Retention: Eliminate High Turn-Over of New Agents (Realty Times, Oct. 5, 2005).


Tips on Diversity in the Workplace (Houston Chronicle Small Business, n.d.). 

Come Together (Commercial Investment Real Estate, Mar./Apr. 2007).

The Real Estate Market Reflects Growing Diversity (Realty Times, Aug. 24, 2006).

Embracing Diversity and Preventing Workplace Discrimination (Mortgage Banking, July 2006). Q

Shatter the Glass Ceiling, Dodge the Shards (HR Magazine, Apr. 2005). Q

eBooks & Other ​Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Easy Step by Step Guide to Recruiting the Right Staff (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Hiring Great People (Adobe eReader)

Interviewing Techniques for Managers (Adobe eReader)

Planning the Recruitment Process – What You Need to Know: Definitions, Best Practices, Benefits and Practical Solutions (Adobe eReader)

Ready-Made Employment Contracts, Letters & Forms (Adobe eReader, Kindle)

Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees (Overdrive Audiobook, Adobe eReader)

Recruiting on Social Media with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: High-impact Strategies – What You Need to Know: Definitions, Adoptions, Impact, Benefits, Maturity, Vendors (Adobe eReader)

Be a Recruiting Superstar (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Bringing Out the Best in People (Overdrive Audiobook)

Confessions of a Recruiting Director (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Hiring the Best: The Fast Track Guide to Win by Effective Interviewing, Recruiting Hiring and Keeping the Best People (Adobe eReader)

How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer (Adobe eReader)

Making Successful Hires (Adobe eReader)

Recruit or Die (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Recruiting on the Web (Adobe eReader)

Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Culturally Different Employees (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Retaining Top Employees (Adobe eReader)

Who: The A Method for Hiring (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Building a magnetic culture: how to attract and retain top talent to create an engaged, productive workforce (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2012). HF 5549 S552

Compensating the sales force (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004). HF 5438 C48

Real estate office management: a guide to success (Mason, OH: South-Western, 2003). HD 1375 H47

How to recruit top producers (New York: Alexander Communications Group, Inc., 1999). HF 5438 R22ho

Recruiting and retaining highly successful agents (Chicago, IL: National Association of REALTORS®, 1999). HF 5438 N21rec

Recruiting and retaining the best (Washington, D.C.: National Association of REALTORS®, 1996). HF 5438 N21re

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Compensation Plans for Real Estate Agents

Field Guide to Mentoring

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.