Use whatever cliché you want when it comes to the importance of money, but one thing is clear in real estate: it matters. More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents say that commission splits are a “very important” factor impacting their careers, whereas 95% cite them as at least “somewhat important.” This was almost evenly distributed across all profiles of respondents. So, for brokers wondering what agents value most, there’s no mystery here: it’s commission splits.
Second in importance is technology. Surprisingly, it ranked nearly as important as commission splits, with 73% citing it as “very important,” and 92% ranking it as at least “somewhat important.” This is important to those who have been in the industry more than 15 years (91%) and those who have been in less than 15 years (95%).
Work/life balance is no longer a buzzword in most industries; it’s become an imperative, and this is just as true in real estate. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents cite flexible hours as “very important,” and 82% say it’s at least “somewhat important.” More women (84%) cite this as a top two choice, compared to only 76% of men.
Close in importance are marketing tools, which 67% cite as “very important,” but nearly all (91%) cite as “somewhat important.” This is especially important for new (less than three years of experience) professionals, with 95% citing it as at least “somewhat important.” Given that the bar for entry can be challenging for many new agents, it’s logical that this group would place greater value on marketing tools that can give them a professional leg up.
Rounding out the top five career imperatives is brand recognition. Well over half (58%) described this aspect of a brokerage firm as “very important,” and 84% described it as at least “somewhat important.”
Office culture was also taken into account, with 56% citing it as “very important,” and 83% as at least “somewhat important.” When it comes to commission cap, only 40% cite it as “very important,” and 59% as at least “somewhat important.” Younger respondents (45%) are more likely to consider commission caps as “very important” compared to those 65-plus (37%).
When unpacking the results of this study, there are considerable takeaways that real estate professionals should ponder. Perhaps most notable is that agents and commission-earning brokers should be more bullish in negotiating the terms of their contracts, and do so more frequently. Given the importance that respondents placed on commission splits, this should be a reasonable place to begin the negotiation process. However, the discussion shouldn’t end there simply based on other aspects that were noted as “very” or “somewhat important.”
This study better informs agents and commission-earning brokers on what many of their peers value and how their contracts are structured. Therefore, this information is currency and should be leveraged as such.
What’s more, these findings should also be a resource for broker/owners, too. They should recognize that many real estate professionals have an appetite for loyalty. Thus, retaining top talent should remain top of mind. The data offer the essential ingredients of what many real estate professionals value, how to incentivize their productivity and what will keep them engaged and happy. Therefore, it is incumbent on broker/owners to consider these results and craft the right recipe to retain and recruit the best talent for their firms.
This survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of RISMedia. Invitations were sent to respondents by RISMedia from a database of more than 100,000 real estate professionals and data was collected from a sample of 1,565 individuals between January 11 and February 1, 2022. Broker/owners and other real estate professionals who do not work on a commission structure were terminated from the survey.