We’ve all probably seen the number: in five years, up to 87% of the real estate agents who are currently active will no longer work in the industry. I believe that information, released by NAR back in 2014, is still valid. We’ve all seen what agent attrition looks like in real estate, even before a highly disruptive pandemic. 

Experts have put forward many solutions to this problem, ranging from personal financial planning to morning meditation. And while I think anything that helps a person focus on their business and maintain good habits is worth giving a try, there is one solution to agent retention that often gets overlooked by broker-owners: teams.

One of the most striking findings from Workman Success Systems’ recent national team study was that four in five real estate professionals on teams (81%) believe that being on a team makes someone more likely to stay in real estate. This is borne out in other areas of the study, which indicate that people on teams generally have positive experiences, and particularly enjoy the sense of community and accountability teams offer.

And of course this makes sense: people in a positive work environment are going to be more likely to stick around than those in negative ones. On teams, agents receive training and support, and have the satisfaction of working together with peers toward joint goals. On the other hand, being a solo agent can be an isolating, lonesome, frustrating experience, even as it offers more “freedom.” 

Broker-owners continue to fret over high turnover rates among their agents while a simple, profitable solution stares them in the face: teams. By embracing teams, broker-owners signal that they want to build a business that lasts, not just oversee a mill of listings and closings. They are responding positively to evolving workforce desires. And they are opening the door to providing improved customer experiences across the board. After all, who is going to provide a better service experience for clients: a team of skilled specialists, or a single overworked agent with a hero complex?

Agent attrition has always been a significant issue in the real estate industry, and no single solution — even teams — is going to magically make it all better. But broker-owners whose organizations are plagued by high turnover would do well to consider adopting a team model as part of their retention strategy. Run correctly, a team structure will help your people stay longer, attract new top performers, and set you on the road to higher profitability.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Get free access to some of the very same tools and resources he has used to create success in his clients’ businesses.