On the Move Relocation Spotlight: Heritage Texas Properties
Millennials are buying homes. In fact, they represent the largest share of home buyers in the market today, at 36 percent. This is according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.
Millennials are also relocating. Put the two together, and it’s easy to see why many real estate firms are focused on attracting and recruiting millennial Realtors.
One company that has been successful in doing so is Heritage Texas Properties. During a recent interview with Kirsten Abney, the company’s senior vice president, discussed the importance of recruiting millennial agents, and the impact this generation is making on the real estate industry.
Following are excerpts from our conversation:
MS: Why makes millennial agents a good fit for millennial clients?
KA: Many millennials want to work with someone who is similar to them, because they often operate in the same way. Millennials tend to be very comfortable with technology, and they like to communicate in the same way. Their ideas and the ways they want to work are different than clients of other generations. So, being able to attract and recruit millennial agents should be a priority for any brokerage firm, and it’s something that Heritage has done really well.
MS: What do you think attracts millennial agents to your company?
KA: We have a couple of reputations in the industry. First, Robin Mueck, our chairman and CEO, has always been very innovative and on the cutting edge of technology. She is always pushing the envelope. We are always looking at and evaluating new technologies that might make processes easier, not only for our agents, but for our clients.
The other aspect is that we love to recruit new agents, and we have a very thorough training program. A lot of millennial agents are new to the business, so this makes us very attractive to them. We are a “Ninja company.”
MS: What does it mean to be a “Ninja company?”
KA: We brought the Ninja Selling program to our company three years ago. It is the philosophy that our company has adapted, which is a productivity, activity-based selling program. It really allows agents to focus on the activities that will generate the highest return. It gives them all the tools, so they don’t have to create anything, and it’s a very natural and comfortable program.
MS: Do all Heritage agents go through the program?
KA: We require brand new licensees to go through the Ninja training. That’s part of our agreement in order for them to join our company. The reason we do that is because it gives them a platform to be successful in their business right off the bat.
About half of our agents within the company have been through the program, and on average they have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in their production.
MS: What’s the key to successfully introducing new technologies and innovative programs?
KA: It’s a balance between how fast you can change your technologies, and how quickly agents will be able to adapt to those changes. People don’t always adapt quickly to change. So, you have to find that balance where you can continue to push the ball forward and be competitive, but without introducing too much change at one time into the organization.
MS: In what ways have millennial agents impacted the culture of your company?
KA: The millennial generation has a very different work style, and it’s been interesting to see how some of our experienced, seasoned agents have really adapted to and embraced that younger generation.
There are also agents who were trained to suit up and show up every day, and to be in the office when they’re not out working with a client. And that is not how a lot of millennials work today. They’re not about coming into an office, and technology has enabled us to really work in a different way.
MS: What are the opportunities for millennial agents at Heritage as that relates to corporate relocation business?
KA: We have a good number of millennial agents on our relocation team, and we are always looking to add more. We know that the demand is going to continue to increase as the population of millennial transferees increases. Some of the millennial agents who have joined our company see this as a real opportunity.
The challenge is that we have minimum standards that have to be met based on our contracts with RMCs (Relocation Management Companies).
So, we have to make sure our agents have the right level of training and experience.
Michelle Sandlin is an award-winning writer, journalist and global mobility industry expert. Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/-
TheMichelleSandlin and on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin. Also visit “On the Move” at blog.chron.com/onthemove.