30 REALTOR® SEP TEMBER/OCTOBER 2014 REALTORMAG.REALTOR.ORG
A Win-Win Exit Strategy
When agents retire, Bill Hurt doesn’t watch business walk out the door.
The graying of our industry is evident. At every real estate conference I’ve been to, people are talking about the need to recruit, recruit, recruit because so many agents
are retiring. And when they leave, their business just goes away.
The clients they have built relationships with over the years find
Several years ago, my long-time dentist and friend sent me
a letter letting me know he’d sold his business to a new dentist
and thanking me for my past business. With no transition or real
introduction, I had no comfort level with the new dentist, so I
took my business elsewhere.
It got me thinking: We had approximately 20 agents
representing $100 million in production who were intending
to retire or cut back on their workload. Why not focus on
preserving what we had? So about five years ago, I created a
succession program to ensure this valuable commodity stays
in-house and to provide the retiring agents a residual income.
It has become a significant recruiting tool.
The succession program is a structured action plan that
gradually transitions a retiring agent’s business base to another
agent. We identify pairs of agents we feel will forge the best
partnerships, and then we help negotiate such issues as how the
Broker-owner, President, CEO William “Bill” Hurt , CRB, began his residential real estate career at
Shields Real Estate in 1991 and bought the brokerage five years later. In 2001 he joined the ERA franchise.