Michael Choi: recruiting (and keeping) a winning team

One of the hardest parts of running a business is human resources; in other words, the recruitment and retention of quality people.

Hiring great people is only part of the process. And possibly the easiest. It’s keeping those high quality team members happy enough to not only stay, but bring their best to the business day in, day out, that can prove the biggest challenge. 

So here are some ways to improve on what you are already doing.


Partnership is a natural progression for key stakeholders in a business and involves the business owner offering to sell a portion of the business to a top performer.

The advantages of this for most business owners is three-fold – they reward the high achiever and ensure they hang around, they now have somebody to share the risks and responsibilities, and have taken a positive step towards a future succession plan. 

The disadvantage is they dilute their interest and hence their profit share and assets. In many cases though, it’s better to have a smaller piece of a bigger pie.

There are pros and cons for the top performers too. The advantage is they get career progression without having to do much.

If they have purchased into an amazing business, this asset will also grow in value, while profit share helps fund the payments of the business loan.

Eventually they will be leveraging a team and making money while not working.

The downside is they only own a very small percentage. Partnership is very much a solution to keep talent that wants progress with little effort or risk.


Creating positive workplace culture isn’t easy, so people appreciate it when they find it – especially if they have experienced all spectrums.

Culture isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Just like perfection, you never really achieve a culture that can’t be improved in some way.

It’s a delicate growing organism – easy to kill and hard to keep alive.

To me, the key steps to having a great culture are hiring people with similar values, celebrating progress, having amazing systems that alleviate stress, remembering that people are human and above all, the resilience to keep working at it.

Slowly but surely, one by one, people will either adapt and change for the better, or realise they don’t belong and self-terminate their employment.


Creating value is another way to retain great people.

But remember, what’s valuable to you isn’t always what other people value, so have a range of value propositions.

Different strokes for different folks.

You need to know your team’s love language.

Value could be in automation, lead generation, higher pay, office environment, flexibility, coaching, mentoring and friendship, to name a few.

Just as you have created points of differences to list landlords and vendors, you should do the same for team members.

Keep in mind that you are a business and not a charity, and you still have to make a profit.

So, look for the sweet spot of providing value while maintaining a justifiable profit.

Be in demand

If a business has all of the above, it’s most likely a successful and well known one.

They have a sought-after vibe, an effective brand and a progressive energy that people want to be associated with.

People in the industry talk about them and everyone wants a piece of the action. 

As an added bonus, recruiters may not bother prospecting your team as it would be a much harder sell – they already love where they are!

For this reason, I believe it’s actually easier to be number one than the alternative. When you are number one, you are a magnet not only to public clients, but also your most important clients –  your team.

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Michael Choi

Michael Choi is the Founder of Area Specialist, a real estate platform that helps top performing agents open up their own business without the cost, time or risk.