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Recruiting: Tips for Today’s Market and How It Will Affect Your Bottom Line

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By Cliff Baird

RISMEDIA, Dec. 11, 2007-Recruiting is the greatest example of your personal belief in our business. You’re not simply asking people to buy a home or list with you; instead, you are asking them to bet their lives on you, your company and this business. There is no other place in real estate where your level of commitment has to be fueled with pure integrity more than recruiting. Can your belief get any more revealing than this?

Why? It’s All About the Math

You are currently eager and willing, every day of the week, to pay 25%-35% for a sales or listing referral worth about $1,500 to $3,000 to the company dollar. You should be. But consider this: A new agent will contribute anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 each and every year to your bottom line. Of course, don’t neglect your referral opportunities but, at the end of the day, do the math and get re-excited about recruiting.

In this troubled market, one of the few places left that will enable you to maintain your market share or increase it is recruiting. Even agents brand new to real estate are going to come with two to four potential deals already in their horizon. That’s one of the reasons people join our business. They are counting the potential money they already know about.

So What Is a Recruit Worth?

With a constant flow of recruiting leads from advertising along with client and/or personal database promotion, you will generate candidates if you are consistent. By the way, have you set specific goals for recruiting? Do you have a real firm number in your mind of what you expect? How many more agents will you have at this time next year? You will be amazed at just how accurate you will be if you remove all ambiguity and commit to a real number.

How Much $$ In Three Years?

Let’s be conservative. Depending on several factors, if you would have a net gain of three, five or eight agents each year, look at what the math gives you as a total three-year increase to your company bottom line.

                                                      3 Agent Gain/yr       5 Agent Gain/yr       8 Agent Gain/yr

YEAR 1:                                       $30K- $75K (3)        $50K- $125K (5)          $80K- $200K (8)
YEAR 2:                                       $60K-$150K (6)      $100K-$250K (10)      $160K-$400K (16)
YEAR 3:                                       $90K-$225K (9)      $150K-$375K (15)       $240K-$600K (24)
TOTALS:                                     $180K-$450K          $300K-$750K              $480K-$1.2 million

It’s about Sincerity

Go after contagious people. When possible, go after people who are “naturally” likeable. This is a quality that is difficult to define but easily recognizable. Suppose you are a basketball coach and discover someone who is seven feet tall-the one thing you know for sure is that you will never have to coach this person to play BIG. They are already seven feet tall! When you feel yourself attracted to the social style of an individual then this is also someone who is “seven feet tall.”

Ignore What Doesn’t Matter

Traditional organizations look for the “right” educational and professional backgrounds. Frankly, I believe we pay too much homage to all that “stuff.” That should not be interpreted to mean that education, skill development and Realtor designations are to be trivialized. Certainly not! But they should also never be used to assume that those who possess them have the edge on successful careers. Relevance on paper dims by comparison to the relevance of the natural gifts of social skills and the fearless willingness to talk to perfect strangers. We already know this but are often unwilling to address it. Ask yourself, do they love being with people and do they enjoy the thrill of the competition? Or are they the quiet type who will vigorously do the routines of lead generation that you have taught them? In the end, you are looking for individuals who will simply and willingly put their training into practice just long enough to become very successful.

Beware of Your ‘Gut’ Reaction and Your Intuition

Everyone has stories about the recruit that they knew would be the next superstar who turned out to be a dismal flop. Or the one they knew would at best be ploddingly mediocre who turned out to lead the parade. The problem with choices made by “gut reaction and intuition” is that we tend to only remember when we were right. Speaking for me, my intuition is tragically wrong more often than right.

For that reason, when I created RealSTAR, my online agent profile real estate recruiting program for brokers/managers, I created a duplicatable system that trains managers to follow a step-by-step, word-for-word plan of action thus controlling inconsistencies.

By All Means Possible

Once you’ve found the perfect recruit, use all the weapons at your disposal to land them. When possible, you should use select current agents to meet with recruits. And finally, sell all the decision makers. A recruit seldom makes a decision all by themselves. There can be several other people contributing to the decision. The obvious ones are spouses and significant others, but it can also be kids, colleagues, and friends. In the interview, simply ask, “Who is helping you make this decision?” And then see if you can make those folks content also. That may mean taking the couple to dinner. Remember, they will never forget the idea that you considered them that important. Spouses are always anxious at a time of potential insecurity. Treat them with the same respect that you would appreciate.

Don’t Finish Too Soon

Frankly, you should be re-recruiting every agent every day. Always assume that other brokers are hunting and your people are in their sights.

Cliff Baird, MBA, PhD, has spent over 25 years coaching agents and managers to live above their circumstances by focusing on business systems that lead to abundant success. He has just created The RealSTAR Profile Online Recruiting System (www.yourrealstar.com) for real estate agents that frees managers from the pressure of recruiting and then trains them on how to use the total system to select and coach their agents to success. Cliff can be reached at cliff@cliffbaird.com.

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