By Nick Caruso
RISMEDIA, December 13, 2010—Running a profitable business is about having the right agents in your brokerage, but it’s also about having the right number of agents. To be truly successful, you need to be using your resources efficiently. That means having your desks filled with talented salespeople who can help you grow your business and who can grow along with you.
But how do you get to that place where your desks are full, your office is running at optimum capacity and you are at your most profitable? Recruiting. Wait—keep reading.
It is no secret that for many brokers, owners and managers, recruiting is a necessary evil. And there are plenty of excuses for not making recruiting a priority. Not enough time. Never liked it. Don’t get any traction. Don’t know how to do it.
But none of these excuses change the fact that recruiting is a vital component to growing a successful real estate brokerage.
The Next Challenge in Real Estate
In the past year-and-a-half, ERA Real Estate has been working closely with its franchisees to build a strong business foundation rooted in business planning. The focus is on lead generation, lead management, inventory management and—the last pillar for a successful brokerage—people management, including recruiting.
It is relatively easy to show a busy broker how taking charge of inventory and creating a better process for tracking and following up with leads can positively impact business. Recruiting, however, is a process. It must be managed every day; and, with a task like recruiting—where the results are often slow in coming—convincing a broker to commit his limited time to recruiting is a tougher sell.
ERA Real Estate listened to feedback from its broker network to find out why recruiting was such a challenge and what would make it more effective. What they heard was that everyone knew that recruiting is important, but few were getting the kind of results they wanted. Brokers needed a better way to recruit both novice and experienced agents into their offices. Brokers wanted to build their skills and their comfort level with recruiting to get out there and work at it, every day. Brokers were looking for a mechanism to track their efforts and measure their progress. And, brokers needed a place to send current agents and prospects to help them better understand their own career paths. Brokers needed a recruiting solution.
The Recruiting Solution
ERA Real Estate heard these requests and responded by creating ERA TopRecruiter, a unique and innovative new recruiting system designed to inspire brokers to take on the challenge of recruiting, guide them in their efforts in order to make them more effective recruiters and, ultimately, help them fill more desks with qualified agents.
“Finding qualified agents is always a challenge, but it has never been more critical than it is in today’s market,” says Charlie Young, president and chief executive officer of ERA Franchise Systems LLC. “At ERA Real Estate, we are keenly attuned to the needs of our brokers. We heard loud and clear that recruiting top talent is a priority and we responded with the launch of ERA TopRecruiter, an exclusive system that addresses the needs of large and small brokers alike.”
ERA TopRecruiter provides a comprehensive approach to recruiting that uses a flexible process with four key components to create a recruiting plan based on brokers’ unique needs, goals and their existing skill sets. The system contains tools for analyzing recruiting needs and planning and tracking recruiting progress. Brokers are supported through the process with access to personal coaching, peer-to-peer sharing and virtual training, through ERA Real Estate’s online learning center, the ERA Learning Exchange, where they can learn the most effective way to use the tools, hone their prospecting and interviewing skills and adopt successful recruiting practices used by peers.
ERA TopRecruiter also includes a customized recruiting website, SmarterCareer.com, which brokers can use as their home base in recruiting sales associates. SmarterCareer.com gives current and prospective agents access to tools for business assessment and planning that can help them improve their own business. During a pilot of SmarterCareer.com, which included 18 ERA franchisees, the tool generated a six-fold increase in leads for participating brokers and more than doubled the number of total agents hired.
A Shift in Thinking
“The most exciting part about ERA TopRecruiter is the way in which it is causing brokers to change the way they approach recruiting,” says Debbie McGriff, vice president, Business Development, ERA Franchise Systems LLC. “With this program, we address the hurdles brokers face in regard to recruiting as well as providing effective and proven tools to help in the recruiting process. Once they see how following the program impacts their outcomes, they begin to see the possibilities when there is a focus on recruiting.”
Recruiting is the elephant in the room for most brokers. They know that it can help grow their business, but it is not a quick fix. It takes time and dedication.
Success with recruiting requires a shift in thinking. ERA TopRecruiter helps make that shift easier by drawing focus to the specific actions in the recruiting cycle that allow brokers to reach their goals—for recruiting and for growth.
Longtime ERA broker Eddie Wilder, president of ERA Wilder Realty, Chapin, South Carolina, is a successful user of this system.
“Meeting the needs of real estate agents today is critical to the growth and relevance of our company,” says Wilder. “The ERA TopRecruiter Program has shown us that, in this shifting economy, we also needed to shift our thinking about how we recruit, how we communicate our value and how we listen to what is important to the agents we recruit. This system will allow us to continue to increase our market share and help develop the strongest team of professionals anywhere.”
For more information, visit www.era.com.
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