As a culture, we are infatuated with “magic pill” cures that can solve many of life’s problems. Weight loss, chronic pain, get-rich-quick businesses, fantastic abs and, yes, even the “recruiting pill.” Brokers today are growing in many ways and, those who are not, may simply be looking for the “magic pill” that could come in the form of a seminar, a letter series, a new hire or even a new recruiting system. Unfortunately, that magic pill may not exist.
Rather than look for a magic pill, brokers would be better served by simply listening to what agents are saying and then responding accordingly. In speaking with agents across North America, there are a few things that ring true. Here are the top 10 conclusions that we were able to draw from the multitude of comments we received from agents who responded to a recent survey my company conducted entitled, “What Agents Want in a Broker:”
1. The broker’s time to assist with difficult deals and provide sound counsel and advice
2. A broker who is at least as technology-savvy as his or her agents; a true leader in innovative ways of dealing with today’s new, high-tech consumer
3. A willingness to go to bat for the agent when being mistreated
4. A positive environment, a spirit of collaboration (not competition) and a productive work area
5. Great training and ongoing education in relevant areas that help make agents better
6. Marketing and branding help – Agents are simply not qualified to figure out all of this by themselves.
7. A fair split or reasonable expenses – Price is rarely the reason agents leave one company to go to another, but the value proposition, clearly communicated up front, will decrease attrition.
8. Tools and resources that are proven to work, so agents don’t have to create the tools or systems themselves
9. Coaching and mentoring at every level – It seems there is a lot of new-agent training, but not a lot of mid- and advanced-agent and team coaching. Programs exist, however, they are not being offered or presented by the broker.
10. A willingness to build a true relationship with the agent – Agents leave when they feel the relationship with their broker isn’t personal enough.
I would also add that it’s really important to walk the talk. In a recent interview with a top broker who, in the past was very successful with recruiting, I learned that old-school thinking, including old-school presentation tools, simply don’t work anymore. There is a new way of presenting and interacting with potential agents that sends a clear message that you not only have all of the above, but you are using the latest technology yourself.
In conclusion, focus on relationships, culture, technology, training and coaching and don’t be afraid to go outside your company to get the right kind of help. Above all, remember to build true relationships based on trust with your agents and they will become your best recruiting tool.
There may be no such thing as a recruiting “magic pill,” but by walking the talk, listening to the agent community, and then implementing what I described above, you will surely find a new level of success in recruiting.
Verl Workman is a speaker, coach and business consultant.