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Why Old School Recruiting is the Right Answer in Today’s Market

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There is something to be said about getting back to basics when it comes to successfully growing your real estate company, at least according to Regional Vice President for Development Jeff Smith at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties in San Antonio, Texas. Since joining the network in May of this year, the company has more than doubled in size and Smith has been personally responsible for much of its growth.

Over the hot summer months of 2012, Smith personally recruited 35 agents and expanded his company after a merger that nearly tripled Bradfield Properties.

So how does he do it? Smith says he is “old school” when it comes to recruiting. He focuses on what works; working the basics.

Smith’s 6 Step Plan to Recruiting Success:

1. Phone calls
Every day Smith dials between 30 and 100 agents, speaking to the ones he can reach and leaving messages for everyone else. His voice mail message often includes a call to action such as an invitation to one of his many training events.

Smith’s daily tasks: Smith spends a minimum of 1.5 hours daily making calls and sets goals for the number of dials he will make. Looking back on his real estate career, Smith says he developed good phone habits when he used to spend five hours a day calling expired listings in his market.

2. Email
Smith understands that most experienced agents will say they are happy at their current company and not looking to make a change right away. Due to this, staying in touch over what can sometimes be a long period of time is incredibly important.

Smith’s solution: Smith uses email and handwritten notes to stay in touch with agents between face-to-face meetings. Writing three to five emails and notes per day can be a great way to stay personally involved with prospects. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note, no matter how digital our world might feel.

3. Real Estate Schools
Twice a month Smith has lunch with the students at the local real estate school. He says he loves working with new agents because the process is shorter and he knows he can train them to be successful.

Smith’s tip: This success strategy isn’t for everyone, but will work if you have an item of value to offer. Smith most recently did a drawing and gave away his new e-book as a way to capture the student’s contact information. He then makes phone calls and sends emails as follow-up and stays in touch with the students after they pass the exam.

4. Training
Smith understands that training is imperative, especially for new agents. Because of this, Smith will often invite students from the local real estate school as well as outside agents to join his regular two-hour training sessions.

A typical question is whether or not he is afraid that agents will attend training to simply swipe and implement his ideas on their own. “Absolutely not,” Smith says. In fact, his mantra has always been to “give away everything I’ve got.” He makes the point that the more REALTOR® signs seen out in the local market, the better it is for all real estate professionals. He believes that FSBOs are the only real competition.

Anyone who does attend his training has the opportunity to meet the company’s current agents and gain a better insight into what the company is all about and what it would be like for them should they chose to work at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties.

5. Understanding the Competition
Smith says keeping his eyes open to opportunity has served him well. In order to grow, “you need to know when to pounce,” referring to his recent merger as well as the large number of new agents he’s added to the company.

Making sure that agents in his market know he is there to support them in their careers helps to position Smith as a true leader.

Staying in touch with agents through regular phone calls and emails means that when something happens and that agent is ready to make a move, Smith and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties are the logical next choice.

6. Social Media
Smith does use Facebook for recruiting and sees the enormous resource social media can be in the recruiting process. However, it is not the main tool in his recruiting arsenal. In fact, the real reason behind his current Facebook page is the promotion of his new book, “Roadmap to Success”.

With 19 years of experience in the industry and a track record of growing companies, there are certainly some lessons to be learned from Smith.

Getting back to basics, doing the work, having the right intentions and attitude, and understanding your market could be all that it takes to hit your talent attraction goals.

So here’s to picking up the phone, writing a note and engaging old school style!

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To read this article on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s blog, “Clean Slate,” click here.

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