By Dr. Martin W. Oliver
RISMEDIA, April 3, 2007-Brokers, what do you look for when hiring a new agent? If you want a superstar, you must be able to translate their personality, background experience, job skills and IQ over into the real estate matrix.
You must be able to see a diamond in the rough. If you hire a person who looks good on paper but drains the company's resources, you will have made a costly mistake. Therefore, it is critical to make the right decision the first time and this requires insight, understanding, wisdom, long-term thinking, unselfishness, patience and a dash of good fortune.
The hiring profile will also change as the real estate market, local and national economies, industry technology tools and consumer choices also change. Identifying the right mix of quality is not easy, so the Real Estate Apprentice Grant Program-with its stethoscope on the pulse of new agents-offers the following analysis of the current typical rookie, who after close examination appears to be not so typical after all.
As a starting point, every year approximately 5,000 new licensees apply for a grant at the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation. Every applicant who applies is eligible for a grant consisting of $250 worth of real estate fast-track products and services, regardless of their final score. After completing the application form and a selection of career-related questions and essays, about 8% will score a grade of 80% or better moving them on to round two.
In evaluating round three, it is found that 70% held college degrees with levels of academic recognition ranging from no recognition in junior colleges, to summa cum laude in notable universities with majors as can be seen in Table 1. For those with prior employment, a very diverse range of careers show that real estate agents still span the broadest array of people as reflected in Table 2.
Areas of Study before Becoming an Agent
Prior Occupations Before Becoming an Agent
Medical Food Service
Sales and Marketing
After monitoring the progress of applicants from licensing, to selecting agencies, to beginning a real estate career, to working a career for two years, it has been determined that the following list of success ingredients are the mark of winners:
Desire to learn
Use of tools that simplify work
Willingness to be mentored
A willingness to prospect
A growing network of contacts
Excellence in salesmanship
Mental strength and concentration powers
Those interested in finding out more and assisting the Foundation in its huge task to help build a stronger future for our industry should visit the Foundation's Web site at: www.RealEstateApprentice.com.
Dr. Martin Oliver is the deputy executive director for the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, a national non-profit foundation created to assist newly licensed agents entering the real estate industry to succeed.