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By Cliff Baird, PhD

There is a world of difference between Recruiting and Selection and every manager and team leader knows about it.

Recruiting consists of all the actions and activities taken that would cause someone who is considering a career in real estate to respond.
Selection is simply the art of choosing the people you want from the list of recruits.

But like the old recipe for rabbit stew…“first catch the rabbit!”

Unfortunately, when attending most conventions and seminars on the topic of Recruiting what we generally end up with are more tired ideas about Selection. It is as though we intentionally miss the point. Perhaps it is easier to deal with the less stressful issues of interviewing and pseudo-armchair psychology. In many ways it is similar to agents wanting to deal with buyers who most often make the first contact. But when getting listings and working with sellers an agent actually has to prospect and seek out the opportunity.

Because of our natural tendency to gravitate to the line of least resistance we reconfigure concepts to accommodate our avoidance needs. Harsh? Not really, it is an observation not only in others but within me. It comes honed from the turmoil and thrills of being in this great business for 30 years. It is only natural to want to deal with the lighter side of issues.

Nevertheless, I am certain that team leaders can still fulfill their mandate regarding recruiting and do so by using old-fashioned ideas in the new virtual world. The following are some old ideas with a fresh twist or two, here and there. Embrace them, revise them, recreate them, but for your own sake use them. Do something different.


1. Congratulate five agents every day. They could be from the lists of recent licensees, graduates from designated courses, company courses etc., congratulating them for their professionalism and dedication to our industry.

2. Pick any five new listings each day and send an e-mail to the listing agent with the message line: Re: Your Recent Listing on Broadway. Then in the body of the e-mail, sincerely congratulate the agent on a great listing, priced right, etc.

3. Create an e-mail signature. Each manager/broker should create an e-mail signature that includes some reference to “…if you or someone you know is interested in a great career in real estate…think of us…” Use your imagination and create your own identity.

4. Business Cards. The back of every card should also promote the same message as the note above. For example, when you receive great service anywhere such as restaurants, barbers, flower shops, beauty salons and so forth, thank them by saying, “Let me return the favor.” Then hand them a business card and tell them you think they’d be great in real estate sales.

5. Include a business card in every payment. As you pay for all your personal and business expenses each month include a card highlighting the opportunity to work with you.

6. Co-broke agents. Again follow a similar pattern as #2 above. This time the agent can be thanked and congratulated for bringing the client and for their personal professionalism. Share how delighted you would be to discuss how you could further enhance their career.

7. Promote with every letter and e-mail. When possible, every letter sent by the broker and every e-mail and every piece of promotion delivered from the office should promote your company and the opportunity it offers with a pre-printed P.S. at the bottom of the letter similar to the content above.

8. Visit a competitor’s Open House. There are several crossover benefits to this idea. Try buying bottled water privately labeled with your company wrapper. Imagine the response from an agent competitor who is sitting in an Open House and is handed your bottled water. The wrapper will, of course, promote you and your company. The water is used to merely legitimize the contact at an Open House when you can again congratulate the professionalism of the agent.

9. Online Temperament Profile. There are a few companies offering this service to brokers. We have one of them. Conceptually, these programs offer potential recruits a chance to find out if they are well-suited for the real estate business before they commit to the pressure of an interview. The program also notifies you via email upon completion by the recruit with all of the contact info as well as the results of their profile and how to make the follow-up call.

Whatever you do be sure to be consistent. Set time aside every day for recruiting. In our virtual world there is no limit to what you can do. Be creative and take control of your marketplace.

Cliff Baird has been involved in every area of real estate sales and management for over 25 years. His first personality profile became a mandatory licensing requirement in Canada for several years. He is the developer of the RealSTAR online profile system for recruiting, selecting, training and coaching agents. He can be reached at To discover your own temperament profile and how RealSTAR can enhance your recruiting efforts, try the free demo at