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By Don Kottick

RISMEDIA, Dec. 6, 2007-This year was definitely a monumental one for real estate recruitment as this relatively new functional area of our business underwent substantial development and change. Recruitment still continues to grow in importance from a corporate objective perspective, especially in light of the current economic climate.

After talking and consulting to many brokers across North America, there are some common threads and changes that are afoot across the industry. Some of the more noticeable changes to real estate recruitment in 2007 include:

First and foremost, the rapid rise and prominence of Craigslist as the de facto destination for real estate recruitment is one of the more obvious changes. Craigslist is still free in many areas, but with the increased popularity more locales are starting to see a fee required to post their job listings.
With the rise of Craigslist, someone had to suffer and the most noticeable victim was Once the most popular venue and also one of the more expensive options, saw the migration of many customers over to the upstart out of San Francisco Bay known as Craigslist.
More brokers are now more understanding and adopting of DRIP campaigns as a communication vehicle for their recruiting pipelines. The increased use by brokerages of online communication systems to deliver their online DRIP and mass e-mail campaigns to their pipelines.
The increased use of online contact management systems by brokerages to manage their pipelines.
Increasing larger portions of the advertising and marketing budgets were directed to recruitment lead generation.
Increased use of centralized recruiters to manage both new and experienced agents.
A decline in the number of new entrants into the real estate profession as a result of the economic shift.
A resulting decline in the number of operating real estate schools as a result of the economic shift.
Increased return to career nights and career sessions as a source to generate new prospects.
Increased use of assessments and personality tests for selection and hiring of agents. This includes the increased use of assessments from a development and training perspective.
The increasing use of technology and online lead generation techniques supplemented by a back to basis approach to recruitment, should make 2008 a tremendously interesting year for real estate recruitment.

Don Kottick is vice president of products and services for AlignMark.

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