RISMEDIA, February 17, 2010—In my everyday dealings with real estate brokers, there are some common dynamics that I am hearing about in regards to recruiting in 2010. Maybe they are unique to this market time and maybe they are a variation of the same challenges that you have always dealt with. Here’s what I found – you decide if they are new or just a different version of why recruiting can be tough:
Reaching the agent you are trying to recruit seems harder than ever. It feels like you’ve tried it all: a couple of emails, one or two voicemails, an attempt to start a conversation when you saw her last week on tour and yet, she is not responding.
You would really like to have her on board; you know the value you have to offer her and can’t figure out how to get a hold of her. You heard through “a friend of a friend in the business” that she is overwhelmed with spam e-mail about recruiting, not from you but from all parties in the marketplace and is almost feeling stalked by local brokers. How do you differentiate yourself to get through?
Your job as a managing broker is more demanding now than it has been in the 25 years since you started doing this. Whew! You are working harder, with less staff and need more to happen than what you have time for. 2010 is a critical year for finding some profit in that frustrating P&L report that appears every month. Retaining your agents is almost a full time job. You know they are getting some unbelievable offers from other brokers and you are putting all you have in to making sure that those agents who you want to keep in your brokerage, stay. You are deal-doctoring, working through short sale challenges, supporting your agents and encouraging them with their business to go produce more. You have the best of intentions for working on your recruiting action plan and yet, after a quick review of the first 45 days of 2010, you realize you haven’t done anything towards it. Guilt sets in, pressure builds, you need more producing agents to make things works. How will you find the time to act on your plans?
It takes too long to get results with recruiting seasoned agents; you wish there were more new agents coming into the business. A common truth in this business is that recruiting new agents takes less effort and is more fun! Remember when hordes of people were entering the business and your office was growing and everyone was happy? Well, maybe not everyone was happy; but, in hindsight the wonder of selective memory makes it so! The office-brag-book seemed to do the trick with the new agents; the seasoned agents you do get a chance to meet with don’t seem to care. Sure, your presentation may be a bit dated, but it used to work in one meeting with the newbies. You’d meet them, give them a tour of the office and before you knew it, they were signing papers with you! Now, with experienced agents, it takes several meetings and you rarely even get to the point of conducting an office tour. You know the ones; those who you have met offsite, off-and-on over the course of the year and then when it seemed they were ready to move, they didn’t. They chose to stay for a variety of reasons or even worse, moved to another broker. After all that effort, you got nothing. As you wonder what you need to do differently, you find yourself wishing those new agents would come flocking back in.
I wish I could tell you there is a simple solution to all your challenges; but, unfortunately, I can’t. Yes, agents are more difficult to reach, than ever, and that is why it is important to be consistent and persistent with your efforts. Trying to get through to them just a few times probably won’t do in today’s world. Differentiating yourself is critical to getting their attention. Engaging your current real estate agent population is key; a well versed cross-sale-transaction strategy will help.
Yes, I can affirm that your job is more demanding now than previously. Executing on your recruiting plans is critical. Disciplining yourself to find the time is easier said than done. Have a list ready for those you want to recruit and make calls when you are stuck in traffic or standing in line- find the little openings in your daily routine if you must. A better strategy is to block off specific time for recruiting, as you coach your agents to do with prospecting, and don’t allow interruptions. Find a way to do this as putting it off until later will not help your P&L of today, tomorrow or even next year.
Yes, new agents are “easier” to recruit; they take more work once they join your office but it is “easier” to get them to join your team. However, you cannot rely on that for 2010. It will probably be a few years before we see any big numbers of new agents joining the business. Get your presentation in top form; bring out factors that will make a difference for a solid producing agent. Find a way to present what you have to offer in a way that works.
Best Overall Solution? Find the time yourself to recruit or hire someone else to do it for you. For example, Cogent Step Recruiting (CSR) is a third party recruiting company for real estate brokers. We utilize a unique strategy to garner interest and get return calls. We take on the herculean effort of your recruiting action plan and partner with you to execute on it. CSR will call your leads, get appointments and help prepare you for an effective meeting with the recruit. We will follow up and work through the dynamics of recruiting in today’s market so that you may realize success.
“In one week, there have been 7 new associates added to our company; they did not all come from the list we have you working on but there is momentum. All of the talent attraction methods we use seem to be contributing to our success. Thanks for all your help!” Linda M. Prange, Broker/Associate, CRS, Better Homes & Gardens Laviano & Associates, Stuart FL.
The need for recruiting remains the same as it did from the fruition of your brokerage; the dynamics may be a bit different today, but the need is still there. What will you do to make it work for you?
Todd Shyiak is President of Cogent Step Recruiting (CSR), one of leading experts in Outsourced Recruiting. Contact Shyiak at www.cogentstep.com or 250.682.2961.