RISMEDIA, September 18, 2010—As real estate professionals continue to integrate social media into their daily business practices, recruiting real estate agents through social networks is quickly becoming the next best practice to get qualified agents into offices. Here, Adam Lerman, national director of recruiting for Century 21 Real Estate, LLC discusses how real estate professionals can best use social media to recruit experienced agents.
Recruiting real estate agents through social media is no longer a new concept, but it is quickly becoming the next battleground for the next generation of qualified real estate sales professionals. Social networks such as Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are increasingly being used specifically for recruiting purposes by national and regional real estate organizations.
The CENTURY 21® System has been utilizing social media for recruiting for several years now; however, it is only within the last two years that I’ve seen the industry adopt social media as a critical area for recruiting the next generation of Realtors.
Connecting via social media enables our franchisees to make a personal connection with a potential candidate and provide valuable input regarding the industry and the local market. People appreciate the ability to speak with a professional about the opportunities that exist for a sales professional or a broker without feeling like they are receiving a sales pitch.
The advantages that recruiting via social media offers are the same advantages that social media offers to marketers: you get to know your customer better. Engaging with a recruit via social media is an interactive process that not only offers the sales professional an opportunity to get to know the brokerage and the broker, but it also provides the broker with an opportunity to get to know the candidate. This two-way vetting process has the potential to save a considerable amount of time and money as it shortens the recruiting cycle and increases the efficiency of the process for both brokers and agents.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that social media is just for Millennials and Generation X, basically anyone under 45. Given the average age of a Realtor, according to the 2010 National Association of Realtors Member Profile, the typical NAR member is 54 years old. This data coincides with one of the fastest growth segments on Facebook. According to InsideFacebook.com, 18 million people over the age of 45 are now active on Facebook.
Recruiting agents who are a part of the Millennial and X generations is important, but it is more important to recruit professionals that are effective social media marketers and know how to leverage social networks for business. We are not focused on any one age demographic so much as we are focused on recruiting the right agents with the right skill sets for marketing to 21st century consumers.
As a general observation, Craigslist, LinkedIn and Facebook are the leading social networks currently being utilized and optimized for real estate recruiting. However, the most effective recruiting technique is maintaining daily recruiting activities and follow up.