Editor’s Note: CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company, founded in 1937, operates 24-plus offices in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with more than 1,000 associates and staff. The brokerage added two new recruiting professionals to the team earlier this year to help grow its footprint: Patsy Helmick and Tammy Woods. The following is an excerpted Zoom conversation with Helmick and Woods to get their take on recruiting in today’s real estate market.
Recruiting in today’s market presents many challenges. What do you look for when recruiting agents to CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company?
Patsy Helmick: There are many challenges, but ultimately, it comes down to the family culture. I’ve worked for five different brokerages, and the culture here far surpasses any of those—and any that I know of in the industry. We do not have a “come one, come all” mentality. New recruits must be a fit. Above all, real estate is all about relationships. From the agents to their homebuyer and seller clients to the upper management, our philosophy is built on encouragement, mentorship, coaching and, most importantly, personal and professional growth. That’s what we do, and what we do best.
Tammy Woods: It comes down to understanding agents’ personalities and aspirations. If we are not the right fit for them, then we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors with the best brokerage for them. If there is a fit, we listen to each other’s wants and needs, then together, we build a relationship based on trust and a detailed plan—a process for success. Process is important and so is communicating. We want to over-communicate versus under-communicate without overwhelming them. Basically, we are here to keep them educated and help them be proactive about their business and on top of their game.
PH: From the first call with a prospect, we set forth the foundation behind our mission statement and our core values: Honesty. Integrity. Growth.
Outside of referrals, how do you find recruits in today’s new normal?
TW: Texas law allows you to speak with students taking their real estate licensure class. We are proactive about locating and reaching out to engage with prospects who are working to become a real estate professional. Prior to COVID-19, that engagement would typically be in-person meetings. Ultimately, again, we need to determine if we are a fit for them, and if they are a fit for us. Post-COVID, these engagements are digital, online and over the phone. We are offering virtual career events where agents can learn more from the comfort of their own home.
PH: We also reach out to professionals who’ve been in this business for a while who might be unhappy with their current company, are not getting what was/is promised and/or could simply be looking for different outcomes from when they started. Many of these agents have an “ah-ha” moment when they learn our “why” at CENTURY 21 Judge Fite and what we can do to help them grow professionally and personally. It’s that care we show for them and not just the work that helps separate us from the competition. In addition, the word of mouth from our current team who appreciate this type of experience and relationship also provides a valuable list of prospects.
TW: To expand on Patsy’s points, in the last couple of weeks, all the calls that I’ve made, and all the interviews conducted, not one prospect asked me about the amount of money I thought they could make. All parties want the best fit. And some are so aggressive that they are looking to be dual-career professionals and earn even more than what they make in their nine-to-five jobs.
PH: I would be remiss if I did not also share one of the best referral sources for new agents…our own real estate professionals. It is an honor to receive the referrals from our own—they are always a great cultural fit.
The approach of hiring professionals who work in another field is different than most of the brokerage world who only want full-time real estate agents. Is it true that you welcome part-time, dual-career professionals?
PH: We don’t refer to our dual-career professionals as part-time. Part-time indicates you’re only halfway there, and that’s not the case. We have police officers, architects, ex-military, etc., who are actively doing everything they can to elevate the real estate experience. The result with our dual-career agents is higher than industry levels of quality service ratings. We provide the training, the coaching, the mentorship, the handholding or freedom they need to grow their business in addition to helping families and individuals achieve the dream of homeownership—or investors build a real estate portfolio.
TW: Many of the relentless sales professionals at CENTURY 21 Judge Fite have dual careers and are doing quite well. For example, take a look at teachers. They work during the day and then put in another full real estate shift at night working their sphere, making the calls, prospecting on weekends and building a solid database of customers and clients. Knowing that they are coming from a different background and learning that we have the tools and the people to make them successful is something they love to hear.
Are there specific guidelines or a format that you follow to introduce a new agent in a COVID-19 world?
PH: Everyone in the CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company family, from our agents to the mortgage, insurance, title, leasing, property management, relocation, investment and commercial real estate services we provide, is alerted to a new agent who has chosen to affiliate with us. The same, by the way, holds true for the other companies as well. That way, everyone is kept up to date on what is happening internally throughout the organization.
TW: With COVID, it has been a bit more challenging, but we get the job done from an engagement and connection standpoint. We write more notes. We make more phone calls. We introduce our new agents on weekly Zoom sales meetings. We generate social media content to let the industry and the communities we serve know as well. The bottom line: We are creating the necessary relationships virtually in lieu of the face-to-face, in-person meetings pre-COVID.
To learn more about CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company, visit century21judgefite.com.