Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Some of our readers might be in a position where they are looking to build a real estate team or even start their own brokerage. Clearly if you are looking to grow your team, you have transcended simple searches like trying to find find the right real estate school and you are looking to be a more intentional leader.
Having trained tens of thousands of new real estate professionals I have a pretty good handle on what new agents want and how to put together a recruiting plan. I put together a list of value propositions that team leaders, managers and brokers should consider to help in their recruiting effort.
Requirement 1: Structured training schedule
The importance of a structured training calendar for new recruits is difficult to overstate. It’s no secret that new real estate sales professionals have a deep desire to be trained properly. Without a written training program candidates don’t have the confidence that they are really going to get the training that they are so desperately in search of.
Beyond the pre-license real estate school curriculum, any good post-license training program should cover two broad aspects of the business.
First - Training on sales and marketing focused on helping the new agent understand how to acquire leads and ultimately close them. Your new hires want to know how to brand themselves to their friends, family and the local marketplace will help ensure their success.
Second - Training on contracts, new laws and procedures governing the day-to-day aspects of the business are also key to getting your new agents the skills they need to go out and compete in a highly competitive real estate market.
In our pre-license real estate course, we recommend that all our students ask potential brokers for a copy of the written training calendar the broker has. We advise them that if the broker does not have a written training calendar with scheduled topics and times the training program probably doesn't exist.
Think back to when you first started your real estate career. If someone simply handed you a desk and a phone and said “go to work” you would naturally feel frustrated and lost and probably eventually quit the business.
A major reason why the majority of newer agents don't end up making it past their first two years is because they get involved with brokers who don’t take training their agents seriously.
Requirement 2: Agent marketing plan and lead generation strategies
You should know that many new agents are going to rely on their broker for a marketing roadmap. Whether you as the broker decide to actually subsidize this marketing is entirely up to you but know that your agent is going to look to you for guidance.
Offering ideas for social media like video topic suggestions or even access to a camera and some lights within your brokerage will scream “value” for new agents. A marketing set-up like this can also help you attract mid-level and experienced realtors to your firm.
Too many real estate agents these days either don't know how to market themselves or are using very generic ideas found all over the Internet. Originality is important.
Showing your new agents that you have ideas for them to market themselves is a real value add.
Requirement 3: Leads + accountability
Few things will entice new agents to come work with your team like the promise of qualified leads. Some brokers and teams pay for Internet leads and others do a lot of direct mail and exploit other marketing channels to attempt to secure leads into the company. These leads can then be distributed to members of the team.
New agents wonder if they can perform well in this business and also strategize around how they're going to do it.
Common questions like “Am I going to be able to get leads?” “Am I going to be able to close those leads?” “How long will it take until I get my first paycheck?” wear on the mind of the new agent.
Some of this apprehension can be alleviated by providing leads to the new real estate licensee. The decision of how many leads you give the sales staff and your budget is a very personal decision - but I can promise you that providing qualified leads to your new sales staff is a very powerful recruiting tool.
Requirement 4: Transaction coordination
There are two schools of thought regarding the use of a transaction coordinator.
Thought #1: Real estate agents should handle all the paperwork on their own
Thought #2: Real estate agents should always delegate out the paperwork to a transaction coordinator.
I recorded a YouTube video about this very topic.
In my opinion, a new real estate agent should handle the paperwork with the supervision of their broker or manager for the first couple of deals, and then slowly start to wean off to a transaction coordinator as they grow more mature in their career. But the new licensee has to be able to at least understand the documentation, know where things go and be able to run a file on their own if needed.
With all that said, transaction coordination is a perk that many real estate offices offer. Being able to tell a new agent that they have support during an escrow is a recruitment plus.
New agents are often intimidated by the volume of documents involved in a typical real estate transaction and a good TC is a nice backstop.
Requirement #5: Available management
As a leader, it’s important to be aware that you must strike a delicate balance between your desire to recruit new agents to your brokerage with your bandwidth to be able to answer their questions and provide needed guidance. Rest assured, there will be an agent of yours that will call you or one of your senior managers on a Friday night at 7 PM because a buyer wants to write an offer and they have a question. Are you or a member of your management team going to be available to take this call?
The truth of the matter is, real estate can be a “nights and evenings” type of business and undoubtedly newer agents are going to have questions. Clients want to see homes on weekends and after working hours and consequently your agents are going to be there to assist them. The big question for you is whether or not you are going to be there as a manager or leader to help them in the event they have a problem?
In terms of retention, if you start missing a bunch of these late night or weekend calls or are non-responsive, it's likely that your agents may end up leaving you for the promise of more available management.
While this might be less than ideal it is the harsh reality of the residential real estate business.
Hope that these strategies will help spark some ideas in your own mind about what it takes to recruit and retain a sales team.
As always, if you are interested in taking real estate license courses or have a new member of your team that needs to get licensed call us at 888 768 5285.
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