Our new agents certainly appreciate our robust lead generation systems, desk space and training. But what sealed the deal for each of them might be unexpected. Here is what they said sealed the deal.

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  • High-pressure recruitment tactics don’t work as well as just genuinely being awesome.
  • Authenticity matters to agents who are looking for brokerages.
  • The three reasons that made agents want to be part of this brokerage.

This year, our goal is to grow our team of full-time sales agents by five times. This type of explosive growth, even for a boutique brokerage, requires recruitment.

Naturally, I dove into every webinar, training program, book and blog on recruiting agents that I could find. I certainly found out what I did not want to do: high-pressured coffee chats, aggressive “pop-bys” to open houses, overly zealous direct mail and trainings that were thin covers for a recruitment pitch.

Over time, our recruitment efforts turned toward an inbound marketing model. The goal has always been to draw agents in with our culture, creative marketing and compensation model.

What we did not realize was that while we were busy building these things (and blogging and sharing them), people were taking notice.

Agents started coming to us because they were attracted to what we were doing in our market — because they trusted us.

Building trust like this is no easy task, and certainly does not happen overnight, but we are already halfway to our goal and working toward a more complete “inbound recruiting” strategy.

Our new agents certainly appreciate our robust lead generation systems, desk space and training. But what sealed the deal for each of them might be unexpected. Here is what they said sealed the deal:

1. Celebration and care

The way we treat our team and how well we celebrate and care for them is a big factor in our recruitment.

Birthdays, first days, closings — we are all about cheering for our teammates. We have also made it a point to spend time with our agents and their families.

We all want to know each other’s spouses and children — pets, too. Our environment is warm and collaborative, and there is evidence of that all around.

The cool thing about genuinely caring for your team is that it is knockoff-resistant and sets the tone — for everything.

2. Our manifesto

Two agents said they could specifically pinpoint the moment they knew they wanted to join us as when they read the company manifesto.

By making it crystal clear what we believe about real estate and life, we’ve attracted people who want to walk the same path. We believe that your values should lead to your actions. Live your values. Light attracts light.

3. Creative marketing and brand

They noticed that our brand “stood out” among the competition, with its black-and-white colors and hip perception. They wanted to attach their names to a brand that was custom and special.

Our marketing efforts mirror this. Each decision we make online and in print is with great thoughtfulness. You won’t find a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing our listings, agents or company. It’s all about creativity and customization.

What if you create a place that is so special and remarkable that agents want to come to you? Your company should be a talent magnet that attracts great agents instead of chasing them.

This is the recruitment model we’re building. We’d love to hear how you’ve created a similar inbound recruitment culture at your brokerage.

What are your best practices? Please share in the comments section below.

Stephanie Lanier is the founder and CEO​ of Lanier Property Group, a boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Email Stephanie Lanier.

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