- Know the game you’re playing. Your ability to be a good agent is irrelevant to your success as an entrepreneur.
- As a team leader, your job is to create more leaders and provide value for your agents.
- A full-time recruiter might be the last key hire that allows you to exit your business.
Many mega agents and team leaders struggle to keep their pipeline filled with potential agents. Others find good agents and then struggle to retain them. In this special mastermind hangout, mega agents Josh Smith and Jeff Cohn share their best strategies and recruiting systems as well as tips for retention.
Smith is one of the top 30 real estate agents in the country (WSJ), founder and owner of Revisto Real Estate Group in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Cohn is the founder of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group, Nebraska’s No. 1 selling team, which recently finished in the top 10 for Berkshire Hathaway worldwide.
Elite Real Estate Systems Hangout
Hosts Matt Johnson and Jeff Cohn with guest Joshua Smith
We started with Cohn’s and Smith’s backgrounds, where they started and what their teams look like right now. Smith’s team has about 60 agents including both part-time and full-time agents; Cohn’s team is around 30 agents, and they’re constantly bringing on new people.
Smith shared some key mindset shifts that will help you make the transition to team leader. The first is to know the game you’re playing.
“Our ultimate job as the CEO is to make sure we know the game, and then ask, ‘How can we afford to get the right people in the right seats?'” – Joshua Smith
As a team leader, your game is to recruit agents, onboard them, lead them and get them producing.
“My job is to create other leaders, and when I’ve done my job, it means they’re going off and creating their own teams,” Smith explained. “The reality is — you are a stepping stone as a team leader. So you can’t have resistance to it. You have to accept that and honor that.”
Smith then broke down some of the stats for his team. Each agent averages 1.8 transactions a month; it takes him 90 days to get them to that production level, and his agents stay with him for an average of 24 months.
The challenge is how quickly can you get agents producing, how can you recruit more agents than are leaving and how can you make sure your team isn’t in a vulnerable position when they leave.
Smith also shared that hiring a full-time recruiter was his last key hire, something Cohn is considering as well. Smith’s role in recruiting involves local speaking events, videos and email blasts to 40,000 local agents.
Cohn then shared one of the key mindset shifts that helped him go from losing almost all his initial buyer agents to retaining all his best agents over the past few years.
“The disconnect for me my first year of trying to run a team was that my focus wasn’t on providing value for the agents … There’s two businesses there; No. 1 is the agent-focused business, No. 2 is the client-focused business.”
Then we dive deep into the recruiting process, including how Smith’s team uses a separate recruiting contact relationship management (CRM) to send customized 20-page business plans to all agents in the area, follow up with phone calls and set appointments — all tracked through the software.
Cohn also shared his approach, including how they use the recruiting process itself as part of the interview.
We finished by discussing some high-level concepts such as sellability, team branding and teams within their teams, including how the splits work and how this helps them retain their best agents.
Smith explained his approach, “I want to create something that I can do because of volume but they could never duplicate that profit margin on their own.”
Remember that your real estate business is two businesses — providing value to your agents and providing value to your clients. The more value you provide your agents, the easier it will be to build a predictable recruiting system while retaining your best agents.
In addition to being a top agent, Josh Smith also founded GSD Mode, which includes his own interview podcast with top agents and entrepreneurs, live webinars and a clothing line.
Cohn is also the president of Elite Real Estate Systems, which offers one-day team building workshops and a team building partnership system.
Matt Johnson is the CEO of Pursuing Results, a podcast production and PR firm, as well as co-host of real estate podcasts and video series such as Real Estate Uncensored and Elite Real Estate Systems Hangout.