It seems to be starting early this year. No I’m not talking about the Christmas season. I’m talking about agent recruiting, which I usually associate with the holidays. 

  • Agent recruitment has been a learning experience, and someday I might be able to recruit agents.

It seems to be starting early this year. No I’m not talking about the Christmas season. I’m talking about agent recruiting, which I usually associate with the holidays.

Barely November and recruiters are sending emails and calling too. It doesn’t seem to matter that I own my own real estate company. Maybe they are using predictive analytics, and I am due for a change.

The people who call me like to ask me if I want to make more money and if I would like to have more business. I am supposed to say yes, and then they will buy me coffee and tell me why I am making a big mistake by not joining them.

Yesterday, I took the time to do a little research on the companies that are doing the most recruiting and email-dripping. It was challenging because it is hard to tell them apart. They make the same offers and claims to woo perspective agents.

They all offer better commission splits or even “the best” commission splits. It used to be a kind of shell game where they offered better splits but added some fees. Now they offer better splits and lower fees and emphasize the point with phrases like “honestly” or “no kidding.”

I would have to start a spreadsheet with an itemized list of expenses and do some comparisons to see which company is the cheapest, but that would be the worst way to choose a brokerage.

The competition to be the broker with the most favorable commission splits for the agents is a race to the bottom.

Shouldn’t a broker do more than just cut checks?

Some companies offer profit-sharing and bonuses. I have never really understood profit sharing. How can profits be shared? Once they leave the real estate company’s bank account and go to the agents, can they still be called profits?

Real estate companies offer free business cards and for sale signs. Some offer an iPad as a signing bonus.

Most, if not all, of the real estate companies claim to offer the best technology around, or they use terms like “cutting edge.” They offer their agents proprietary software; they don’t give many details about what it is or what it does. I doubt they’d they let agents test it before joining.

I am skeptical that it’s “cutting edge,” or agents would be talking about it. It might be an inferior technology with a pretty company logo and company colors on it that agents pay extra for.

It could be systems that are designed to capture information from agents so that the real estate company has an easier time with bookkeeping and accounting functions.

It would be fun to be able to test the technology offered by real estate companies and do some comparisons and see which companies really do offer “cutting edge” technology.

No. 1 tools, world-class training, family work environment

My favorite is all the brokerages that offer agent training. Not only do they offer training, but they all offer “the best” training in the industry. They may believe that they really do, and it would be hard to prove that they don’t.

Companies promise agents leads as a recruiting tool, and they get leads from their “amazing,” “world-class” website that is “the best” in the industry and pass them right along to the agents.

Those same websites are “no. 1,” and the agents reportedly leverage them to generate listings. It is impossible for so many companies to have the no. 1 website. Math doesn’t work that way, and neither does the internet.

There is only one no. 1, and no one can change that fact.

I can’t leave out the part about the “unbelievable” work environment that the brokerage offices have to offer. These days offices that look like warehouses, bars or coffee shops are popular.

A nice office is important to some, but a new office isn’t the same as a new business model.

Some companies invite agents to become part of their family.

That’s something I’m just not into. I already have a family, and they are a lot of work and expensive too. More family would probably kill me at this point.

In fact, working should be a way to avoid family if at all possible.

A terrible recruiter

I’ll admit I am not good at recruiting. I’ve even been fortunate that my recruiting efforts failed, and some agents rejected my advances.

People call me while they are working on getting a real estate license or while they are still deciding if they should. Instead of recruiting them, I usually end up talking them out of getting licensed.

The people who call me seem to be getting licensed for all the wrong reasons, or they just want to try it out. Instead of doing the right thing and inviting them to come work with me, I end up scaring them away with my bluntness.

Trying to recruit me is a waste of time for the recruiter — but not a waste of time for me. It has been a learning experience, and who knows, someday I might be able to recruit agents.

I won’t be able to use my family as a recruiting tool, but it wouldn’t be hard to offer the best training in the industry.

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.

Email Teresa Boardman

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