Hiring? 10 tips for finding (and fostering) the best recruits

What brokers need to consider when recruiting, vetting and hiring new real estate agents

Real estate agencies are going to succeed or fail based on the work of their top real estate agents, so what steps should they take to make sure they’re hiring the right recruits?

It’s hard to predict an agent’s performance based solely on their resume and behavior in interviews, but there are some proactive steps you can take to ensure you get the best possible candidates on your team. 

7 key steps to take when hiring new real estate agents 

Make sure you’re following these steps at a minimum when looking for new recruits:

1. Use the right recruiting platform 

You’re likely going to rely on some kind of recruiting and hiring platform to help you find and hire the right candidates for your agency, so make sure you’ve chosen that platform carefully.

Brokerkit, for example, is made with real estate brokers in mind, with dozens of built-in tools and features to help you discover, track, message and eventually bring on the best agents in the industry.

When you’re using a platform that’s custom-made for your business, with an easy-to-understand interface, the hiring process gets easier, more approachable and faster. 

2. Market and advertise your open positions

Whenever a new position within your agency opens, invest the money into marketing and advertising that position. You can list it on job posting websites, on social media or even in search engines.

When you do this, make sure you experiment with different images, headlines and copy so you can see which tactics are working best for your target demographics. 

3. Get referrals

According to a survey that Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group and author of Hire with your head and The essential guide for hiring & getting hired, wrote about on LinkedInas many as 85 percent of new jobs are now filled via networking and referrals — and for good reason.

Getting random new applicants from the internet is a good way to secure a high volume of potential candidates, but you might have a hard time filtering out the real contenders.

Opting to consider more candidates from referrals will help you ensure that all inbound candidates are worth your consideration — especially if you’re getting referrals from people within your organization whom you already trust. 

4. Consider experience, but not exclusively

When you find new candidates, you’ll obviously want to look at how much experience they’ve had. Several years in the real estate industry will be a telltale sign of a capable candidate.

However, don’t use this as the exclusive predictor of success in the role; experienced candidates tend to be more expensive and might still make lots of mistakes or might not work as hard as someone new. Remember, it’s only one of several important variables. 

5. Look at personal brands

When evaluating a new candidate from a resume, make sure you also take the time to analyze their personal brand.

  • Are they on social media?
  • What kind of reputation do they have?
  • How could this personal brand grow with your agency?

6. Ensure a good culture fit

Don’t neglect the importance of culture fit. Is your agency highly competitive, with driven employees who want to achieve as much as possible?

If so, you’ll need to be looking for ambitious, spirited recruits. Are you more focused on teamwork, collaboration and employee contentment? If so, a low-key team player might be a better fit. 

7. Get competitive

The hiring field for real estate agents can get competitive, so make sure you’re bringing your A game.

Make compelling offers to agents who seem like the best in their fields, and see if you can figure out what tactics other agencies are using to attract top talent. 

3 ways to improve the team post-hire

Once you’ve hired some exceptional team members, there are some steps you can take to improve their talents even further:

1. Pair mentors with newcomers

You’re probably going to hire a mix of experienced and inexperienced employees, so make the most of these combinations.

Pair experienced employees with inexperienced ones as a kind of in-house mentorship program; your top candidates will get some extra assistance, and your newbies will learn the ropes much faster.  

2. Invest in ongoing education

Agents are increasingly demanding ongoing education, and more agent education can only be a good thing for your brokerage.

Help your agents find seminars, workshops and other learning opportunities that can help them close more deals, add more value to your organization and feel better about their careers. 

3. Create incentive programs

Every real estate agency should have several incentive programs to encourage better performance from their candidates. Get creative, and find new ways to show your appreciation for your top performers. 

Your team might never be perfect, but with the combination of smarter hiring practices and better support, you should have a group of recruits more than capable of helping your agency achieve its goals. Put these strategies into practice so you can start reaping the benefits sooner. 

How do you stay ahead in a changing market? Inman Connect Las Vegas — Featuring 250+ experts from across the industry sharing insight and tactics to navigate threat and seize opportunity in tomorrow’s real estate. Join over 4,000 top producers, brokers and industry leaders to network and discover what’s next, July 23-26 at the Aria Resort. Hurry! Tickets are going fast, register today!

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.

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Larry Alton is the CEO of Alton Enterprises in Olympia, Washington. Follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.