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Whether you look at the data or listen to the latest anecdotes about real estate professionals, they both say the same thing: It’s not easy to make it in the real estate industry! So many new agents won’t make it out of the gate.
This career path comes with a lot of risks and uncertainty. You are essentially unemployed until a customer decides to hire you. You don’t know when you’ll land your next client. And often, whether or not the deal closes is out of your control. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.
But for those who have the drive and resilience to persevere, it’s a gratifying career path. It’s challenging and exciting, with a great mix of client interaction, cutting-edge technology, sales and deal negotiation.
With the odds stacked against agents, how do brokerage owners and team leaders find talent who will be able to stay the course and succeed?
Lead generate for talent
Let’s be clear here. Almost anyone can get a real estate license. But not every individual with a real estate license will have what it takes to succeed long-term. Just like you did when you were in real estate production, you have to set aside a certain number of hours a day to lead generate for talent. Finding agents — the right agents — for your team or brokerage takes time.
You have to make a lot of phone calls, set many a coffee meeting, reach out to a lot of people on social media, and “pre-screen” people at networking events to just find one agent who truly has what it takes to succeed. It’s a numbers game, and if you understand the rules and do the work, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right agents for your team.
Follow a process
Once you’ve had the initial phone call or quick meeting, it’s time to get to know your recruit. Having an established and proven hiring process will save you time and increase the likelihood of bringing the right agent onto your team.
With 1099 hires, I recommend framing all of your conversations in a career consultation format. These meetings are just as much for your recruits as they are for you.
A career consultation might include things like:
- Discussing long-term goals
- Income and financial review
- Analyzing their current business and schedule
- Mapping out a proforma to show them how to hit their goals
- Verifying a behavior or personality assessment
- Understanding what motivates them
- Sharing how your brokerage or team may be the solution for them.
Or, it may not be, and that is OK, too. The more you can stay neutral in these career consultations and genuinely hold space for the recruit, it will help you both determine if you are the right fit.
Bottom line: Have a process you follow to get to know a recruit. A simple process might looks like this:
- Screening call or interview
- Career consultation
- Follow-up with behavior/personality assessment or additional information
- Share your team/brokerage’s value proposition
- Group or team interview/references
Determine what motivates them
Determining the why is a crucial part of the recruiting process that you should do during the career consultation. We know that money is likely a motivating factor for real estate agents. But that’s at the very basic level. Dig deeper with them. Ask questions and listen between the lines:
- Why do they have a specific income goal?
- What do they plan to do with it?
- How motivated are they to hit that number, and how quickly?
- What will they do once they hit it?
- Who (if anyone) are they planning on sharing their success with?
- How long have they been willing to fail in the past before they succeed (get examples!)?
It’s less about what motivates them (could be money, family, time, freedom, passive income, prestige, leadership opportunities, community engagement, etc.) and more about you knowing what it is. Will their motivations help them hit their goals, and do their goals help you as a brokerage or team hit yours? They all work together.
Look for the intangibles
If they have previous sales or sales management experience, excellent! If they have been at a brokerage before but are looking for a different opportunity, great! If they have led their former real estate team in sales year or year for five years, fabulous!
Prior experience and a track record for success are essential parts of the recruiting process. But if you really want to know if the agents you are meeting with will succeed, look for the things that you can’t necessarily put on a resume (and ask for specific examples of where these qualities have shown up in their life previously):
- Not afraid of rejection
- Strong work ethic
- Growth-minded and learning-based
- Will follow a model
- Time management skills
- Sense of urgency
- Goes after goals, no matter what it takes
Bonus: Have a robust onboarding and coaching program
If you’ve gone through this time-intensive process of finding and hiring agents who have hustle and drive and are committed to succeeding, then you surely want to keep them on your team!
The best way to do this is by having a comprehensive onboarding system coupled with robust coaching and training that will get your agents into production (or help those already in production make a smooth transition) as quickly as possible.
If you find agents with the right raw ingredients mentioned above, then you can provide the rest (leads, systems, technology, coaching, training, marketing and more).
With their resilience, drive and self-motivation, they already have what it takes to succeed in real estate. With your team’s platform of services, they will be in the business for the long haul. And everyone wins.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies