Recruiting amazing agents and staff is a universal need for real estate brokers and team leaders. We all know how to post to the online job boards and get average results. But if we want to find “amazing,” we have to get creative.
With the right approach, unusual places can provide you with a pool of highly motivated and skilled talent — individuals who can take your business to new heights. Over my 25+ years in real estate leadership, I’ve found a dozen often-overlooked places to find hidden talent.
Community colleges frequently offer an Intro to Real Estate course. These programs often are looking for a guest lecturer. One hour a semester can open doors to some amazing individuals. It allows you to skim the top of the cream of the crop before your competitors even know they exist.
Professional networking sites
Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn can be super valuable. LinkedIn is going through a rebirth. This is a great resource for connecting with your competitors’ agents and staff. Past that, you can also search for people with specific skills and experience.
Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Both real estate agents and potential support staff are spending tons of time on them. Most of the industry training revolves around content creation and posting schedules. I have found when recruiting, being the one who comments on posts is far more effective. Look for those who fit your culture and reach out.
I’d be remiss if I left out remote staff. Virtual assistants can handle administrative, marketing and computer-based tasks. They are a fraction of the cost based on US standards. VAs can support real estate agents and management in their day-to-day operations. If you need some recommendations, feel free to contact me.
I was on a cruise last year and found myself talking to the ship’s doctor. She was a trauma surgeon in the Philippines in her prior job. I found out that our VA, who makes $7 an hour, makes the same as she did as a trauma surgeon. The point is, you can tap the top of the talent pool in another country for less than half of an entry-level wage here.
Homeschooled students have flexible schedules and are self-directed. They tend to be far more comfortable with interacting with adults than their peers. Homeschooled kids are often highly motivated and have strong interpersonal skills. Plus doing some intern work can usually be leveraged toward educational credits.
I have also found students on the cross-country team make great interns. They are comfortable being alone and have the self-discipline to keep going when others aren’t watching. These kids tend to make great interns, as well.
Stay-at-home parents can make great real estate agents and support staff. Parenthood requires strong organizational and multitasking skills. Little people’s lives count on it.
They tend to be way overqualified, but if you are willing to work around the kids’ school schedules, they are great and loyal.
Retired seniors are another pool of people who tend to be overqualified. Like stay-at-home parents, they often are choosing to work for some “side money.” They have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, making them a valuable asset.
Gyms and fitness centers can be a great place to find potential real estate agents and support staff. These individuals are motivated. Grit is the single most important factor in a successful real estate agent. If someone has the discipline to go to the gym every day, they can usually translate that into real estate.
I’ve had many friends over the years who retired after 20 years of military service. Each one of them had strong leadership skills and a commitment to serving. They also follow directions.
So many vets get out and struggle to find a place in the civilian space. They were rockstars in a universe they understood. Then they find themselves wandering a bit aimlessly as they try to orient to a world that operates on a different set of rules. Teach them the lingo. Provide them step-by-step instructions. They will find that inner rockstar again and will be loyal to you for helping them do it.
Retail employees often have strong customer service skills. A commitment to providing excellent service should be core for both potential agents and staff. They also don’t get paid much. Retail is a great place to poach hidden talent.
Nurses disproportionally make great real estate agents. They often have strong communication skills and a commitment to serving their communities. I have also found they are wired to go above and beyond for their clients. They aren’t afraid of hard work and are used to doing the unglamorous side of medicine. Real estate by comparison is easy and pays way better.
There are many teachers who have become disillusioned with the system they work in. Very few real estate agents grew up wanting to be a Realtor. Most of them come from other industries after finding the work, pay and quality of life were out of balance. Teachers are patient. They know how to command a room of kids with short attention spans. They also tend to make really good agents and mentors.
Good talent is out there. While everyone is trying to fish in the same competitive arenas like Indeed, choose to look elsewhere. By taking a different approach you can find amazing talent. They are local, ready and in your budget. They are also happy to help you take your business to the next level.
Chris Pollinger, founder and managing partner of RE Luxe Leaders, is the profit whisperer to the leadership elite in the business of luxury real estate. He is a national speaker, consultant and leadership coach. Learn more about his broker, manager and team leader growth programs at RELuxeLeaders.com