Industry Insiders Reveal How to Attract Productive Agents to Your Brokerage
Before getting into what you need to do to recruit good
agents one must first look at the reasons for starting your own brokerage
business. Most people fall into one of these 3 categories:
They want to control their own destiny.
They got tired of paying their broker a lot of
money and getting nothing in return; and/or
To build a large brokerage and profit from it.
If your reasoning for staring your own brokerage falls under
1 or 2 you are in the business for the wrong reasons. Let’s take a deeper look
at why this is the case, by examining each of the categories.
Number 1 is wrong because there are many brokers that will
allow you to run your business however you please with very few restrictions
(exceptions being standard compliance and ethical issues) so it is just a
matter of finding one that will allow you the flexibility you want.
Number 2 is another mistake because the truth of the matter
is that in most cases it will cost you more money in the long run because you
not only pay rent but all other costs associated with space, hiring a
secretary, getting phone equipment, copiers, et. The reality is that it is
significantly cheaper to find a new broker. Most people that start their own
brokerage also want to recruit some “good agents” to offset some of their
operating costs. Unfortunately, most of the time new brokers are only able to
recruit a few agents most of which end up being unproductive. The reason is
simple. Your priorities are listing and selling real estate, recruiting is done
on the side when you have time and you have no recruiting plans in place nor do
you have the time to implement any. The results end up being very predictable,
there is very little to no growth.
Number 3 makes the most sense; in that you decide to start a
brokerage as a true business. Regardless of what your motivation was for going
into the brokerage business you now find yourself in it and should make the
best of it.
First off, recruiting cannot be a hit-and miss affair, it
has to be systematic, consistent and run for 12-month periods of time. So how
do you get started? First, create a message that you want to send out to
potential recruits. The message needs to have a compelling reason (multiple) for
someone to want more information. The best way to come up with this message is
to think from the agent’ perspective. What are they looking for? Money is
always a big motivator, but it does not necessarily mean a higher commission
split, it could mean more transactions. Always keep this mantra in mind, if you recruit on money, you will always
lose on money. In other words someone will always be cheaper than you.
After decades of recruiting and managing agents, I learned that unless you can
convince an agent that they will close more transactions and get more listings
with you they will not join you. Taking this into account you can create your
message. Although the message must be consistent, make sure that you update it
(by changing working for example) otherwise it will become stale.
There are many ways to deliver your message. The least
expensive method is via email blast; however, you should be aware that email
has a very low penetration rate (3% in many cases). Mail-outs to the agents’
homes are probably the most effective method (preferably postcards as they will
see the message immediately regardless of whether they throw it out or not).
Social media is the new and upcoming way of recruiting, but you will need a lot
of expertise on how to do it properly. Other options to consider are Craigslist
ads and of course telephone prospecting. Unless you have the expertise, it is
wise to hire a marketing company to create several email template designs
reflecting your message, as well as some postcards. Simply emailing written
messages is not enough of an attention-grabber; remember that people get
inundated with spam email. Another tip in regards to email is to make sure that
whatever you send is in the body of the email and not as an attachment.
Before starting your telephone recruiting, write yourself a
script and rehearse it. You should also be ready to overcome objections such as
“I am happy where I am” or “I have never heard of you” and “Why are you calling
me?” etc. From time to time you will get agents that bluntly ask you “What’s
your commission split?” Remember that agents are like consumers, if you give
them everything they want over the phone they would have no reason to meet with
If asked, your answer could be: “I have a great commission
structure (or several plans) that you are going to love, but more importantly I
want to share with you how I am going to help you grow your business!”
This is obviously just an example, you should adapt to the
situation and say what you think is appropriate, but you goal is to convince
them to come in for a face-to-face meeting.
Follow-up is crucial to a successful recruiting campaign.
Prepare several follow-up letters that you send to people you interviewed, met
at a board function, or even did a transaction with. You must have systems in
place to ensure these letters go out so that nothing falls through the cracks.
These letters must be followed up with phone calls. Another good practice is to
create 3 categories (or using a ranking system of your own) of the agents you
have spoken to; “A’s” the ones that are likely to make a move soon, these
require a weekly follow-up, “B’s” these are the ones that may make a move in
the next couple of months, these can be done every two weeks and “C’s” that can
be done monthly. This may seem like a daunting task, but if you have the right
systems in place it can be accomplished a lot easier than you think.
-Make sure your campaign is consistent
-Use various methods to get your message out.
-Be different; hire an expert to create a visual impression
of your message
-Set up systems and make sure they are running
-Write and rehearse your prospecting script
-Expect NO’s and be prepared to overcome objections.
-Monitor your campaign and make adjustments to get maximum
-Follow up! Follow up! Follow up!
-Don’t get discourage and stick to your plan
-Remember, building a business can be tough but with the
right strategies and systems in place, it is possible.