For some brokerages, real estate agent recruitment is an ongoing program. Some are hoping to find the best and brightest while some (sadly) just want more bodies who will perhaps bring business from friends and family.
Some brokerages only recruit seasoned agents with a good track record. Others prefer new agents who haven’t developed any bad habits. Some will welcome everyone.
If you’re a new agent or if you’re an experienced agent who is unsatisfied where you are, what real estate agent recruitment methods will attract you?
As far as I can see, there are 5 issues:
- Money – as in commission splits and expenses the brokerage might or might not pay on your behalf.
- Services provided
- Training – both training/mentoring for new agents and ongoing training for established agents
- Lead sharing
Many agents focus on the money when choosing a brokerage.
For some, the first question is “What is the commission split?” In 100% commission brokerages, the next question is “What is the desk fee?”
Some brokerages pay for things like printing, cards, copies, branded marketing materials, E&O Insurance, yard signs, handout items, lock boxes, franchise fees, etc. In addition, they provide services that agents would otherwise need to purchase.
Don’t be too easily swayed by 100% commission, especially if you’re new. When you’re getting started, you’ll have expenses. In fact, plenty of money will go out before any begins coming back in. Those expenses plus a desk fee really add up.
And – remember that the money you will earn and keep will be in part determined by the other parts of the package.
Services provided can be a big draw in real estate agent recruitment.
Among services provided by some companies are professional photography, assistance with marketing, a transaction coordinator, etc.
Some also provide an agent website and a CRM system. These, by the way, are two items that I always discourage agents from using. Should you decide to change brokerages, your website, your contacts, and even your company-provided email address would go away. Read more about why this is important.
Training is an important issue for new agents who realize they still have a lot to learn.
When it is provided, it’s a huge benefit to new agents. Sadly, some brokerages promise the training and don’t deliver. Theirs are the agents we see on Active Rain or Facebook asking others about how to choose a better agency. They want to move, but since changing brokerages IS a big deal, they want to choose correctly the next time around.
Along with training, most new agents want someone to turn to when they aren’t sure what to do. Since new situations cone up all the time, even established agents appreciate having someone who is “there for them.” Brokerages that provide that support are likely to retain agents better than those who don’t.
Some of the larger brokerages bring in speakers and/or have round table discussions to address new issues as they arise. Both new and established agents are welcome to participate. Some provide mentoring (with commission sharing) to new agents.
Lead sharing can be a big draw in real estate agent recruitment.
Whether the company hires telephone solicitors to gather new leads, uses mass marketing, or pays for a lead program, having leads delivered attracts some agents. And of course, some are drawn by a promise that is not fulfilled.
Atmosphere may be the most important reason why agents seek new brokerages.
While a few wise people do mention atmosphere in their real estate agent recruitment messages, it’s not usually the focus. And yet, it is one thing that affects everyone in an office every day.
Some brokerages are warm and welcoming. Some agents go out of their way to assist each other. Some brokers and office managers are always ready to offer a bit of advice or encouragement.
Some are just the opposite.
I hear a lot of stories about brokers who play favorites when handing out leads, agents who behave like members of high-school cliques to shut out newcomers, phone messages that aren’t delivered, etc. Some agents are afraid to speak a potential client’s name for fear that another agent will attempt to steal them. Sad to say, there can be a lot of back-stabbing in the real estate industry.
So what is an agent to do?
Moving once you’ve joined an agency is a lot of work. Therefore, my best advice is to take your time in choosing your first brokerage or a new brokerage. You may change your mind later, because things change. The agency could be sold. The management could change. The atmosphere could change.
Things happen, but you don’t want to be looking for a different brokerage just a few months down the road because you got in a hurry now.
To begin: Read what they offer. If that sounds good, meet with the broker or office manager and ask questions. Write your questions out ahead of time so you don’t forget anything. You may be eager to find a home for your license, so you put your best foot forward as you would in a job interview.
But remember, you are also interviewing them.
You need to be as sure as possible that the brokerage is a good fit for you.
If that meeting goes well, talk with a few of the agents who already work there. Ask them about each of the benefits outlined in their real estate agent recruitment literature. Find out if promises are kept.
Then pay attention to how they respond as well as to what they say. Are they warm and welcoming? Will they take time to talk with you? Do you feel that they’ll be glad to have you join them?
Some may not want to talk in the office, so check the agent roster, then call one or two and offer to take them to lunch.
My thanks to Robert Howell of Spot Real Estate for suggesting this week’s topic. He’s very happy with the choice he made!
By the way… If you have a suggestion, please do share it with me!
AND… If you have something to add to this analysis of real estate agent recruitment, please share that in the comments.
Hand holding money Image courtesy of jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Support signs courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net