Real estate agencies often struggle to recruit top talent for their organizations, but the talent is what separates the best firms from the rest. Learning to identify and address the top challenges for real estate recruitment in your agency is the first step in beating the competition.
Common Challenges for Real Estate Recruitment
Let’s start by looking at some of the most common challenges for real estate recruiting:
- Agent discovery. Finding talented agents worth hiring is a major obstacle, and the first one most agencies face. You’ll need some sort of platform to find new candidates, keep track of all their information, and evaluate them based on what they could offer your agency. Most agencies attempt to address this by choosing better marketing channels or using a better recruitment platform.
- Timing and replacement. Agencies function most efficiently when they always have a full team of available agents. But what happens when an agent quits? Most agencies scramble to find a replacement as quickly as possible, which is not the ideal approach to real estate agent recruitment. Even with ample time, timing new hires can be difficult.
- Differentiation. There are thousands of real estate agencies, brokers and real estate recruitment agencies out there, and many of them will be in direct competition with you to find and recruit the best talent in the industry. If you don’t have a way to stand out from the crowd, candidates won’t have a reason to choose you over your competitors.
- Hours spent. You might have a solid process for recruiting new real estate agents, but how long does it take for you to go through the motions? If you spend too many hours on real estate recruiting, the end result won’t be cost-efficient.
- Retention. You may be able to hire talented agents, but can you keep them around? The cost or hiring and onboarding new agents is high, so you’re much better off keeping the ones you have instead of always being on the lookout for new ones.
7 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Recruitment
Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you overcome these challenges, and be more successful in recruiting and retaining great agents.
- Always keep recruiting. One of the biggest challenges for real estate recruiters is scrambling at the last minute to find a replacement for an agent who has left. You can easily compensate for this problem by adopting an always-recruiting approach. The basic idea is to always keep an eye out for new and promising agents, keeping them in various stages of the recruiting process until you’re ready to fully hire them. It can be a little difficult to juggle many leads, but with the right platform, you can manage an enormous pipeline with relative ease.
- Incentivize referrals. Across many industries, employee referrals remain the most popular source for hiring—and for good reason. Roughly 72 percent of interviews and 65 percent of external hires come as a result of referrals by employees. Referrals are easy to get, requiring no investment in advertising, and tend to produce higher-quality candidates, since your employees will serve as a kind of the first-layer screen.
- Focus on your culture. It’s tough to differentiate your agency from others because the nature of the work is often the same, and your pay is likely competitive. You can’t offer much more money without jeopardizing your profitability, and you may not have wiggle room to change agent responsibilities. You can distinguish yourself by focusing on your workplace culture, however. What is it that makes your brokerage or agency different from those of your competitors? What kind of atmosphere can agents expect?
- Break the formula. Try experimenting with approaches that break the mold of traditional real estate agent recruitment strategies. If you rely on a basic script or a template for your job description, you’re going to look like every other agency out there, and you aren’t going to attract the attention of top talent. Tinker with the headlines of your job ads, your placement strategy, and other variables to see if you can get better results.
- Choose your marketing channels wisely. There are many marketing and advertising channels you could use for your recruiting, including inbound, outbound and real estate recruitment agencies. Consider these options carefully; you may be tempted to blast your job openings on as many channels as possible, but it’s usually better to focus on quality rather than quantity. Evaluate your advertising sources based on cost, effectiveness, and appeal to your target demographics and favor channels with the best all-around benefits.
- Keep tabs on employee satisfaction. Your recruitment strategy won’t mean much if you have a high turnover rate. The best real estate agent recruitment strategies also pay attention to long-term employee satisfaction. How easy is it for your agents to integrate into your workplace culture? How happy are they with their position? How can you improve workplace conditions in the future? It’s almost always cheaper to keep a talented agent than to try and find a new one, so it should be your top priority.
- Get Brokerkit. Everything gets easier when you have the right tools to improve your productivity (and your results). One of the best tools available for real estate recruitment is Brokerkit, an intuitive recruiting platform designed for real estate brokers and teams. With it, you can keep track of every lead, manage your follow-ups, coordinate with your fellow recruiters, and onboard your new agents in a streamlined, easy-to-learn process. Brokerkit has been used to help agencies recruit more than 200 new agents in a single year, and is adding new clients all the time. Sign up here for free Brokerkit demo to learn more about how it can help you grow your team.
- Bonus tip – Recruit agents with different experience levels. Casting the net wide is a good strategy for recruiting real estate agents and real estate recruitment agencies. You certainly want to go after heavy hitters, but so will every other firm in town. It will also take longer to convince a top producer to switch firms. Targeting new agents and those who are consistent performers, even though they may not be in tip top tier, is a strategy that will bear fruit. It’s important to recognize agents who just got their licenses vs ones that have been selling homes for 30 years will probably care about different things when considering where to work. You will need to vary your approach depending on an agent’s experience level. Experienced agents may be more focused on the technology and marketing tools you can offer them. New millennial agents may care more about a place they can grow and whether or not you have fun company outings.
- Bonus tip – Invest in a mentor/buddy program. Real estate is a tough business. Assigning new agents a mentor will go along way in keeping them at your firm. Experienced agents do not need the same kind of help but it’s beneficial to assign them a buddy. Everyone appreciates a friendly face at team meetings and someone they can call with questions.
- Bonus tip – Measure your real estate recruitment results. Any smart agent measures her results. Whether it’s marketing campaigns to prospective sellers or following up with potential buyers. Recruiting real estate agents is no different. You need to be able to identify whether or not what you are doing is working. If it’s not yielding results you need to shift gears.
- Bonus tip – Make it about more than money. Compensation will come up, but it should only be one factor of the equation. It’s important for many people to work somewhere that has values similar to their own. A cultural fit is also critical for both parties. Leading your real estate recruitment efforts with a conversation on commission splits is more than likely a losing strategy.
- Bonus tip – Try a happy hour. It’s easy to get lost in the daily business of winning clients and closing transactions. You need to be deliberate about your real estate agent recruitment and take it just as seriously. Hosting a quarterly or monthly recruiting happy hour keeps it on everyone’s radar as an important activity. It also provides an opportunity to socialize with prospective recruits outside the office.
Recruiting Real Estate Agent Scripts
In order to be as effective as possible to recruit real estate agents, you need good recruiting real estate agent scripts and campaigns. However, one size does not fit all and the same script will not work for every agent. It’s important to differentiate based on whether the agent is #1 In Real Estate School, #2 Newly Licensed, #3 Experienced or you recruiting at a #4 Charitable/Community Event. Below are examples of each type of recruiting real estate agent scripts.
Everyone’s market, agent population, and competition are different. Just like there’s no one campaign that resonates with every agent, there’s no one campaign idea that works in every market, so use these as a jumping-off point. Add your own language and adjust them to fit your prospects.
All of these campaigns are fairly short and meant to be delivered within 10 to 14 days. You can stretch a campaign out to cover a longer span, but that isn’t always necessary. If someone isn’t responding to your approach, the answer isn’t to keep them on a multi-month campaign that hammers the same point. Rather, you should have several short campaigns built where you can change up your angle of attack as needed and see what connects.
- Step 1 – Text – “Hey FirstName, I heard you were getting into real estate. Congrats! Do you need any study guides or help with test prep? – MyName with XYZ Realty”
- Step 2 – Email – Flier celebrating a recent recruit for landing a deal shortly after joining. Use the contract date rather than the closing date to make it seem more impressive, and include the property and price point only if it’s noteworthy.
- Step 3 – Email – Flier for your career night with a title like “Starting At Success: How to avoid the most common pitfalls when starting your career in real estate.” with an Eventbrite link leading to registration.
- Step 4 – Text – “Hey FirstName, we’re hosting a career night on what to expect and plan for when you’re first getting into real estate next week. Think you can make it?”
Most people don’t delete texts, so unless your marketing rules require it, there’s no need to include your name and brokerage on second and third texts. Doing so looks odd and overly formal, and we want the prospect to see you as a friend and resource.
This campaign assumes you have something of value to give a prospect who’s in or thinking about school and real estate recruitment. If it all possible, make it something they have to physically come in and pick up – not something you can email. This also assumes you have some sort of regular, weekly prospecting evert – adjust according to your needs.
Whenever possible, use Eventbrite or a similar service to schedule your career nights. This way, your campaigns are always up to date, and prospects have the option of signing up for future sessions if they aren’t immediately available.
Newly Licensed and First Year Agents
- Step 1 – Text – “Hey FirstName, congrats on getting your license! How have things been going so far? – YourName with XYZ Realty”
- Step 2 – Email – Flier celebrating a recent recruit for landing a deal shortly after completing training. Use the contract date rather than the closing date to make it seem more impressive, and include the property/price point if it’s noteworthy.
- Step 3 – Email – Flier for your career night with a title like “Hit the Ground Running: How to land your first deal in 30 days or less” with an Eventbrite link leading to registration.
- Step 4 – Text – “Hey FirstName, are you free to grab coffee next week? I’d love to sit down and share what’s working for a lot of our agents.”
Almost a carbon-copy of the last campaign, but instead of focusing on “how am I going to pass” we’re targeting “when am I going to get paid?” You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel – small changes to existing marketing materials can provide an entirely different angle for real estate recruitment.
- Step 1 – Text – “Hey FirstName – YourName with XYZ Realty. I was going over production and it looks like you had a great 2018. Are you on pace to beat that this year?”
- Step 2 – Email – Flier celebrating a top producer in your office who managed to increase their production/total listings/team size by X% over last year. Use whichever figures are most impressive.
- Step 3 – Email – Flier for a seminar on “Reaching the Next Level: How to break out of your sales rut and achieve more” hosted by you or a top agent in your office, aimed at bringing over already producing agents. Run those sort of meeting periodically and include an Eventbrite link.
- Step 4 – Text – “Hey FirstName – can I ask a favor? We put a lot of effort into making sure our agents have what they need to win, and I’d love some outside perspective on any challenges you might be facing. Is there anything you feel is slowing your down that a brokerage could help more with?”
- Step 5 – Email – Short flier advertising one of your top agents with a testimonial of why they like your office and how it’s helped them achieve more.
Experienced agents know the score – they expect to be recruited and often won’t respond if they’re happy where they are. However, getting them to open up about what they want from their brokerage – coaching, transaction support, tools to build their own team, etc – lays out the problem you need to solve to win them over.
Never be negative about where they are currently, and never assume you know their motivations. Most will want more money, certainly, but plenty will want to increase their average price point or grow a team so they don’t have to work as many deals and have a better work/life balance. Everyone’s why is different, and each one gives you a different opportunity to sign them.
Charitable/Community Event Campaign
- Step 1 – Text – “Hey FirstName – YourName with XYZ Realty. We’re collecting canned goods for the local food bank. Just wondering, do you have anything you’d be willing to donate?”
- Step 2 – Email – Send a flier announcing the food drive. Use local charity logos and pictures of your team if you have them, and include your address and number to “schedule” donations.
- Step 3 – Text – “Hey FirstName – just wanted to shoot you an update. We’re up to 150lbs of canned food. It’s been great seeing all the agents come together over this to really help our community.”
- Step 4 – Bulk Email – Tag everyone who donated and send them a Bulk Email. Use photos of your team with the total donation or at the drop-off, and thank them for their contribution. Follow up with a thank-you call and transition into business and recruiting.
You’ll have to fudge the numbers in Text #2 since you’re writing it in advance, so pick something that’s impressive yet possible – 50 coats, 30 volunteers, 150lbs of canned food, or whatever seems reasonable given your number of agents and the task at hand.
New agents can bring their donations in and see the office. If you’re asking for food or clothing donations from a more experienced agent, offer to meet them somewhere and buy them coffee for their trouble. Either way is an easy transition into an informal appointment.
This sort of campaign works around anything – food and coat drives, Habitat for Humanity builds and local park builds, litter cleanup and community rehab. Aside from the direct and obvious good you’re doing for people, charitable works are a great way to strengthen office culture, get positive exposure in your community, and pull more agents into the fold.
Advertise What You Already Offer
There are tons of campaigns and recruiting real estate agent scripts for real estate recruitment that you can build that capitalize on what you’re already providing. A few ideas of who you can target:
- Agents at franchises with high splits, letting them know what they’re leaving on the table.
- Agents at 100% and fee-only brokerages, advertising the services and coaching you provide that they likely don’t.
- Agents working in low-price point areas with seminars on how to expand their farm area and branch out into higher-priced property.
- Mid-tier and high price point agents regarding your relocation program to expand their reach and give them an easier source of deals.
- Agents who want great office culture, advertising your team outings for a bowling night or happy hour.
- Agents who want to own or expand their rental inventory, advertising your property management division and it’s team-member discounts.
As long as you understand the basics of how to construct a campaign and don’t try to over complicate it, there’s really no limit to how you can approach your prospects.
If you’re ready to turn your real estate agency around and start bringing in some of the best agents in your area, you’ll need the best possible tools to help you get the job done. Brokerkit’s real estate recruiting module is one of the best platforms available, and you can sign up for a demo for free. Sign up today and learn how Brokerkit can help you achieve your recruiting goals!