To build your brokerage, you must build your team. Recruitment and retention of the best talent puts you in the best position to grow your client base, expand your book of business, and reach new markets. But as anyone who has tried—and struggled—to hire talented new recruits knows, there is both science and art to the job of being a skilled, on task recruiter.
So, how do you become an expert-level real estate recruiter? The key is in the planning. You have to create a strategy and have the right information for who you’re going to target. Recruiters need to know which tools you’re going to use to get in front of them. Your firm must establish methodology for engaging with these prospects. Lastly, decide how you’re going to convey your unique value proposition.
Not only do you need a plan, but you also need to have the right stuff. Those difficult to define qualities that make an ontask recruiter. This integration is key. Once you’ve mastered these skills and put these practices into place, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward in front of potential real estate agent new hires.
How to attract top real estate agents as an on task recruiter
Any recruiting plan for the real estate industry has to begin with a strategy and a goal. Who do you want to recruit, how are you going to reach them, and what tools do you have in your toolbox? These are the questions you have to be able to answer before embarking on a recruiting initiative. By establishing these parameters you will give your project focus and, as a result, a higher likelihood of success.
Identify your audience and recruits
To stay on task as a recruiter, you have to make the best use of your time. That begins with establishing the audience for your recruiting efforts. In most cases, this means do you want to look for newly licensed agents or experienced brokers? It may also speak to finding agents in different corners of your market—more rural areas versus urban centers. Your audience may also be defined by where they are in the job search cycle. Are they just putting out some feelers or are they seriously considering making a move?
There are pros and cons to each type of hire.
Younger agents will be fresh and ready to learn. They will be onboard to learn your system and your technology tools—to engage with clients in the style of your brokerage. You will need to invest time and resources into training them and helping them to develop their client base. A young agent may also be very eager in their job search and ready to make a jump immediately, which will help if you need to staff up quickly.
On the flip side, you will find more experienced agents. These brokers likely have an established client list and are well-versed in their markets. They know how to use key tools and platforms, they’ll likely be up and running by day one. However, they may have some bad habits or incompatible work styles that will be hard to change. They may also be resistant to adjusting to the way your brokerage works. These agents may also need more convincing to make a move. You’ll have to spend more time cultivating the relationship. Keep this in mind if you’re on a tight timetable to hire.
Whichever direction you choose for your recruiting audience—and you may decide to pick a bit of both—you need to have a plan. The way you reach out to and recruit young agents may not be the most effective way to get in front of more seasoned brokers. It is your job as an on task recruiter to decide who you want to reach and then decide on the best tools for reaching them.
Go virtual and leverage online tools to find the right agents
For any modern agency, this will seem like a no-brainer. Online tools offer countless methods for getting your message in front of prospective new hires. There are a variety of tools and mediums you can choose for reaching out to prospective candidates.
This includes social media, with targeted posts and ads. By working your messaging into your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts, you’re casting a wide net and ensuring your message is getting out to a wide network. These tools also offer great options for tracking engagement and gauging the success of your outreach. With detailed reports you’ll be able to know if your message is getting across with just a click.
Another virtual but classic tool for recruiting new agents is email. You can leverage email campaigns to create a custom message with a wide reach. An email has the benefit of allowing you to be more detailed while still being direct and approachable. You can also create a handful of different email campaigns targeted at specific types of candidates. This allows you to have a wide range with custom messaging. The same process can be applied in a more casual way with text messages.
Lastly, if your goal is to educate and inform, you can create webinars or other video messages to speak to the expertise of your agency. Think about what makes your brokerage special and unique and put that message into your online recruiting strategy.
Don’t forget in-person engagement
Technology has made it easier than ever to reach a wide audience with minimal effort. But don’t lose sight of the value of more personal engagement as an on task recruiter. There are a variety of ways, both formal and informal, for you to make an effective in-person connection.
This can be a tool you leverage further along in the recruitment process. For instance, bringing someone in for a face-to-face as the last step before you make an offer. However, you can also use more casual face-to-face interactions to establish interest and engagement with your brokerage. One option is to meet a prospect for a casual coffee meeting to discuss potential opportunities.
There are plenty of options to maximize the effectiveness of in-person interaction without making it feel too stuffy. Whichever option you select, be sure to track your candidate’s level of interest and overall engagement. If they don’t seem ready to meet in person, stick to virtual communication until they’re comfortable. By the same token, don’t meet for coffee three times if you don’t have something new or specific to say. Be respectful of their time and efforts as well as your own. Figure out what works best for your real estate recruiting strategy.
Qualities of an on task recruiter
Much like any career, there is no one way to be successful and stay on task as a real estate recruiter. Some recruiters are all about technology. They will stay in touch with prospective candidates via email and on social media. Others are focused on in-person interactions and planning engaging events to get people together. Whatever their preferred approach, there are a few basic qualities that these recruiters have in common.
Don’t give up on prospects
No one likes to be told no. Life would be so much easier and more fun if at every turn we were told, “yes, sounds great!” But the reality is for an on task recruiter a certain amount of rejection or hesitation on the part of candidates is to be expected. In fact, it’s perfectly normal. If every recruit was going to say “yes, sounds great!” then the brokerage wouldn’t need you! It’s the job of the ontask recruiter to keep their head down and stay focused on their goal of recruiting great talent.
This can mean staying in front of a candidate who is having a difficult time committing to a change. You may need to have repeated conversations with them until they are comfortable. In some cases, it may make sense to circle back with a potential recruit after a month or two. You’ll need to give them the time and space they need to work through their decision-making process. It’s all about meeting the recruit where they are and giving them the tools and information to make the best decision. Either way, be polite, persistent, and respectful of all potential candidates.
Be a perfect listener as an on task recruiter
When recruiting a potential candidate, you may feel very caught up in wanting to tell them all the amazing things about the brokerage. Your technology platform, mentoring opportunities, fantastic compensation package—all the things that make your firm special. But, while you’re chomping at the bit to tell your side of the story, your recruit likely has many thoughts circling in their mind as well. Am I a good culture fit for this firm? Will I have a team I can partner with? What do the benefits look like? There are countless questions and considerations that go into moving to a new brokerage. You have to allow your recruit to talk through them with you.
Carefully listening to the questions and concerns of your prospective candidate. In doing so, you’ll be able to feel out any obstacles that may stand in the way of this hire. You’ll also be able to provide comfort and clarification around any areas that may have them worried. Lastly, you’ll be able to mutually decide if this is a good fit. By carefully listening to your candidate, you can move forward with eyes wide open.
Be a friendly hustler to find the right agents
When it comes to being an ontask recruiter for your real estate brokerage, you can never have too many irons in the fire. Agents are always on the move, switching brokerages, moving into different markets—so you must be on the move too. By being sure that you have a full slate of coffee meetings, webinars, and email campaigns in the works, you’ll be sure to always have your message in front of many great potential candidates.
However, the key to this quality is the friendly part. Don’t be overly aggressive or obnoxiously persistent with candidates who are just engaging in a casual search. If your prospect needs some time to think or consider their options, politely back off and give them space. Let them know you’re available should they have questions or want to restart the conversation. Letting your recruits know you’re there for them in their own time will help them to view you as not just a recruiter but also as a career resource.
Respect prospects’ time
The process of looking for or considering a new role takes time and dedication on top of a candidate’s day-to-day responsibilities. Any time the prospective recruit spends chatting with you or reading materials is time they are taking away from their current job. It’s a reality of the job search process, but it makes it clear that a little respect and time management go a long way for an on task recruiter.
So, how do you effectively make good use of your prospects’ time? First, make a schedule and stick to it. If you book a time to meet with a candidate either virtually or in person, be prompt and stick to your schedule. Don’t carry on the call or conversation longer than planned unless that is specifically agreed to. If you need to reschedule a meeting, let the candidate know as soon as possible. Give them several options for rescheduling. Lastly, if you feel like the role simply isn’t a good fit for the candidate or they are indicating that it’s not, cut them loose. Don’t keep them on the hook with multiple meetings and engagements if it’s simply not going to come together. Be honest and realistic to make the best use of everyone’s time.
Best on task recruiter methods to find the right agents
Once you understand the keys to recruiting top agents and developed the right qualities to be an ontask recruiter, you’re ready to truly put your strategy to the test. The best recruiting methods for finding top real estate talent are multi-faceted. As a recruiter, you need to stay organized, be focused, and take the steps to build a meaningful, long-term relationship.
Set up a system with a recruiting and retention CRM
While technology may keep us more connected than ever, it also keeps us busier than ever. Between keeping track of your email campaigns, social media posts, and in-person meetings, a busy recruiter has more on their plate than ever. With that in mind, any on task recruiter needs to have the tools and technology needed to keep themselves organized.
A tool like Brokerkit can be a game-changer. It keeps your recruiting process on track, leverages automation, and ensures your communication is clear and effective. The beauty of a recruiting CRM is that it can support you wherever you are in your recruitment journey. If you’re just compiling your list of prospects, it can help you organize contact information and candidate profiles. If you’re focused on reaching out, it can help you automate communication. Brokerkit can also keep track of responses and their status in the recruitment process. Lastly, automated messages will keep you on track with your communication and remove the guesswork.
Whichever tool you use to keep yourself organized in your recruitment process, be sure to select a CRM system that meets you where you are in your recruitment journey. In addition, select a technology that can grow and evolve with you.
Build an ultra-targeted prospecting system
As we spoke about earlier in this blog, the best real estate recruiters are focused and targeted. If you set out on your recruiting journey saying “who wants to be a realtor?” you’re certainly going to get a lot of interested parties. However, whether any of them are any help to you is another question.
There are plenty of candidates who want to be realtors and may want to join your firm, but chances are you’re not looking for just anyone. Perhaps you’re wanting to establish a roster of young, newly-licensed agents to build up your team for the long term and be part of a training program. Maybe you’re in the market for seasoned real estate agents who can help quickly build up your business and establish you in the market. You may even be looking for a mix of the two.
The only way to find who you’re looking for is to be targeted in your search. That means having a plan for your recruiting strategy and having the tools and technology to categorize your prospects accordingly. This will keep you on track and ensure you’re reaching out to the candidates likely to be the best fit.
Contact the prospect and build the relationship
Now that you have built out your list, established your targets, and organized your information, you’re ready to connect with your prospects and begin establishing the relationship. You’ll want to think through the different strategies outlined above to consider the best way to reach out. Perhaps you want to include the prospect in an email campaign or targeted social media ad. Another option is to invite them to an event—in person or virtual—to gauge their interest in your firm. Whatever your approach, be sure you’re tracking this outreach and keeping a pulse on responses as well.
This phase of the process is when you start to build the realty connection to your firm and start turning prospects into new hires. The strategies detailed below can help you decide on the best approach for making these connections and starting to build the candidate-recruiter relationship.
Building a realty connection to recruit brokers
One of the biggest steps toward making your team happy and productive is to ensure they feel a connection to the work they are doing. You want them to really care. That can mean caring about their personal success or the success of the organization, caring about their clients, or all of the above. Building a realty connection begins with your existing team and should be part of your recruitment efforts at every phase.
Focus on culture and tell your story
How would you describe the culture of your firm? What are your values? What is your vision for the future? Before you embark on any real estate recruiting projects, you’ll want to have concrete answers to all of these questions. Your company culture tells the story of your business and helps a candidate imagine what it would be like to work there.
Once you’ve established what your culture is and built that into your business, then you have to tell people about it. Telling this story happens both virtually and in person. You want your company culture expressed on your company website, across all your social media channels, and in any of your company materials. Even if you’re just creating a simple email campaign to connect with potential recruits, the messaging and imagery of that correspondence should reflect who you are as an organization. Similarly, if you are engaging with candidates in person, think about how the way you dress, the materials you bring with you, or even the meeting venue reflect your company culture.
Add a personal touch with face-to-face connections
Just as important as establishing and communicating your company culture, is finding small, personal ways to build on this culture and make these connections. By engaging with prospective candidates and other individuals interested in your firm in person, you can deliver your message with a personal touch. We find that some of the best ways to achieve these in-person connections without adding too much pressure is to make them interesting and informative.
Host a lunch and learn at your office on a topic of interest in your market. This will demonstrate to prospective candidates that your team is well-informed and engaged in the market. Another option is to host a happy hour event, which allows candidates to come to your office and get a feel for a more social side of your team. It is a great way to have informal conversations and take some of the pressure off the recruiting process. Lastly, you can organize a volunteer outing for an organization your brokerage cares about. This is a great way to get both your team and candidates out of the office and engaged in the community. It also helps to demonstrate the larger values of your organization.
Whatever method you choose to engage with prospective new hires, make sure you’re being true to your firm and your larger mission. Authenticity is the key to any hiring process and finding a candidate who is the right fit for you and your team.