If you’ve been a real estate agent for any amount of time at all, you’ve probably received more than a few broker recruitment letters in your career. Each brokerage begging you to take a look at what they have to offer. But I’m guessing you didn’t read them all in full (if you opened them at all), and you definitely didn’t hang it on the fridge like your kid’s artwork. Fast forward to today. It’s your turn to send those same kind of real estate agent recruiting letters to a new class of agents for your brokerage. Crafting the letter to the right people, with the right content, and through the right channels is an art of its own. With the right guidance, you just might get your letter on the fridge of some of the best agents in town.
Choosing Your Audience
There are 1.3 million real estate agents in the country. You’re probably not going to want to start by soliciting to all of them. It’s just as important to figure out the ‘who’ that goes with the ‘what’ and ‘where’ when it comes to sending a recruiting letter. It’s time to look at a few ways that you can narrow down your audience in your market. Each one will have a similar message, but will be crafted just slightly differently. Each one of these targeted audiences have a uniqueness of their own.
Ah, yes, fresh meat. They don’t have many, or any, transactions under their belt, but there are plenty of great reasons to recruit the newly licensed for your brokerage. First, you know they are going to be looking for somewhere to hang their license. It’s not a matter of being committed to move when they haven’t settled down anywhere yet. Second, there are no old habits to break. These agents are coming in with a fresh mind and a clean slate. Don’t just limit yourself to those agents that pass the test the first time either. Those bad test takers that take a few tries, can be just as valuable in the long run.
The thing to keep in mind when you’re recruiting these green behind the ears new licensees is training and support. You need to assure them that you have the pieces in place to make them successful. They are going to need a little more guidance than a seasoned agent. Think back to when you got licensed (yes, you). Were there mentors or helpful staff available? If you have your technology, processes, and training program in place, go get them. As for the message you need, we’ll get to that.
High Producing Agents
It’s time to bring in the experience to compliment the new licensees. We all know the type- established branding, high volume, excellent record of customer service. Keep in mind they didn’t all start off that way. There was likely some nurturing and training provided by their current or former brokerage. They could have offered them continuous education, the right mentality, and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. So, even though some of the others you’re recruiting aren’t there yet, they can definitely become a high producing agent under your brokerage. It’s going to help if you have a few in the office that can lead by example for the rest of the group.
Now, how do you get those types of agents to come on board with you? You can use your MLS or other resources to identify those agents that meet your threshold for high volume over the last 12 months. I wouldn’t recommend looking at a shorter length of time, because you want to take seasonality, vacations, etc. into consideration. Once you have a list of the agents within your market with, for example, more than 20 transaction sides in the last 12 months, you can begin doing a little due diligence on each and crafting your message. They are going to need to see real value in your brokerage to make the switch.
Agents on the Other Side of Your Transactions
Another great resource for recruiting agents, is taking a look on the other side of all your brokerage’s transactions. Some could look at these other agents as competitors, while you should look at them as an opportunity that you didn’t really have to go seek out. They fall into your lap as a result of doing good business. For every deal your brokerage closes, you can access the information of the agent on the other side. A simple message, preferably one that starts by thanking them for doing business, is a good way to get your name out there and create interest in your brokerage.
There is no better way to get an agent’s information for sending real estate recruiting letters than from your own agents that already love your brokerage. Plus, what a compliment. If you haven’t already created an agent referral program, now is the time. For these, you probably don’t have to work nearly as hard to convince the prospect how awesome your brokerage is. Their friend that referred them has already done that part for you. You might be wondering what it’s going to cost you, well, you do probably owe the referrer a little something. Just think about the return on investment if the agent that was referred joins your brokerage and thrives in it. Well worth it in the long run.
Make Your Content Stand Out
You’ve reviewed your options for who should get your real estate recruitment letters. It’s time to look at the messages you’re sending. Maybe you’ve created one that gets opened, dare we say even clicked, but what you’re really looking for is one that gets a response.
Personalize Your Message In Your Real Estate Agent Recruiting Letter
Ok, so maybe you can’t social stalk every person on your potential recruit list. Don’t let that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Finding something, like a hobby or interest, that aligns with your brokerages values or culture, can be a great foot in the door to a bigger conversation. If Agent John donates a portion of each commission to a housing project that your brokerage is also passionate about, bring it up. You’re a lot more likely to respond to something that isn’t canned and shows value.
Beyond what you can find out by social stalking, look for some other ties between you and the individual you’re trying to recruit. Do you have a mutual friend? Have they worked with an agent in your brokerage before? Are you part of the same associations or professional groups? Finding something or someone as a connection between the two of you establishes your credibility, so you’re not just reaching out at random like many of the other brokerages.
This should go without saying, but address them by their first name. No one wants to receive a letter with their full name, like their mom uses when they forgot to take out the trash. Craft your letter to be like a conversation between two friends with a lot in common. Do not send a real estate agent recruiting letter that reads like a canned letter printed from a machine.
Lastly, ask them to meet in person. There is no better way to personalize your offer. Meet them at the local coffee shop, invite them for an office visit, or even for a quick virtual meet up. It shows you’ll make time and give individual attention to your agents, and lets the agent get a better idea of culture and fit.
Sell Your Culture
Compensation is great, but it’s not going to be the only thing that sets you apart, especially if you’re looking at hiring millennials. According to a study by Fidelity, millennials would take a $7,600 pay cut for a better company culture. Consider your company values, achievements, and what makes your brokerage different. Do you celebrate the small milestones like anniversaries and birthdays? Do you have monthly happy hours? Does the company contribute to building for Habitat for Humanity every year? Showcase it in your agent recruiting letter and additional materials. Include links to your brokerage blog and social media accounts, and make sure you keep them updated with everything going on in the company. This will be key for all your audiences. Even high producing agents switch for satisfaction and fit with their brokerage.
What’s in It For Them?
Now it’s time to add the shiny glitter to your literary masterpiece with your value proposition. Why would they come to your brokerage over the other hundred reaching out regularly? Really think about what would stand out to an agent. This is where we talk compensation packages, established branding, company leadership, or support (assuming you actually stand out in one of these areas) The audience receiving the message should also be top of mind. While compensation might be your value proposition for one group, it may be leadership and support for another. Take what your brokerage offers that is outstanding compared to others, and use it.
Deliver Your Message the Right Way
You’re feeling pretty good at this point with your list of potential recruits and a carefully crafted piece of art ready to send. But it’s not over yet. Now you have to decide the best way to go about sending this recruitment letter out. You can send it via snail mail and wait for the postman to deliver in a couple days, or you can shoot off an email for immediate delivery.
If you choose to go the mail route, don’t forget you have to use a stamp (you know, that thing that goes in the top corner). But really, don’t under estimate the power of actual mail. A U.S. Postal Service survey shows 98% of people open their mail daily. You receive a lot less of it these days with e-bills and email ads, so they are much less likely to skip over it. Pair an increased chance of exposure and awesome content to warrant interest, and you might be onto something.
You’ve Got E-Mail
On the other hand, email has its own perks aside from avoiding postage. It’s quick, traceable, and you can include other cool things. For example- personalized videos, attachments, and links to really drive home your message. This allows the recipient to show immediate interest by clicking on something within the email and being directed to your site or social media pages. For regular mail, they would have to navigate to your site on their own time, which could be immediately, but is most likely going to be a little later (or never).
Your third option would be to incorporate both. Maybe your initial reach out is a real estate recruitment letter sent in the mail with a fifty cent forever stamp, but your follow up letters beyond that are done via email. Go crazy, the inbox is the limit, you have nothing to fear but mail itself.
Create a Follow Up Process
You’ve done the initial reach out, and you don’t want to lose momentum now. If you don’t already have a follow up process, you need to get one ASAP. It’s one of the most important steps in the recruitment process. Even if the agents you reach out to aren’t interested right this second, they may change their mind in the future.
You’ll need a place to keep notes about them. On top of that, you may want to measure and test your content to see which are the most successful pieces. There are a ton of 3rd party tools out there that can simplify and streamline this process. Do your research on which gives you the most value for what you need.
Once They’re In, Don’t Disappoint
You did it! You’ve won agents over with the charm of your brokerage, personal charisma, and they are officially on-board. Don’t disappoint them by treating your brokerage like a presidential election and fail to follow through on your promises. Agent retention is another aspect of recruiting that typically takes a backseat, but should stay top of mind. If your value proposition was an excellent training program and mentorship program with experienced agents, make sure you have a process for conducting training and matching up mentors. Regardless of your brokerage values and promises, just uphold them. Whether it’s a prospect or agent already belonging to your brokerage.