3 TOP CHALLENGES FOR REAL ESTATE BROKERS – PART 1: RECRUITING

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Part 1 of a 3 part series. How do we recruit more top talent? It’s the question on almost every real estate broker’s mind. The question becomes even more urgent as brokerages gain more confidence in business growth and 45 percent of firms are actively engaged in recruiting, based on a recent report by NAR.

In our recent Thought Leader Survey, real estate executives shared their top challenges in recruiting outstanding agents. The top three are attracting younger agents, not having enough time to recruit, and getting top producers to apply. These challenges won’t be addressed by doing business as usual; it’s time for brokerages to find creative solutions and adapt traditional business and recruiting models.

There are three ways you can solve the recruiting issue and begin investing in bright minds:

1. Attract business owners and entrepreneurs

There are a growing number of people who want to be business owners rather than someone’s employee. What if you could tap into that potential? These are people who are willing to shoulder more responsibility and invest more of themselves into a company—as long as the company is willing to invest in them. Providing a way for these entrepreneurs to build a business within your brokerage and take ownership or their future may help bring an influx of valuable, bright minds into your ranks. For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, read our posts about exploring a new business model and attracting more Gen Xers.

2. Invest in lifelong learners

Everyone wants the top producers—the agents that exceed their goals month after month. But because everyone wants them, you end up paying more for them and fight to differentiate your brokerage in the recruiting process. Instead of searching for the top 5 or 10 percent, start thinking of ways that you can take good salespeople or agents and make them even better. Invest in people that may need to learn the skills of real estate selling, but have the drive and intelligence to move themselves forward in the field with a little guidance.

Al Rowe, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advantage in Michigan, has been trying a new approach in recruiting. “Our company has changed focus because of difficulty in recruiting. We’re saying, maybe we should start building our own. We’ve used training programs and sales techniques and scripts and dialogues and marketing pieces. We’re looking for good people with either sales skills or other ancillary skills that we can retrain. We’re seeing people in their 30s and 40s, and that’s still a lot younger than the rest,” he says in our 2014 Recruiting Report.

3. Include compensation flexibility

The real estate industry needs younger, motivated agents to step into the roles of retiring agents, and experienced agents to keep the business on track. Each generation is often interested in different incentives based on what stage of life they’re in—which can be different than the incentive packages brokerages traditionally offer. Does your compensation plan allow flexibility based on what your agents value most in their stage of life? For example, a younger agent may be interested receiving mentoring and growth opportunities, while an experienced agent with a family will be more concerned about work day flexibility. Willingness to adapt incentives can give your brokerage firm an edge in recruiting top talent.


One Comment

Kevin Hawkins says:

October 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

No matter how large or small the market, recruiting certainly is a huge and constant hurdle for brokers as you poignantly point out Bill.

I would add one more item to your list: When you look outside the industry for talent, look for success traits. What have they done in the past that indicates a pattern of success? Were they successful in college? In a past business? A local volunteer project they headed? A fundraiser they put on for a nonprofit? Success leaves clues and if you focus on hiring those who have a pattern of success and show an interest to sell real estate, they are more likely to succeed, again.

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