When it comes to recruitment, managing brokers need to focus on the overall experience an agent receives while working with their firm. They need to talk a little less, listen a little longer and show a little more. Here are a few ways managing brokers can recruit and retain top talent:
Showcase Culture: The only way prospective agents can gain an authentic sense of a brokerage’s culture is through first-hand experience. Many industry professionals have stressed that real estate is a people business – for clients and agents alike. A positive culture at the workplace goes a long way in attracting an agent. Here are some ways to provide a genuine experience for prospective agents:
• Ask an interested agent to attend a sales meeting. Tell the agent that at the very least, they’ll leave the meeting a more knowledgeable Realtor – and they’ll see what the competition is up to, as well. Be sure the meeting is organized and purposeful; that’s a guideline to keep regardless of the presence of any special invitees.
• Have a prospective agent join a training session. A broker shouldn’t hide their top-secret training tips. In fact, a broker should let them shine. An agent wants to see quality leadership, and training sessions are a natural way for a managing broker to showcase their ability to lead.
• A brokerage that hosts successful, industry-wide events is a brokerage that stands out from the crowd. Hold seminars, luncheons and mixers. An agent remembers the firm that put on the sophisticated networking event or the educational luncheon, and they respect the managing broker who helped plan it all, too.
Confront Risk: The thought of joining a new firm is at once exciting and troubling for an agent. Sure, a new brokerage could open up more business opportunities for an agent, but it just as easily could be the wrong fit. Furthermore, an agent isn’t always desperate to leave their situation; they might be in their comfort zone, making a possible transition seem even riskier. Should conversation about an agent’s fears be forbidden? Hardly. A managing broker should sit down with a prospective agent and confront the agent’s fears head-on. Use these prompts to get the conversation started:
• Ask a prospective agent about previous risks they’ve taken that have not yielded the desired results. Discuss why the agent believes the risk returned little or no reward, and then give specific reasons as to why this risk would be different.
• Have the agent describe their worst case scenario, and then explain the steps that would be taken to prevent that situation from unfolding.
• Don’t tell the agent why joining the firm is worth the risk. Instead, ask what they think makes a transition worth the risk and provide examples highlighting why this firm can meet their needs.
Develop Trust: Letting an agent discuss their fears and allowing them to participate in office events lays the foundation for a trusting relationship. An agent doesn’t want to hear about all the great features a firm offers. The agent wants to witness how a firm can wholeheartedly support them – after all, that’s the purpose it’s meant to serve. Once an agent experiences the atmosphere of a firm, and sees how it plans to help each agent succeed, the agent will begin to trust that the same will happen for them. Here are some ways to gain the trust of an agent:
• Don’t focus solely on the agent’s bad experiences with their firm. Find out about the positive aspects and give credit where credit is due. A sales pitch of “we can do this and this and this better” makes the agent question the managing broker’s integrity.
• Encourage the agent to embrace challenges and to explore unfamiliar territory. Believe in an agent’s ability to learn new skills and tap into new markets, and they’ll start to trust in themselves, too.
• Give pointers on how an agent can improve their business as it stands, without making the transition. A managing broker who does this appears ethical and proves they have the agent’s best interest in mind. If the agent – or a friend of an agent – does decide to join a new firm, the one with the thoughtful, insightful broker will be top of mind.