In order to be successful as a Real Estate brokerage in today’s competitive marketplace, you need to be able to consistently recruit productive agents. To achieve this, brokers must have an effective, sustainable plan. Putting together this plan requires understanding what agents want and need in order to motivate them to make a change.
Change is never easy, but agents who are open to moving to a new brokerage are looking for two things – more time and more money. Yes, there are agents who are unhappy with their current relationship for other various reasons, and finding these agents makes your recruiting job much easier. But even agents who are not necessarily unhappy in their current situation are interested in making more money, and having more time to enjoy their lives.
The point is that you can have great success by implementing and following an effective, sustainable system of:
- Contacting agents
- Setting appointments
- Engaging your contacts regularly with value
- Showing how he/she WILL make more money
- Showing how he/she WILL have more free time
- Staying in touch with these agents until they are ready to make the change
Use a CRM
While it may seem like a daunting task to create this type of comprehensive system, it really is much more simple than you may think. The first step is to utilize a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). By using a CRM (and understanding your value proposition), you can implement and maintain an ongoing system of adding more agents, while providing the ongoing value to keep them. (Click [HERE] to see which CRM’s might be the best for you).
I will go into the most effective ways to utilize your CRM in a future Blog Post. in the meantime, just know that a CRM can help you stay on track in your plan for making new contacts each week, staying in contact with those contacts in a relevant, ongoing way, and of course moving them closer to making the decision to join your brokerage.
While almost all CRM’s include tools for staying in contact via e-mail and text, an effective recruiting system requires making personal phone calls to start the conversation and setting an initial meeting. While some recommend blocking a certain amount of time to make calls each day or each week, I suggest a much more productive approach. Set a goal for how many new agents you are going to “meet” this week. Block time to make your calls, and call until you set an appointment, then call until you set a second appointment – and so on.
If your goal is to meet three new agents each week, maybe you set aside three blocks of time in the morning throughout the week. Start dialing, and do not stop until you set an appointment. Once you have set an appointment, keep calling until you set a second appointment. You are never more positive or energetic than you are when you set that first appointment; take advantage of that positive energy.
In my new-agent curriculum, ‘Success From the Beginning’, I explain to agents that Real Estate is a simple business; it is not EASY necessarily, but it is simple. If you do these three things consistently, you can have success in Real Estate:
- Make contacts.
- Engage your contacts in meaningful ways.
- Ask your contacts if they have a Real Estate need or know anybody who has a need.
The rest is just details – details with which you can get help.
I believe the same approach can be taken with recruiting agents – basically, the same three-step process:
- Make contacts (agents).
- Engage your contacts in meaningful ways.
- Ask your contacts if they are interested in making more money or know any agents who are.
So the key is to establish as many relationships as you can with as many agents as you can. According to an Inman article from a few years ago, agents will hang their license with an average of three brokerages in a 10-year span. So let’s do the math. What happens if you just meet ten new agents each month?
10 agents / month = 120 agents / year
Approximately 30% of agents will move each year
YEAR ONE: 30% of 120 = 36 agents you know will make a change
YEAR TWO: 30% of 240 = 72 agents you know will make a change
You get the idea. If you make it a point to introduce yourself to ten new agents each month – JUST make an introduction and start the relationship – you can build on that relationship over time. When that agent is ready to consider a move, you are their friend, someone they know, someone they trust.
The key to setting initial appointments with agents is in the approach. In your initial conversation, you do not need to even mention the idea of recruiting them away from their current situation. The goal is to simply get them to accept the opportunity to meet.
Brokers are typically salespeople at heart. As salespeople, we sometimes tend to get ahead of ourselves. We believe in our own value proposition, which is a good thing. As soon as we have someone who will listen, we start regurgitating all the reasons our brokerage is the best place to be. But you are rarely going to sell an agent on your value on the phone – particularly on the first phone call. Trying to give reasons why the agent might want to move to your brokerage on the phone might destroy any opportunity you may have had to even meet the agent.
Let’s look at an example. Perhaps you are targeting an agent who was on the other side of a transaction with one of your agents. View the initial contact as an introduction. Simply contact the agent and maybe say something to the effect, “Hi [Agent], This is [Broker] from [ABC Realty]. You were involved in a recent transaction with one of my agents. I appreciate your level of professionalism during that transaction. I would just like the opportunity to meet you and for us to to get to know each other a little. Having more relationships in the industry can only benefit both of us. And who knows? Maybe some time in the future we will even decide to work together. What do you think? Do you have some time to make another friend in the industry?”
Obviously the scripts will be different based on your own personality, but you get the idea. The point is to make the initial contact warm, friendly and with absolutely no-pressure. The goal is to meet and start a friendship. Once you start a relationship, further communications in the future will be more easily accepted and valued.
Again, I will go into how to utilize your CRM to stay in contact and provide value in a soon-to-come Blog post. However, the concept is fairly simple; provide ongoing helpful and interesting information via e-mails, newsletters, texts, calls and additional in-person meetings.
Everything your contacts see from you should include CTA’s (Calls-to-Action). At anytime, agents should be able to access information about you, or find about more about your programs, commission splits, technology and other aspects of your brokerage’s value proposition. As well, you want to make it simple for agents to request more information, ask you a question or schedule an appointment with you. All the while, you are providing helpful information which makes them better agents, and reveals you as a source for their success.
Your Value Proposition
Being a helpful source of information is something many agents need and look for. But once you get the opportunity to actually present your value, everything about your proposition has to focus on the two main priorities of agents:
- How does this help agents make more money?
- How does this provide agents with more time (without sacrificing income)?
The simplest way to show agents how much more money they WILL make is to start with a straight comparison. If the agent does the SAME amount of business with both companies, how much more will they make with your brokerage than with their existing brokerage. This is not just a matter of straight commissions splits.
By understanding and explaining the importance of the TOTAL amount of money an agents puts in his/her own account each year, you gain trust and credibility. For example, one company can say that an agent keeps “100%” of their commission, and therefore the agent makes more money than if they move to a company offering say, an 80/20 split. But that is not necessarily the case.
Obviously the 100% brokerages have to make their money somewhere, so one must also take into account the transaction fees, buyer/seller fees, monthly fees, technology fees, etc. It is much more accurate and honest to figure out how much an agent makes in a year based on the number of transactions completed if you include all of their costs.
Someone who completes 6 transactions a year with a 100% brokerage might keep “100% of their commission”, but they might also pay a few hundred dollars a month in monthly fees, and a few hundred dollars on each transaction, and perhaps additional fees for technology or support. How much did they pay for their own website? How much is their CRM? They probably are not earning additional revenue on a revenue share program. It all has to be taken into account.
Brokerages which provide high commission splits, who also provide digital technology to generate business for the agents, have an advantage. Does your brokerage offer additional income through revenue sharing or other incentives to bring agents on board? Understanding the true differences in take-home income between your brokerage and others will make it much simpler to illustrate to agents the benefits of making the change.
Similarly, by showing how you can prove agents with more free time, you give your agents the choice of utilizing that time to generate more business, and therefore income, for themselves, or to use that time to spend with their families, on hobbies, on vacations or whatever else they want.
In 2020, automation technology provides agents the tools to have much of their communication and follow-up handled without having to spend any time on it. For example, an agent can create a Facebook Ad campaign that targets homeowners in their area. An entire campaign can be automated to reach these homeowners, address their needs, capture their information, provide something of value (usually information) and follow up with them with ongoing information and offers – without the agent having to handle any of the communications or follow-up.
In one campaign, an agent can reach hundreds of new homeowners in a certain area, capture their pertinent contact information, provide them a local market report for their area, and follow up with them each month with an updated marketing report, all the while offering a free, safe, accurate CMA of their own property so they know what it is worth today, all on auto-pilot.
Sure, you have to follow up once someone asks for a specific CMA for their property, but isn’t that what agents are after – developing Real Estate relationships with homeowners in a specific area? Can you see how something like automated marketing tools might be attractive to an agent willing to move to a new brokerage?
The point is, that if you can create a Value Proposition that clearly illustrates that you can provide agents with more money and more time, you can recruit agents. But even with all the ammunition in the world, you will not be successful if you do not have a plan, and the tools, ability and willingness to follow that plan.
Nowadays, Real Estate agents have seemingly infinite options on places to hang their licenses and get the support they need. In order to effectively recruit agents, it is imperative that you have a plan, and that you understand how YOUR systems can provide money and time for these prospects. Find a good CRM and create a plan.
If you need help or support, reach out to us for more information on how our brokerages’ agents have the commission splits, the revenue share, the technology, and the ongoing education and support to bring them, and you, success.
Click [HERE] for more information on “The World’s First Complete Real Estate System” (according to RISMedia), Sellstate.