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The Lead City Blog

Mastering Real Estate Recruiting: How to Poach Top Agents

Apr 3, 2024 | Featured, The Broker's Bible

In the dog-eat-dog world of real estate, you’re either on top, or you’re playing catch-up. Recruiting real estate agents is the lifeblood of brokerages. It’s as vital as prime real estate itself. Let’s face it, with REALTORS switching firms faster than a New York minute, every six years on average, a cutthroat approach to poaching top performers isn’t just shrewd—it’s necessary. And that’s exactly what we’re diving into. We’re here to walk you through the art of real estate agent recruiting: from spotting the hotshots to pitching a killer deal they can’t refuse.

Now, buckle up, because we’re about to lay out the nitty-gritty of mastering real estate recruiting. We’ll show you how to craft an offer that hits harder than a sold-out open house event, provide compensation that’s more tempting than a waterfront property, and dish out effective communication tactics that will have those top agents looking your way. In this cutthroat market, you’ve got to play to win, and let’s be real—you want the big fish. So, let’s get down to business and turn your brokerage into the buzzing hub that real estate moguls can’t help but flock to.

Identifying Potential Agents to Poach

You want to snag those top-tier agents, right? Here’s how you spot ’em:

  • Professional Networks & Events: Start by scouring professional networks and industry events. State association conferences or your MLS meetings are a great start. These are goldmines for finding agents who are not just looking for a change, but are ready to jump ship if the offer’s right. Keep an eye out for those with a magnetic personality and a thick stack of business cards.
  • The NAR Gold Standard: Tap into resources from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). They’re like the godfather of real estate – they’ve got tools, research, and a community that can help you figure out what makes these agents tick. Plus, they’re big on diversity and inclusion, which is like catnip for the young and ambitious millennial and Gen Z agents. 
  • Marketing & Outreach: Craft a marketing plan that’s as sharp as a tack. Use targeted recruitment ads across various platforms to attract potential agents. If top agents are running ads to promote listings, then you know they are checking their ads and looking on social media. Why not use their own strategy on them? Remember, it’s not just about the money – it’s about what you can offer to scratch their itch for success. Here are three specific ideas you can add to your marketing/outreach strategy:
    • Cold Calling – The most straightforward approach in your neighborhood is to research and contact the for sale signs of the top-performing agents. Similar to your sales business, cold calling is a time-consuming yet efficient method to connect with new prospects. Keep in mind the ideal agent criteria you are looking for. Seek out these agents in your vicinity, either online or through yard signs, and reach out to them, inviting them for lunch to get acquainted and begin fostering a relationship and trust with that agent.
    • Meeting Agents at Open Houses – You can search for open houses taking place in your vicinity and visit them as if you were following a door-knocking driving route. Make sure to introduce yourself to the listing agent or the agent organizing the event and concentrate on establishing a connection with them before considering recruitment. Keep in mind, the principles in sales and recruiting are the same: prioritize relationships over transactions.
    • Social Media – The most effective approach to prospect for new agents is through social media and the internet. A major challenge faced by brokers who are unable to recruit real estate agents is the lack of social media or internet presence. Utilizing social media not only allows you to replicate yourself through inbound strategies, but also enables you to reach a broader audience more rapidly, particularly if your brokerage covers a large area or multiple market regions.
  • Cold Calling – The most straightforward approach in your neighborhood is to research and contact the for sale signs of the top-performing agents. Similar to your sales business, cold calling is a time-consuming yet efficient method to connect with new prospects. Keep in mind the ideal agent criteria you are looking for. Seek out these agents in your vicinity, either online or through yard signs, and reach out to them, inviting them for lunch to get acquainted and begin fostering a relationship and trust with that agent.
  • Meeting Agents at Open Houses – You can search for open houses taking place in your vicinity and visit them as if you were following a door-knocking driving route. Make sure to introduce yourself to the listing agent or the agent organizing the event and concentrate on establishing a connection with them before considering recruitment. Keep in mind, the principles in sales and recruiting are the same: prioritize relationships over transactions.
  • Social Media – The most effective approach to prospect for new agents is through social media and the internet. A major challenge faced by brokers who are unable to recruit real estate agents is the lack of social media or internet presence. Utilizing social media not only allows you to replicate yourself through inbound strategies, but also enables you to reach a broader audience more rapidly, particularly if your brokerage covers a large area or multiple market regions.

On social media, there are two primary recruitment strategies: an inbound reactive strategy and an outbound proactive strategy. An inbound strategy involves creating content on your website, social media platforms, YouTube channel, or blog to attract potential prospects organically or through paid ads. Conversely, an outbound strategy entails actively reaching out to potential prospects and recruits that align with your ideal agent profiles based on your research. Outbound prospecting looks like following and messaging ideal agent profiles.

An effective real estate recruiting strategy on social media often involves a combination of both approaches. One serves to enhance your brand and generate a consistent flow of leads, while the other provides leads for immediate action as you continue to develop your brand.


Now, here’s the kicker:

  • Understand Their Desires: You’ve got to get out there, shake some hands, and learn what these agents crave. More than just a fat paycheck, they’re after flexibility, professional growth, and that sweet, sweet feeling of fulfillment. So, offer them the moon – well, at least a slice of it with sign-up bonuses, tech that doesn’t make them want to throw their phone against the wall, and a culture that pops the champagne when they kill it in sales.
  • Retention is Key: Once you’ve got ’em, keep ’em. Make their life easier with a transaction process smoother than butter, provide adaptable tech, and tools that boost their productivity like a double shot espresso. And don’t be stingy with the praise – celebrate their wins, big or small. It’s like giving them a high-five with benefits.

    Remember, real estate recruiting is a game of chess, not checkers. Play smart, play to win, and those top agents will be making moves on your board in no time.

Remember, real estate recruiting is a game of chess, not checkers. Play smart, play to win, and those top agents will be making moves on your board in no time.

Creating a Compelling Value Proposition

Crafting a value proposition that sticks out like a skyscraper in a suburb is no walk in the park, but it’s what separates the top dogs from the porch pups in real estate recruiting. Here’s how to whip up a value proposition that’ll have agents knocking down your door:

  • Zero in on Your Unique Flair: What’s your secret sauce? Identify what makes your brokerage stand out from the crowd. Is it your lightning-fast sales turnaround or your knack for finding the needle-in-a-haystack properties? Maybe it’s your brand’s reputation that’s as solid as the foundations you’re selling on. Whatever it is, highlight your unique skills and qualities that make you the go-to guru in the real estate realm. You want to be memorable and not generic. 
  • Show ‘Em the Money (and More): Sure, a fat commission check can turn heads, but what about the cherry on top? We’re talking about the full package here—competitive commission splits, benefits that make their eyes pop, and perks that make the job sweeter than grandma’s apple pie. Throw in some top-notch tech and support that makes their day-to-day a breeze, and you’ve got a recipe for loyalty.
  • Flex Your Success Muscles: Got a track record that could rival a hall-of-famer? Flaunt it! Use testimonials and reviews from past triumphs to show potential recruits that you’re not just all talk. And don’t be shy about offering a sneak peek into your world—it’s like giving them a backstage pass to the rock show that is your business.

    Remember, your value proposition isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of deal. The real estate market moves faster than a hot listing in a seller’s market, so keep your UVP fresh and up-to-date to reflect your ever-evolving swagger. Keep it punchy, keep it honest, and most importantly, make it so irresistibly good that they can’t help but bite.

Offering Competitive Commission Splits

Let’s cut to the chase and talk turkey about offering competitive commission splits. Because let’s be honest, if your comp package is as bland as unsalted butter, you’re not gonna snag the real estate rockstars.

  • Mix It Up: You’ve gotta have a cocktail of compensation that gets agents buzzing more than a double espresso. We’re talking about the best commission splits where agents keep more of their money while reducing annoying fees. Non-monetary goodies should sweeten the pot. You need to be creative and perhaps pay franchise fees for high producing agents or helping pay other fees like transaction fees. And don’t forget the cherries on top: continuous training, mentors, success plans, an electric workplace vibe, and recognition that makes them feel like the MVP they are.
  • Trust and Transparency: Look, if your compensation model is murkier than a swamp, you’re gonna scare off the talent. Keep it as clear as crystal – fair, transparent, and as straightforward as a ruler. This builds trust and respect fast. A positive company culture? Non-negotiable. It’s what turns a job into a career love affair.
  • The Sweet Spot: A model that provides the best splits and reduces annoying fees means stability – they can plan their finances without sweating bullets over every sale. DOSS’s Agent Flex Model is like a Swiss Army knife of comp plans – there’s something for every breed of agent, from the rookies to the big leagues. If you haven’t already, read up on DOSS’s model which is designed to be customized at each agent’s individual need. No more one-size-fits all approach to commission. There are 8 different compensation plans for every category and type of agent: Referral Only, Splits, Flat Fee, Monthly Subscription, Small Teams, and Mid-to-Large Teams – it’s a sustainable model that’s built for the next 100 years.

In the realm of real estate recruiting, if your commission splits aren’t turning heads, you’re just another face in the crowd. So, spice it up, lay it out straight, and watch as the top agents come knocking at your door, ready to play ball.

Effective Communication and Recruitment Strategies

Alright, let’s get real about effective communication and recruitment strategies in the world of real estate recruiting. You’ve got to have the gift of gab and a strategy sharper than the edge of a “For Sale” sign. Here’s how you do it:

  • Talk the Talk: Communication is king. It’s about more than just yakking away; it’s about active listening, being responsive, and following up like a pro. Use clear, concise language and don’t shy away from visual aids. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in real estate, it could be worth thousands of dollars.
  • Build the Bridge: Trust is your currency, and honesty is your best policy. Just like you nurture prospective clients, you’ve got to cultivate relationships with potential recruits. Get to know their career aspirations and needs—it’s like matchmaking but for money-making.
  • Brand Power: Your online presence should be engaging. A strong brand attracts top agents like bees to honey. Showcase your team of top agents and let the newbies know they’re joining the A-listers, not the B-team. Remember, every new agent is a chance to boost your brand.
  • It’s Not All About the Benjamins: Sure, money talks, but it doesn’t always sing. Get creative with your offers. Think mentor programs, company culture investments, and recruiting happy hours—because who doesn’t love a good happy hour? It’s about creating a vibe that says, “We’re the cool kids on the real estate block.” Check out these strategies that go beyond the wallet to woo the best.
  • The Competitive Edge: When you’re sitting down with a potential recruit, lay your cards on the table. What makes your brokerage the royal flush of the real estate world? Identify that edge, and don’t be afraid to show it off. It’s like saying, “We’re not just playing the game; we’re changing it.”
  • Onboarding with Style: Once they’re in the door, don’t just throw them the keys and hope for the best. A systemized onboarding and launch plan is like giving them a GPS in a new city. It’s about support, guidance, and making them feel like they’ve got a personal concierge on call.
  • Show the Love: Last but not least, don’t forget the ones who’ve already pitched their tents in your camp. Engaging with current agents and showing appreciation is like giving them a bear hug and a high-five at the same time. It’s about retention, baby. (Check out chapter 3 for more about agent retention.)

Conclusion

Through strategic networking, targeted marketing, and understanding the desires of high-performing agents, brokerage firms can attract the industry’s brightest stars. Our exploration of real estate recruiting has underscored the importance of crafting a compelling value proposition, offering competitive commission splits and benefits, and utilizing effective communication tactics. With these tools, your brokerage can transition from merely attracting talent to becoming a magnet for the top-performing real estate professionals who are essential to your firm’s growth.

As we’ve seen, success in this dynamic landscape is about more than just selling property; it’s about creating an environment where agents can thrive. Ensuring a supportive culture, celebrating achievements, and providing opportunities for professional development are all part of the greater strategy that keeps your team’s best players in for the long haul. Remember, in the game of real estate recruitment, it’s not only about the right moves but also maintaining a winning team that positions your brokerage at the top of the industry.

If you’re looking to close deals faster and streamline your workflow, Lead City’s real estate lifecycle solution is the perfect solution.

Sign up for a demo of Lead City to learn more and see how it can help you close deals faster.

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