A recruit sits in your office—energetic, eager, wearing an Apple Watch. You’ve done your research. You know his numbers. And yet, projecting his success is as fruitless as forecasting the weather. He may be sharp today but what about tomorrow? How does he handle stress? Will he be respected by his peers? How long until he burns out?
by Nick Gaede, Lone Wolf Content Developer
To paraphrase Socrates, you only know that you don’t know.
This much you do know—to meet your year-end financial goals, as well as your goals for long-term growth, you need more sales associates. Not just bodies, but productive agents. And, if you lose any of your top performers in the meantime, you’ll need to recruit even more. With these goals in mind, you’re not so much interviewing a person for a position as you’re interviewing a split for your bottom line. You must be thinking:
Are recruitment and retention just a numbers game?
Agents aren’t numbers; they produce numbers. Leads, listings, commissions, expenses—every single work-related activity sales associates undertake on a daily basis results is a treasure trove of data that you can trap and prospect for recruitment and retention purposes.
How to Find Good Recruits
There are multiple data providers that you can pay big money to but consider this: you don’t work in a vacuum—you have your own data. You have an office and your office has agents. And your office does business with other offices and their agents. These interactions are rich with data that you can use to find productive, reliable agents.
Take a look at this data. You’ll know the productive agents based on their involvement in multiple deals with your office. You’ll know an agent is active by the sides they’re typically on. You’ll know an agent is reliable by the consistency of their commission rate.
And, you’ll already know this agent, personally. This familiarity puts your foot in the door to start a conversation about changing teams. Bonus: think about the pipeline. The more agents that you recruit this way, the more data you collect and the more recruitment opportunities you’ll have in the future.
How to Retain Top Performers
Agents are salespeople; their love language is money. The best way to keep them on your team is to help them make money and then remind them how you help them make money (or save money).
One innovative way to do this, though it may seem counter-intuitive, is to share your agency’s value on your agent’s monthly statement. When you issue their monthly expense statements, add in all of the value that you provide for your agents—value that they don’t think about because it’s there. You can be creative and have some fun with it! Here are a few examples:
• Under their monthly management fee or desk rent, spell out: ‘included in this fee are the costs of our office rent and utilities; Tyron and Jane’s monthly salary (use their names when possible); state-of-the-art copiers and printers; 100% organic fair-trade coffee and tea service’ and so on.
• If you charge a franchise fee, detail the value of the latest national or local marketing campaign, TV commercial, website, tech support, lead generation, etc. Keep in mind: if you can’t articulate the value of your franchise here, then how would you expect your agents to feel it?
• Add in every item that you uniquely provide for your agents for no charge, but share the numbers of the expense. Networking events, cocktail parties, breakfast meetings, etc. Take the total cost of the event, divide by agent count, post the item on the statement and then credit them for it.
• Post all leads that you have passed on to your agents, either personally or through your website. These leads may not even have a value yet, but it’s a great way to show them the opportunities that your partnership yields.
With the right back-office technology, adding these items to an expense statement is not only possible but easy. Doing so will help you turn this perpetual source of conflict into a source of value. Next time a discount brokerage approaches your agents and tries to lure them from under your roof, they’ll be at a loss to compete with the specific financial value that you provide.
Are recruitment and retention a numbers game?
Agents are not numbers. Agents are people—your people. As such, they need to be carefully recruited, vetted and retained. But agents do produce numbers. And these numbers have layers upon layers of useful information that you can use to help you recruit better agents and keep your roster intact.
Nick Gaede is a content developer with Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies. He’s been writing, filming and editing videos since 2008. Nick enjoys spending time with his partner and two boys, as well as reading, writing and living a healthy, humble life.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2016