Real Estate Agent Recruiting: Expert Janice P. Shares Her Strategy

“I think the number one priority is to spend some time and figure out what your office is all about, and why an agent would come to join your office.”

Janice P. is the Director of Brokerage Development for her company and has exceptional experience when it comes to real estate agent recruiting. Janice speaks to 50 agents per week to place them into a nearby office that will help her company and the individual agent grow to a whole new level of production.

SmartSetter Recruiters interviewed Janice to uncover her views, tips, and secrets for great real estate recruiting conversations.

Shaun: How’s it going? Can you tell us what’s going on in your real estate recruiting currently, some success stories? Anything that comes to mind in terms of how recruiting is going for you.

Janice: I try to make sure that our people are putting recruiting into their daily life. So I lead by example and make sure that I’m having daily conversations with potential agents.  They can be seasoned or emerging agents; or people that are thinking of getting in our business.  Our officers need a constant pipeline and should spend a couple of hours every day working on recruiting so their offices are in continual growth mode.

Shaun: Do you have any recommendations in terms of the number of people who should be in your pipeline?

Janice: I believe it all goes back to the experience of the person doing the actual interviews and meeting with the agents. It just depends on what stage of their real estate agent recruiting life they’re in. They need to have people who they are following up with every week and there should be a significant number of people, maybe 50 or 60 people, every week that they’re having a follow-up call with and maybe 10 a week that are brand new conversations.

I find that those beginning conversations are just two or three-minute conversations. Everybody has time to do it. That’s why I love a service like yours. The agent knows what time you’re calling and they know why you’re calling. So it takes all of that apprehension from that phone call away and allows you to start building the relationship and building your pipeline. It’s invaluable.

Shaun: And what were you doing before you were using our service? What do you do overall to start your pipeline in terms of real estate agent recruiting?

Janice: Well the same thing I try to get every office to do in our system is to go back through and make sure that they’re calling and building relationships with the agent on the other side of  their transactions. I do the same thing. Making sure that you’re present in your own town and around other agents. I try to attend events where I can potentially meet agents. Another great source is open houses on the weekends. You have a captive audience there where they can’t go anywhere so it’s nice to be able to have a conversation about what’s happening with their business. And you’ll learn a little bit about what their struggles are. I find that creates some of the best conversations about whether or not they’re fit for my office or anybody’s potential office.

“Your service to me sets everybody up to be able to be building the relationship so that they can start attracting agents to their office when the agent is ready to make a move. The diamonds are in the follow-up.”

Shaun: How valuable do you think cold calling is? Is it one of the most important real estate agent recruiting channels ultimately?

Janice: It’s just a numbers game. The more calls you make, the more people you’re going to have a positive conversation with. It’s strictly data.

I find cold calling doesn’t work for many personalities and they just won’t do it. No matter how many times they say they’re going to put it in their calendar, something else always takes that time slot away from cold calling. I think warm calling feels more like returning somebody’s call and I really believe for most personalities that’s the way to go. They can call and say “hey this is Janice Petteway from EXIT Realty we have this time schedule today and I just wanted to say thank you for taking 15 minutes, I really appreciate it.” That’s a different conversation to start with than a totally blind conversation with someone that’s on the other side of the phone going “Who is this? What is this? Why are they calling me?”

Shaun: Would it be safe to say cold calling filled a different role in that it’s proactive and you can sort of set your own funnel that way?

Janice: Cold calling is very important. The challenge is, many people who are running a brokerage and ultimately doing some transactions themselves – how many are going to stick to it? SmartSetter is taking that piece of it which allows them to not do that first phase but to get the job done. You guys can make one thousand cold calls and narrow it down to eight or ten people who actually raise their hand and say yes, have that individual call me. Then they know why the person is calling. It’s no longer a cold call for me. It’s a very warm call and most personalities can do that a lot more successfully.

Shaun:  Would you recommend for people who don’t like cold calling to have us get them 10 appointments a week and then they’re following up with those 10 more people and then building the pipeline over time?

Janice: Yeah that is 100 percent what I’m saying. I already know that {brokers} are not going to build the pipeline. So for you guys to be able to take that part of it off of their plate and then just move them to the warm calls after eliminating all of the people who are not receptive is genius.

Shaun: What do you think is the importance or role of follow up itself? Obviously, most people don’t come down with their shiny pen in hand ready to sign on the dotted line on that date. What do you recommend in terms of a follow-up philosophy?

Janice: I think that it’s a relationship that you should be building. You should follow up continuously and continue to build the relationship and be top of mind to them. So if all of a sudden they are upset or disgruntled about something and they want to go explore their options, they will remember you and pick up the phone and say “Hey I know I’ve been talking to you for six months or a year and I said I was happy and wasn’t ready, but some things have changed. Can I come to talk to you?”

It’s more a pattern of attracting instead of attacking. So, your service sets everybody up to be building the relationship so that they can start attracting agents to their office when the agent is ready to make a move. You can’t force agents. In my opinion, they don’t move for financial reasons. Most of the time it’s a combination of many things and very rarely is somebody going to be ready the first day that you speak to them. So it’s always a process. The diamonds are in the follow-up.

“When they have a new closing or a new listing, just quickly shoot a text and say, ‘Hey I saw you had a closing at 123 Smith Street. Congratulations! Good job, I love the way you do business.’” 

Shaun: What would you say is the amount of time typically that a person would need to follow up in order to have a realistic shot of getting an agent? Is it one month, six months?

Janice: I don’t think that they should ever stop following up. They should develop their own personal real estate agent recruiting system of the ones that have raised their hand and said they are moving the end of the year. You’re going to spend more time following up with them than someone that’s just nice and was willing to talk to you but has no intention of moving.

There are things they can do. They can set up in their local MLS system so that they know when the agent has a new closing or a new listing and they can just quickly shoot a text and say “hey I saw you had a closing at 123 Smith Street. Congratulations! Good job, I love the way you do business.” That’s follow up. If they spend maybe an hour or two a week with follow up once there’s a system in place, that’s the maximum they should be doing.

Shaun: When you do the first introductory call that we’ve booked for you, what are you typically saying on that call? What’s your goal on that call?

Janice: I’m really honest with them about why I’m calling. I’ll say “I’m looking for agents that want to take their business to the next level of production and that also have the same heart we do. Agents who really want to be part of their communities. Would you say that that is your personality?”

I want to know if they’re winding down their business because our recruiting system goes in a different direction versus someone that wants to build. So I’m really just feeling them out and learning about them. Asking if they know anything about our company.

“I think the number one priority is to spend some time and figure out what your office is all about, and why an agent would come to join your office.”

Shaun: If you could give one secret or tip or key to success for real estate agent recruiting, what would that be?

Janice: A lot of people take the shotgun approach and they haven’t drilled down on who they are as a company and what the “why” is behind “why would an agent be compelled to join their company?” For example, I don’t think anybody should waste time calling newer agents if their office has no plan for training newer agents and the support that they need. It doesn’t make any sense. So they’re talking to and wasting time on conversations with people that aren’t a fit for them.

So I think the number one priority is to spend some time to figure out what your office is all about, and why an agent would come to join your office. If they don’t know that answer, fix that first so that they’re not spinning their wheels and wasting money and time on these calls prior to having that laid out. If you do that, the agents can see it, taste it, feel it, and then be compelled to want to join.

Ready to get growing?

Book your free 15-minute recruiting consultation.