Setting Standards for Recruiting Agents

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by Olivia Elsher - February 10, 2023

This video covers how to set a plan for recruiting new agents, and the habits and characteristics found in successful agents.

Recruits are a reflection of you – the broker

Consider you are a broker who intends to operate a small, medium or large brokerage. One of your goals as the broker is to increase revenue by recruiting new agents.

The process of recruiting agents into your brokerage can take several different paths for different business models. Some brokers hire as many agents as they can squeeze into their offices, while others recruit only agents and broker-associates with track records that exceed typical production standards.

Regardless of your business model, the process of recruiting always includes:

  • a recruiting goal;
  • a plan of action; and
  • minimum standards.

Setting a recruiting goal requires you to determine how many agents you plan to hire, and how you plan to locate them. Prospective recruits may include:

  • pre-license prospects;
  • newly licensed agents; and
  • experienced agents.

Once your recruiting goal is set, prepare a plan of action. This plan determines:

  • who is in charge of soliciting potential recruits;
  • the source of the prospects (i.e., co-op agents on recent closings, MLS rosters);
  • the media used to solicit recruits (i.e., physical mail, email, telephone calls); and
  • the scripts used to solicit, set the appointments and interview the prospects.

Once the plan is set in motion and the interviewing begins, how do you – as the broker – decide who to hire?

Minimum standards vary by brokerage and by the type of prospect you are recruiting. Either way, you need to define your standards based on your goals. Remember, your team players are a reflection of you – the broker – their coach.

Characteristics of a successful agent

Below are seven habits and characteristics found in great agents to be considered by brokers:

  1. A positive, energetic attitude. A positive attitude brings new energy to your office. Agents with a good outlook are more likely to push through rejection. Most importantly, they know they must endure many “no’s” to get to the “yes’s” — a key component of every successful salesperson.
  2. Initiative to set and achieve goals. Self-motivated agents have the initiative to set their own goals and follow through. These agents know what they want, and how to get it.
  3. Willingness to create and follow a schedule based on their goals. Sales is about setting daily routines and schedules. The willingness to follow a schedule is vital to the plan. Otherwise, agents may be traveling on the road to nowhere, attempting to reach destinations without roadmaps.
  4. Discipline to stay consistent in their lead-generating activities. Although there are many ways to generate leads, the well-disciplined agent will commit to a lead generation program, and work it consistently. For instance, is the agent working a FARM territory, or do they rely on online advertising? Consistency is key to achieving the goals set out by the agent, regardless of the means.
  5. Knowledge of sales and closing scripts and a commitment to practice them regularly. Another attribute of successful agents is being well versed in sales scripts, or willing to learn without hesitation. These agents are steps ahead of agents that “wing it.” Selling real estate is highly competitive. Knowing what to say, what questions to ask, and how to listen makes an agent appear professional and experienced. Knowledge of scripts often allows less experienced agents to compete with the “heavy hitters” on a level playing field.
  6. Openness to continued learning and education. Once these skills are learned, they are to be honed by practice. A daily practice routine to keeping scripts memorized and internalized helps agents become expert negotiators and objection handlers. Continued learning and education keeps agents up to speed with the changing market, strategies and technology.
  7. Versatility to adapt to diverse clients and situations. In addition to sales skills, an agent who is versatile is able to adjust and adapt to a diverse pool of clients and situations. A versatile agent maintains control of the situation, and adapts quickly to resolve any snags encountered along the way. Frustration is also avoided with versatility, allowing an agent to increase productivity by closing more deals – deals potentially lost to lack of training and skills.

And as the final step in the process of recruiting, once the broker has located and hired a staff of agents, the broker needs to ensure their agents are conducting themselves as intended. Otherwise, the broker is exposed to an unnecessary risk of loss without an administrative structure to verify their conduct.

Therefore, continuous oversight and policing limit unilateral changes, distortions and deviations from agent conduct acceptable to the broker.

Oversight requires:

  • the commitment of financial and human resources to report unacceptable conduct;
  • the holding of training meetings; and
  • the proper maintenance of client files.

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