Recruiting Is Sales: Changing Your Real Estate Business
By Mahala Landin
As team leaders, we have been trained to become the best at our craft. We spend our time developing our client-focused scripts and our value propositions and becoming assassins of objections. Words from our listing and buyer presentations are delivered effortlessly. We understand our unique brand and know how to differentiate ourselves. However, despite how good we are at client acquisition and retention, we struggle with and avoid recruiting. We see adding additional agents as a burden and not an opportunity because attracting agents isn’t what we are in business to do. We don’t know what to say and we don’t know how to communicate our team culture and value proposition.
I believe that recruiting is sales, and it’s the most important aspect of your organization’s evolution and growth. Not only is it a way to grow strategically and create stability in your company’s cash flow, it’s also the key to developing succession. As a team leader and owner, I made the mistake of thinking I was the only one responsible for recruiting. Of course, our internal team of agents would recommend agents for hire from their sphere of influence, or we would naturally attract an agent’s interest to apply, but never with intention or with the full support of the entire team. Here’s a road map to how we flipped the concept of recruiting from a top-down approach to a bottom-up strategy.
How Do You Identify a Leader on Your Team?
I earned the opportunity of a lifetime: as a new buyer’s specialist on a small independent team, I was able to hit the ground running with the right tools in my toolbox, coaching, and mentorship. I was provided enough structure to thrive and not get lost in the sea of real estate first-year failures. More than sales success, I was given the chance to be a leader on the team.
Identifying the leader is as easy as making space in your organization for them to rise. The best decision we made as a team was to develop a mentorship program for agents to participate in. Seasoned agents on the team performing hundreds of real estate transactions can be intimidating to newer agents. Regardless of your team culture, it can create exclusion.
By providing a team of mentors, new agents will understand that they have a group of agents that want to do more than help — they want to see them succeed. They are provided accountability and coaching from the agents that lead by example and have mastered good habits like the Daily Success Habits.
So why would a top-producing agent slow down to do this? A leader and coach are called to service because of the want and desire to grow with the team. Provide your agents with the option to be a part of the business and make an impact on other agents on the team through mentorship and delivering accountability. Approaching this as a team instead of as one-on-one mentorship prevents silos from forming. The mentor, in turn, receives professional development, an increase in their people management skills, and often improves their business by teaching the concepts to others.
What Are You Selling?
Just like when we prepare our scripts for our clients, we need to develop our scripts with our team and with our recruiting prospects. Every team has a secret sauce that they believe in. It’s your core values, your mission, and your vision. Once on the team, it’s something that should be easy to see and feel. How do you train your team to communicate it? Language is important and how we developed this messaging together is even more important.
We began with identifying our value proposition. Using tools like the Success Performance Indicator, our team leaders reviewed a list of all the services, support, and resources provided by the team to every agent. This is so powerful to do! Auditing and assigning value to your team structure benefits your retention and recruiting. New prospects will not know how to associate words like “support”, “training”, and “coaching” to commission splits. Teams should be able to show what they do and the level of excellence they perform.
In every elevator pitch, we can succinctly share who we are, what we do, and why it matters. Teams should develop their authentic voice and practice using it. It needs to be — and sound — different to stand out and attract the ideal candidates. Some questions we asked ourselves to develop this:
- What is our team’s differentiator?
- What do we believe in and why have we stayed with the team?
- What is our team’s impact?
We began to use this messaging internally. On daily huddles and in team meetings, we were intentional about delivering this message and practicing, just like our sales scripts.
Who Is Your Ideal Candidate, and How Do You Find Them?
In real estate, we acquire customers through lead generation and our Sphere of Influence. Candidates for real estate are just like A, B, and C leads. Real estate candidates are the public. They are changing careers, re-entering the workforce, or have not even begun the path toward licensure. Design a system to deliver your message through advertising.
Our team leaders began to design a Top 50 For Recruiting. The same techniques that we apply to our real estate business began to be replicated in our Daily Success Habits. We met weekly to discuss the results of our activities.
As a business, we supported these efforts by also managing all emails to our database, social media campaigns, and job advertisements on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.
We got a CRM for recruiting. Using systems like Wize Hire and Hubspot can help you stay organized with your agent lead funnel.
We tracked our advertisements and played around with ad spend and job titles that would attract different types of candidates in different stages of motivation. We did this in order to develop a pipeline where we could manage and track our ROI.
We made the decision to treat recruiting like sales and make it our business. Now we are in the business of growing teams, and our team leaders are empowered to continue to create sustainability and succession in their careers through our business partnership.
Mahala Landin is the CEO/Broker In Charge of the Rachel Kendall Team. After more than 20 years of professional sales and real estate experience, Mahala knows how to make real estate businesses and teams successful, something she’s proven time and again on the Rachel Kendall Team. She can be found here.