At BoomTown we preach a lot about specific lead management best practices, but these strategies are worthless unless you have the right team in place doing the work. Some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have revolve around recruiting and growing their team. And with good reason! To hire true talent takes a considerable amount of upfront time and money. When going through this process, the biggest question to ask yourself is “Am I making a conscious effort to hire for long-term success?”
In his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller says “great talent is irreplaceable” and “poor hires can do a lot of damage”. Think about the last time you made a bad hire. How much time was spent in the search process and then training the new person? You’re probably wishing you had that time back. The good news is, there are systematic ways to recruit for success that will save you these kinds of headaches down the road.
First, it’s important to know when you should hire. When real estate agents start out in their careers they are usually wearing many hats – from getting leads, showing houses, going on listing appointments, negotiating, writing contracts – the list could go on. Eventually all of these efforts build your business and you begin to feel overwhelmed with your daily tasks. You may even begin sacrificing things in your personal life. Don’t let this go too far without looking for help. You’re no good to anyone else being in a constant state of stress; and your clients need you. When you reach a point where you know your time is better spent doing things you can’t get to in the day, then it’s time to look for some help.
So, you’re ready to build a team, but where do you start? Who will be your first hire? Gary Keller, again from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, urges to first hire administrative help. You need someone to answer phones, maintain your calendar, process transactions, etc. Look to bring someone on board to take these tasks off your hands and more importantly look for someone that can implement systems and processes in your business. Setting this up with your first hire will make it much easier to then bring on your first sales-oriented agents. Let’s be honest, agents have a hard time creating these sets of processes on their own. So, have these already established when you bring them on board. This way you have a full set of expectations for your buyers agents, showing assistants, lead managers, and listing agents.
Now that you have the time to focus on lead management you’ll hit a point when you need agents to manage and nurture these leads. With any internet-based lead generation system there are certain qualities that make agents more successful than others. Anyone working a system like BoomTown will need to possess all or most of these qualities to reach their full potential:
They are very detail-oriented.
They are not afraid of the phone.
They are motivated by their interest in making money.
They possess a solid understanding of current technology.
They are unafraid of technology and willing to adapt to it.
They have a personable demeanor.
They have prior experience with nurturing internet leads.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Be careful, many agents will not dedicate the time necessary to nurturing internet leads, get tired of trying to convert them, and eventually not believe these leads are worth their time. It’s extremely important to hire people that are a great fit to your processes, company, and culture. It’s not about hiring a “good” or “bad” person. You may find the DISC profile to be a good resource for you as you screen candidates. Just make sure you know what you’re looking for before interviewing potential team members.
Finally, don’t limit yourself to only hiring licensed, experienced agents. Some of the most eager, driven people will not be agents with years of experience. Plus, someone new to real estate will be open to learning your systems and buy into your team model. At BoomTown, we have many clients that have found wonderful team members with backgrounds as school teachers, truck drivers, and one client even hired a former MMA fighter who has turned into a rock star for the company. Don’t rush just to get someone in the door because there’s work to be done. Take your time, find the right fit for your company, and you will reap the lucrative rewards.