By Maddie Jostol-Heye, Senior Marketing Manager
We could talk in circles for days about the recruiting process in the real estate world. What real estate agents want, what differentiates your brokerage from your competition, and what will prompt agents to make a move. All of these things are vitally important, but only effective when approached intentionally and handled with care. How do you win in a world where everyone is desperately trying to out-recruit each other in order to grab market share before the brokerage next door does?
What’s not working in your recruiting process.
It’s hectic out there. Everyone is attempting to talk to the most agents, get as many as possible to sign on with their brokerage, and push them to sell a maximum number of homes. At its root, this strategy isn’t bad; it’s the implementation that’s the problem. Well-intentioned businesses are blanketing the marketplace with their value prop in hopes of catching the attention of the masses. With market share pressure, there’s a tendency to go for quantity over quality.
Turning your strategy on its head.
There is no magic bullet, but instead, there needs to be a shift in mindset. Rather than taking such a wide-spread approach, try more targeted recruiting process. What if you targeted agents t
hat are productive, a great culture fit, and looking for exactly what your brokerage has to offer? You’ll find those agents to bring a lot more value than attracting twice as many that aren’t a good fit culturally, leave after a year, or don’t agree with your recommended practices.
According to WAV Group, it costs between $5,000-10,000 to recruit an agent. That’s right, just because real estate agents are independent contractors, doesn’t mean turnover isn’t expensive. Not to mention the added value that strong office culture, agent referrals, investment in coaching and training, and positive brand perception that retention brings. It’s in the best interest of your bottom line to recruit agents who will be happy and successful at your brokerage so that they’ll be valuable contributors and stick with you for the foreseeable future.
Leverage data to identify top recruits.
The first step is identifying who to recruit. Sure, there are certain professions that are great to recruit new agents from, and there might be competing brokerages in your market that you tend to get agents from, but those are still fairly general parameters. We’re talking about identifying exactly which individuals you should be actively recruiting.
Here’s what’s missing: the data.
Let the data take the guesswork out of it, enable you to more closely target your efforts, and to be more intentional in how you attract those top recruits. Data such as historical sales trends will help your managers and recruiters assess who is a good fit and base action and effort on that data. Identify the best recruits for your unique business, assess them based on sales data, cultural fit, and goals, and bring onboard those who are going to find success at your brokerage.
Establishing a recruiting process that directly impacts your bottom line.
Once you identify the best recruits for your brokerage, how will you win them over? The reality is, everyone is trying to recruit the same agents. So, what’s your competitive advantage? How will you cut through the noise? Build a consistent and repeatable hiring process that guides your managers to success.
Build a process that automates, or prompts actions based on stage in the recruiting cycle in order to deliver relevant content at the right time to the right individuals. Think about the combination of recruiting drip campaigns, in-person meetings, recruiting presentations, handwritten notes, and other touchpoints that it takes to get the right people to join your brokerage. Leverage technology to manage this process for you. Utilizing the right tools and establishing a process will help your managers know what steps to take when, prompt them when it’s time to follow up, serve up suggested content, and much more. Establish the process at the brokerage level, enabling each manager to make it their own, while still ensuring a consistent experience and, more importantly, results.
Finally, your recruiting strategy should not only be data-driven in identifying recruits, but also in tracking success. Recruiting efforts should map directly to revenue goals. At the end of the day, you want to grow your brokerage business, so your recruiting efforts need to directly contribute to your progress toward those growth goals. Start with your specific growth and revenue goals and track progress toward those goals, using sales projections for each new recruit to report on your recruiting success. (A good real estate recruiting system, such as MoxiTalent, should do this for you).
Time to rethink your plan for grabbing up market share by turning your recruiting process and strategy upside down and winning over the right agents, at the right time, in order to boost your brokerage’s growth.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
At MoxiWorks, we’re pretty vocal about data and how important it is for all aspects of business. So vocal in fact, we called out Compass on their recent embellishments with plenty of data to set the record straight for our industry. But that’s a story for a different day. My point is, data is everything. Without data, we’d all be wandering around the office all day with no real direction.
When it comes to real estate recruiting, data can make or break your recruiting game. It’s so much more than what people give it credit for, and once you see how powerful it is, you’ll never want to go back. Here’s how data helps you recruit, retain, and grow:
Data makes your business goals easier to define.
The amazing thing about data is that it tells you what your goal should be in order to get to where you want to go. Want to be pulling in $1 million more next year? Data will tell you exactly how many agents you need to recruit to get there.
Data shows you what you need to be doing when.
Data calculates everything, including what your daily tasks should be to get you moving towards your goal. It guides you through the entire recruiting pipeline, resulting in more hires than you would have otherwise – saving time and precious energy.
Data tells you which agents are most appropriate for your office.
Data helps you find agents that fit your business and your goals. Okay, okay we don’t mean in terms of personality or culture, data can’t fully tell you that, but it can tell you who fits the bill when it comes to their sales volume. Data allows you to quickly and effectively narrow search criteria, spitting out the high-valued recruits you want sitting in your office. Powerful data can show you an agent’s ability to perform, and at the end of the day, that’s what recruiters need.
And don’t forget, recruiting doesn’t just mean new agents. Data can help you stay focused on recruiting your current highly-valued agents as well, raising your retention numbers within your office and taking a little pressure off finding newbies.
Data will get you past the finish line.
Data, specifically from the MLS, helps identify agents who match whatever criteria your recruiter stipulates. Once specific recruits have been identified, they are added to your pipeline as recommendations. With built-in goal-setting and tracking for recruiting, it’s easy to ensure recruiters keep their eyes on the prize, crossing that finish line and reaching that goal they set for themselves.
Data keeps you from making silly mistakes.
Without reporting and insights, it can be hard to know where time is best spent. Let’s say you knew an agent’s sales volume over the past year, but not previous years. They talked a big game and you trusted their references, so you signed them anyways. Turns out this past year was more luck than work ethic, and now you have an agent not contributing to the office’s goals. That means you might’ve wasted countless hours you could’ve been spending on high-valued recruits, whether that’s recruiting new ones or focusing your efforts to agents in-house that you really don’t want to lose.
Data is knowledge. Knowledge is power.
Data makes things more efficient. It puts tangible facts behind a solid recruiting foundation that enables recruiters and office managers to do their jobs better, faster, and with more conviction. It’s what our new recruiting system, Moxi Talent, was built for. It helps you by providing you with all this data, direction, and so much more.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
Recruit, recruit, recruit. Getting new agents through the door is the number one thing on every brokerage owner and manager’s mind, but does it deserve that top spot?
While it’s a major pillar of every brokerage’s survival plan, we argue there’s another aspect of recruiting that deserves the number one slot and that’s existing agents.
An agent only spends four years at a brokerage on average. How many of your agents are coming up on that four-year mark?
When agents threaten to leave, only then do people’s ears perk up and start to put emphasis on retention efforts. For some agents, it might be too little too late. If they’ve been largely ignored or feel like they’re under-valued at your brokerage for the past four years, it’s easy to see why the grass would look greener to them.
Don’t play into the four-year statistic. Start recruiting your existing agents before they threaten to leave.
Implement an open-door policy.
When your agents feel comfortable coming to you for anything and everything (like when Compass calls them up) it allows for an open dialogue and a foundation built on trust to exist.
Less is not more.
Don’t be afraid to talk about what’s going on out there. Talking about Compass should be as easy as asking someone to pass the salt – not like walking on eggshells. Bring the hard topics up.
Losing your existing agents only puts more pressure on the efforts to recruit new agents and shocker – it puts pressure on the brokerage wallet as well. Our CEO, York Baur, did a presentation at LeadingRE a couple years ago, sharing local data and insights about the cost of recruiting. The cost per recruit based off data that year in the Pacific Northwest was $20,000 dollars. After the presentation, other industry leaders commented that it was “more like $40,000.” Another way to slice it is by salary (or in this case, commission). According to Forbes, the loss of an employee costs 33% of their salary. Whether it’s 20k, 40k, or somewhere in the middle, that is a LOT of money.
Losing a top producer to let’s say Compass, might not hurt your market share or revenue much, but it will hurt your sales volume numbers. Be better than the other managers out there. Pay attention to your existing agents that are priceless to your business. Think about your agents walking into your office and saying, “I’m leaving and going to Compass.” Which ones would make your heart start pounding?
By York Baur, CEO of MoxiWorks
As we all know too well, there’s a feeling of impending doom when it comes to the future of dollars retained by the brokerage. Brokerage margin compression has been accelerating in the past few years especially, but no one seems to be discussing legit ways to battle it. And last I checked, hope is not a strategy.
A few Moxians attended the Gathering of Eagles event that REAL Trends puts on every year, and here’s what the retained company dollar average for brokerages across the nation looks like over the past several years:
The brokerage dollar is ever-shrinking. Some may argue it isn’t a big deal since home prices have gone up, compensating on a raw dollar basis. That only works in a market with rising prices, and we all know that merry-go-round will stop at some point. We need a real plan for dealing with margin compression – it’s a core problem our industry faces. Don’t forgot that 25% of the RealTrends 500 didn’t make it through the last recession. Do you want to be part of that 25% when the next one hits?
In the face of all of this the “disrupters,” as they like to call themselves, are putting massive pressure on the need for the brokerage to have a technology offering to their agents and technology isn’t cheap. Even as a technology guy myself, I am not shy to admit it. So, how do you thread that needle? How do you buy the best technology, so you can have the best offering to agents in a world where you, the brokerage, don’t have margin to work with?
To preface this, I absolutely stand by my original viewpoint that the traditional brokerage, the impenetrable fortress that it is, has the most valuable asset that exists in the entire industry: relationships with agents, and the agents with the consumers in their sphere of influence.
With that said, here are what I believe to be viable elements of a plan for traditional brokerages to combat margin compression.
Open Platform – Not a shocker
You all knew this was coming. I won’t dive deep, but future-proofing can easily be done by getting your brokerage on a proper open platform that allows you to plug in new tools and unplug old tools just like power strip. Having an open platform means retaining your current technology investments and maintaining a foundation for all the technology changes to come in the future. And don’t be scared by claims that the disruptors will build better technology themselves internally. Over $1B has been invested in real estate tech each of the last two years, so no one company has a lock on building the best technology in every category. Having an open platform that allows you to take advantage of the best of real estate tech today and in the future trumps a “we can build it all” approach every time.
Say it with me: Recruiting, retention, AND productivity
Pick great tools that actually drive agent productivity as well as recruiting as retention. Industry wide, if you ask any broker, “what’s the most important thing in your business?” they’ll say to recruit and retain. But that’s wrong. It should be recruiting, retention, and productivity. If you focus on productivity as a major pillar of your business, it amplifies your recruiting and retention, and it’s where you actually make money. Having non-productive agents at your brokerage doesn’t make you money, it costs you money.
Many brokerages chase the shiny object, so it enhances their recruiting and retention efforts, but it doesn’t move the needle. To that point, it’s imperative to eliminate the shiny objects and steer clear of the temptation of them. They will end up costing you more than you ever thought.
Technology is NOT a single expense line item
Don’t think of technology as a single expense. Think of technology and marketing expenses together, because the two worlds have fundamentally blended. Digital marketing is inherently fused with technology and the other way around. As proof of this, an ongoing trend across all industries is the blending of the CTO and CMO roles.
Technology is not a necessary evil expense item, but as something to be used along with other marketing activities as a combined marketing and technology spend. What form of marketing these days doesn’t involve technology? Almost none.
And while I’m on my soapbox, can we please stop talking about expenses and start talking about investments? Every decision you make to spend money on something should be thought of as an investment. That means that you should expect to have a return on your investment, have a plan for making your investment work, and measuring your return over time. For example, in our case we check agent performance with our tools – agents in brokerages that are our customers do 40% more transactions when they use our stuff. That’s real productivity, and real top-line growth. Make investments and grow your business versus “managing expenses” like an accountant.
Trying to save your way to prosperity almost never works, so get on with a proactive plan to invest in a technology platform and tools to boost agent productivity. Not only will your top line grow, but you’ll be able to better stand your ground in negotiations with agents over their split, because they’ll understand that you’re helping them grow their business vs. just offering them a desk and the ability to rent your brand.
My call to action: have a plan. Focus on agent productivity. Have goals and measure yourself to them. Use technology and digital marketing to support your plan. The great news is that the traditional brokerage fortress is very hard to penetrate. But even the most impenetrable fortress can get sacked if the King doesn’t have a plan for defending it.
By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager
With new brokerages entering the market with aggressive recruiting strategies, brokerages are universally placing a lot more weight on the importance of recruiting.
It’s easy to spend a lot of cash winning over agents, but we believe the key is to focus on what really matters. What do agents actually want? As you review this list, you’ll notice we don’t talk about commission splits. You already know commission splits are important to agents and we’re sure you’re doing what you can to offer competitive compensation. Here are some other things that agents are looking for when comparing brokerages.
Agents want to join an organization that values technology. A robust, established tech stack shows agents that your brokerage is forward-thinking and supportive of its team. We think you’ll find that tech-savvy agents who embrace the systems you’ve hand-selected for them will likely be some of your most successful. It also fosters a culture of efficiency – technology-focused agents will push each other to streamline their businesses
Coming into a brokerage with a leading tech stack means they don’t need to research and train themselves on their own set of tools. You already have a stack up and running, ready for them to utilize.
Training, support, and resources will prove to your agents that you care about their success and professional development. On top of that, helping them to improve themselves as real estate professionals makes a difference on your bottom line, which is always a win. Agents are looking to work for an organization that offers meaningful training and useful, manageable resources.
Before you get overwhelmed, remember that you don’t have to do all of this yourself. Look at your tech tools and vendors – many of them already offer free training regularly. Just promote those to your agents. Make training resources known and easily available to them so they can get themselves training on exactly what they need, when they need it.
Access to meaningful data can make all the difference. Agents want data that shows how their business is performing. Look through your existing tech tools to see if your agents have a snapshot of their business anywhere. What tools are encouraging their annual goal-setting? Which ones are giving them necessary visibility into their business’ performance to ensure they hold themselves accountable and meet these goals?
The agents looking for this is typically focused on optimization, always looking to improve their business. These are the agents you want on your team.
Even as independent contractors, agents see the value in having a team, which means building a strong community holds a good deal of weight. Focus on building a community that is unique to the people in your office. Valuing diversity and inclusion is vital in ensuring agents feel safe and respected in your community.
When agents feel like they’re a part of a community, they have people who they can trust, rely on, get encouragement from, and learn from. This leads to higher collaboration in closing more sales, as well as higher adoption of technology tools, and more recruiting referrals for new agents.
Tip: When a new agent starts, pair them with someone in the office who has a similar sales history or sales style as them. Send them out to coffee or lunch together so they can begin to build rapport and trust. Having a go-to team member could make all the difference as they settle into your community.
Make core values part of your recruiting process. Outline what values your brokerage and office have. Look for those values in new agents and be transparent about them. Agents who resonate with them will be attracted, and even better, they’ll stick around.
A Warm Welcome
Don’t underestimate the importance of an agent’s first two weeks with your brokerage. It’s all about the little things. If an agent feels welcome when they first join your team, they’ll start off on the right foot. You just recruited them, now start the retention process right away. Make them feel like they’re part of the team and they’ll settle in for the long run.
Everything on this list is about the agent and their success. If your brokerage brand is well-recognized and well-regarded, that box will be checked and agents will start looking at what their day-to-day life will be like at your brokerage. According to NAR, the average agent stays at their current brokerage for just four years. This means you have relatively little time to win an agent over and keep them on your team. Make sure you’re taking actions that truly matter.
Effective recruiting practices and impactful retention strategies are important for the culture of your brokerage, its reputation, and of course, your bottom line.
Need to improve and automate the recruiting process at your brokerage? Learn more about Moxi Talent here.
It’s that time of year again – time for us to renew our gym memberships, swear off holiday desserts forever (or at least until next December), and set lofty, life-changing goals for ourselves. You may love or hate New Year’s resolutions, but no one can deny the importance of setting goals. Ask any brokerage owner what their goals are and sitting comfortably in the top five, year after year, is recruiting and retention. Setting the goal is half the battle. The rest is execution.
According to NAR, 84% of brokerages with four or more offices are actively recruiting. Large brokerages are under pressure to continue their growth, and everyone else must keep up. Therein lies the greatest challenge: execution under that pressure. How can an office manager recruit new agents while they’re juggling everything from helping close a million-dollar sale or unjamming a printer or negotiating to keep top talent? At the end of the day, an office manager may only have the time and energy to hit the button on a blast of traditional mass mailers to an Excel spreadsheet of candidates and pray something hits.
Introducing Moxi Talent
With that, MoxiWorks is excited to present the newest member to the platform: Moxi Talent. Moxi Talent is designed to help office managers and recruiters execute on this year’s resolutions through goal-setting, automation, and a consistent methodology to attract and hire agents. It is built on the core of Moxi Engage, the CRM and productivity tool that increases agent production by an average of 38%. Using Moxi Engage’s focus on goals and its integration with email contacts and calendar events, Moxi Talent is in a unique position to bring the same change in productivity to office managers’ recruiting pipeline and, eventually, retention efforts.
Moxi Talent requires managers and recruiters to set their goals before taking any other action. The goals are used by the system to keep managers focused on a disciplined methodology, despite the noise of daily office life. Best practices in the form of tasks help managers take the right action at the right time, such as posting to the agent’s LinkedIn profile, swinging by the agent’s broker open, or using Moxi Present as a vehicle for marketing materials, a strategy many of our clients are already using today.
Let Technology be Your Wingman
It doesn’t stop there. We’ll continue to expand the feature throughout this year, enabling managers to tell Moxi Talent the profile of their ideal recruit based on volume and the geography of the agent’s listings, which the tool will use to suggest the best candidate for the manager. Say goodbye to mind-numbing spreadsheets of data and hello to intelligent, automated recruiting leads.
Nothing makes us at Moxi happier than to grow with our brokerage clients, and we’re thrilled to take the next step in that continual growth with Moxi Talent, so brokerage owners and managers can make good on this year’s resolutions, unlike my unused gym membership.
Moxi Talent is currently in Beta. Find out more by clicking here.