To say recruiting top agents is challenging in today’s business environment is an understatement. Increasing competition, market pressure on costs, and operational challenges, like keeping up with training needs and leveraging technology in the most effective way, all contribute to the difficulty. Yet successful brokers have learned to embrace industry change and invest in their business, leveraging data to differentiate themselves and technology to become more efficient. In no area is this more relevant than agent recruiting.
Personalization at Scale
Successful agent recruiting starts and ends with technology. Today’s technological landscape allows for more access to relevant data and effectively using that data allows for personalization at scale. When you message a prospective agent with messaging that’s personalized to him or her, you’re more likely to be noticed. And getting noticed by more of the people whom you want to notice you in a way that doesn’t cost a fortune or take a ton of time is key.
Below, we outline some effective strategies to succeed in recruiting top agents without spending hours of your time simply getting to the introduction.
Know Your Business
The concept of “Pull Marketing”, or good products that sell themselves, faded long ago as our attention spans continued to shrink. Today, our average attention span is less than a goldfish’s, highlighting the importance of “Push Marketing” - the need to distribute your message to your potential customers before they have an explicit desire to learn more about you or your product.
Yet in a service economy, the channel through which you choose to reach your potential agents is only half the battle. The message, or what you tell them when you reach them, is just as important.
Brokers are going to need to spend more time learning the needs, wants and desires of their customers, including their prospective agents, and communicating that they understand them. For agent recruiting, this means Brokers need to know why someone would want to join their team. For Brokers who don’t have a compelling differentiator, creating one by listening to current high performing agents and learning why they work for them is the first step.
Identify, Reach, Attract, and Acquire
To reach top talent, you have to go where the top talent is, and often when they don’t expect it. With a good understanding of the value your firm offers, the next step is translating and distributing that content digitally, to the right people. Hiring the wrong person is costly. Some studies predict that every time a business replaces an employee, it costs 20% of the employee’s annual salary or commissions. For a $10 million agent, that’s a potential $120,000 loss.
Using digital technology will save time in the initial recruitment process and with more time being spent on the actual interview, hiring and onboarding process, you’ll save money by avoiding a bad hire.
There are several platforms today that provide advanced targeting and audience segmentation capabilities for you to identify, reach, attract and acquire agents whom you want working at your company. And because you’re trying to reach a small pool of individuals with enough frequency to influence them to reach out to you, it’s important that you’re able to reach them across most, if not all, of the sites they frequent. The best part is that when done well, it won’t cost a fortune.
One example is Facebook. Facebook and its family of applications, including Instagram, are only getting smarter. Facebook and Google single sign on (SSO) have grown, which gives them better connectivity across browsers like Chrome and Safari, and different devices like phones, tablets and computers. This means that they can glean more insight on users than ever before and you can use that to target your advertising to the only people you want to reach. YouTube is another example. With all of the targeting capabilities available today, you can deliver high impact content to a very specific audience, or audiences, at moments that matter.
Attract and Acquire
Once you’ve developed a messaging strategy and identified the digital channels your prospective agents frequent, test and learn from your successes so they can be replicated. Not all agents are alike, so vary ad copy by who will see the ads and where to identify what generates the best response. Use that insight to have more engaging personalized conversations when face to face.
Finding systems to track agent recruiting beyond the inquiry to the interview and post-hire development is also important. Tools exist, like Lever, Predictive Index, and more, for Brokers to track recruiting efforts. Brokers can assess individual behavior, personalize interview questions, evaluate performance, develop coaching plans, and more. To truly be effective, Brokers can marry post-inquiry data with marketing analytics from their agent recruiting campaigns and replicate their most successful strategies. Digitally, tools like lookalike modeling exist to find other people who are similar to successful agents. Offline, good training programs, ongoing development opportunities, and leveraging technology to support agent growth are all key.
About the author: Rachel Allard is the Vice President of Operations at Union Street Media. By overseeing operations at Union Street Media, Rachel is responsible for ensuring that the client experience building and marketing websites is exceptional. Rachel comes from a digital advertising background, specializing in SaaS, marketing automation and analytics. She is passionate about remarkable digital marketing that harnesses customer intent to grow business. Rachel has built a team of specialists to support client growth needs, and is excited to see the digital transformation of real estate continue.