Real Estate Recruiting.....

Real Estate Agent with 1

One of the hardest parts of my job I think is recruiting.  I hire alot of agents, I talk to alot of agents and I have trained quite a few agents that just did not make the cut.  I  know alot of people think that Real Estate is easy and it may be so for the agents who can "turn everything into 'Sold'".  But there are agents out that that really -

  • A.) Should not be anywhere near Real Estate.
  • B.) Really, should not be anywhere Real Estate OR a moving vehicle and maybe perhaps should wear protective padding

To be honest, I do think that the ability to connect with people is one of the key elements in being a good Realtor. 

Since I started recruiting, I have hired some EXCELLENT agents and well - shamefully I hired some huge duds that the thought of them still make me cringe.  I was learning.  I have been learned and I am getting better at it and for the record, it is still not one of my favorite things to do but I am catching on.

Recruiting is an ongoing thing.  I see that my 'regular' agents get upset when they see either my broker or I hiring agents, I can understand and totally relate to their fears but it is an ingredient that makes the brokerage continue to grow.

I am becoming more picky.

This is one thing that I lacked.  In the beginning, if the agent could form a full sentence and they remembered how to match their socks and if the passed the NYS DOS Real Estate exam - I pretty much was impressed and hired them.   

I was always quickly exhausted and extremely let down.  Of course the agents career was very short lived but it still took time out of my day to go over what was expected of them.

Today things are different, I have requirements.  REAL  Requirements.  If more than one or two are not met, sadly I can not hire that agent.  (Every so often my broker tosses me a hiree to train - but that is for another post).   

  • The ability to connect with people,
  • Believing what they are about to embark in is hard work.
  • Ability to run and run fast if needed.
  • Common Sense.
  • FULL TIME .  (this is huge for me now a days )
  • Have bought or sold a house on their own. (can be a bit flexible on this)
  • Flexible in days worked.
  • The knowledge that their success is not sitting on MINE or my brokers shoulders.
  • Knowledge that they have to network and advertise - for themselves.
  • Knowledge that they are self employed and their earnings are SOLELY dependent on HOW hard they want to work.
  • Ability to drive.  (Don't roll your eyes - seen it).
  • Computer/Internet savvy.

Above and beyond anything else the ONE factor that I look for in an agent is trust.  If they can trust me in what I am suggesting (notice how I did not say telling them) to do and if I can trust them to represent this company in a manner that won't bite me in the arse then I can work with that agent.  I don't like sneaks, I don't like liars and I so don't like shady greedy people. 


Young agents getting their start - Newsday

Are You an Effective Leader? How Brokers Contribute to Agent Success - RISMedia

The Real Deal - Upfront costs rise for agents


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Vince Kelly
Kelly Realty Group - Colorado Springs, CO
As a Broker who is beginning to hire agents, it is a nice read.  Hope to find the same successes in recruiting as you have realized. 
May 15, 2007 10:29 AM #13
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Christine, excellent post. Wish I had read it last year when I was managing and recruiting in my office. Much harder than anyone thinks.
May 15, 2007 10:32 AM #14
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hey NY Chic....

Got the mail and there you were. I'll get back to that shortly :)

First I want to thank you for the insightful post.

I agree with Blog Boy (Broker Bryant) we just do not have the patience for any of this. I would have to hire YOU to take care of this for me :)

If I couldn't hire you then I just wouldn't do any recruiting. LOL.


May 15, 2007 10:43 AM #15
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC
I recall the days when I blindly recruited agents only to be disappointed in 6 months.  Quality over quantity is what's important.  Nice post. 
May 15, 2007 11:05 AM #16
Ken Bell
Realty Executives Brio - Bellevue, WA

I could talk about this for hours. When you're in a position like this it is hard not to get a bad taste in your mouth for people's work ethic in general.

In a lot of ways I relate it to golf. I can go out and hit 9 bad shots in a row, but it's that one great shot you hit that keeps you coming back. The same thing happens when you are recruiting agents. There are times when you get quite a few less than desirable hires in a row, but it's that one great hire you get that makes it all worth while.

I like the list you have. Having them be FULL TIME agents was one that we really nailed down on recently.  

May 15, 2007 11:06 AM #17
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
Amen, sister!!!  I can't add anything to this excellent post except that you and I are definitely on the same page with this one.
May 15, 2007 12:28 PM #18
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty
Christine - Thanks for the great perspective on your recruiting experiences and the pointers to the other posts.
May 15, 2007 12:41 PM #19
Laura Monroe
Inman News - San Francisco, CA
Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media
Christine~ Very informative post about the rigors of beginning real estate...I give you all lots of kudos to do what you do, and obviously you do it well! 
May 15, 2007 12:55 PM #20


This was forwarded to me by one of the agents that work with our Company and I must thank him.  I hope you do not mind if I utilize your criteria.  When you hire agents that do not meet these criteria, they just drain your time and effort.  Great Post - will be looking for more.

May 15, 2007 02:06 PM #21
Rudy Bachraty
Director, Communications & Partner Strategies, WellcomeMat - Fort Collins, CO

hi christine!

great post.

many feel that the barrier to entry into real estate is too low. some suggestions include raising the education and continuing education requirements. i have felt this way too until i read your post and thought, hmmmmmm, we can't really control what happens on a state level but as brokers, we sure as heck can control who our agents are.

at the brokerage level, we can decide who makes the cut to represent the company brand and philosphy as well as our industry reputation. after the recruits are selected, mentoring and education are the keys to helping them succeed.


May 15, 2007 02:57 PM #22

Hi Christine:

I am a new Owner/Broker and I have decided to use this post for our next manditory office meeting! (If it's all right with you). I have 12 years experience and I agree with most everything you have said. I USED TO think that you could teach anyone to sell as long as you could help them find their own individual style. Then I wasted a whole year trying to mentor someone who didn't have the desire or ability to sell, but wanted to make the money. That doesn't work either.

Now I think that you either have it or you don't. If you have a little of it...a good trainer can help you develop and become a better salesperson, but if you don't, no amount of training will make you a good salesperson. Relationship is everything.

May 15, 2007 03:01 PM #23
JudyAnn Lorenz
Bar JD Communications - Mansfield, MO
Virtual Marketing Consultant

A great measurement -- perhaps a useful self measurement for potential real estate agents.  It is not a walk in the park. 

Agents need to be prepared to live on some other resource while they build their business.  It doesn't happen overnight.  

The point that the agent is a new person in town and everybody will work with the people who have "lived there forever" is not a justified whine.  I 'suggested' to agents that they go out to other businesses and get acquainted; become involved in ONE civic organization.  The ones who did made headway in building a following as people became acquainted with them.

The tale that makes me sad is the man who was sidelined by a heart attack.  Now, his health makes him disabled and at least eligible for counseling about a new career!  You know the recommendationi already -- real estate.  Good grief, the man had just had one heart attack and needed income yesterday!

Being a picky recruiter is being the merciful and compassionate recruiter.  Why hire someone then have to 'beat' them toward production and let them go when they are purest losers.  Not a good time/energy investment for the brokerage or the individual

May 15, 2007 03:17 PM #24
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779
You bet! Only-thing I might add ...look for a sense of need it in our profession.
May 15, 2007 04:56 PM #25
Joddie Roberts
Mountain Real Estate and Property Management - Spokane, WA
Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA

Hi Christine - it was refreshing to hear you say not everyone is cut out to be in Real Estate!  It isn't about the number of agents in an office (even if there is residual income!)  It's about helping people succeed in what they want to do.  I'm of the more "timid" type, but I got my license because I wanted to, and knew I could overcome my own personal obstacles. 

I think it is a shame to only promote the possible income without giving a dose of reality; it takes time and it takes money.  It's advised all the time (in my area) that new agents need 4-6 months of income reserved - I think realistically that's unrealistic. 

Thanks for being honest!

May 15, 2007 06:30 PM #26
Yvonne Brown
Century 21 Northwest - Gilbert, AZ
I like your list of qualities and think it is very accurate!
May 15, 2007 07:18 PM #27
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Hi Christine

As a former Native New Yorker I can relate.  Since moving to Florida I thought I had seen it all in NYC-but it is different depending on where you live. You are right-those basic fundamental hiring components are the keys to a successful agent and successful brokerage. It is hard work and only the most determined candidates will have the drive to win. A competitive attitude seems to be inherit in most top producers. You have presented this well! 

May 15, 2007 10:41 PM #28
Elizabeth Ruvo
Watson Realty Corp. - Ormond Beach, FL

Great post, Christine.  I went to a two day recruiting class last week and you had better info on the actual interview than I got in the class.


May 16, 2007 12:20 PM #29
April Groves
Keller Williams - Pooler, GA

It is awesome to find you in yet another place, dispensing yet more wisdom. Your no nonsense tone is a breath of fresh air. 

If I ever move to New York, you had better hire me!

Jun 04, 2007 02:05 PM #30
Christine Forgione
1 - Whitestone, NY
Associate Broker
In a heart beat April... In a heart beat!!
Jun 05, 2007 12:37 AM #31
Aaron Majors
Portland Realty Hub LLC - Portland, OR
CNE. Principle Broker

Hi Christine,

 I just joined the Leadership Development program at my firm (to eventually get my own branch after 6 months of training) and my primary function is recruitment. It is challenging for sure.

I agree with everything in your blog and do relate to the challenge. My specialty is cold calling. I'm learning and adapting cold calling strategies for recruiting.

Do you cold call agents? Or do you just recruit through networking?

Oct 03, 2008 06:56 AM #32
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