Brokers: 12 Hacks to Attract Agents as an Industry Influencer and Thought Leader
As Real Estate agents, generating leads is the key to profitability. But as the manager or owner of a brokerage, recruiting agents to your firm is the #1 goal, isn’t it? Attracting, hiring and retaining great agents is the foundation for a growing and profitable company. If you’re a broker, you probably spend every waking minute of your day thinking about recruiting agents — or at least you should. Why? More agents equals higher profitability. Hiring new agents gives you the leverage to fire under-performing agents (or those with a bad attitude who don’t fit into your culture).
Of course it seems like every agent wants the best commission split — but in reality, agents want more than just low fees. They consider the entire package — from office location to culture to training and support to perks. Your company’s brand is paramount to agents, since their business builds upon the brand’s foundation. However, “brand” reflects much more than just a company name or logo. Brand encompasses your company’s credibility, and specifically the broker’s reputation as a leader in the industry.
Today we bring you a list of credibility tools for brokers to enhance their status as industry leaders. Look and see which accomplishments you already have, so you can highlight them in your branding. Or, add these achievements to your “bucket list” and schedule to complete them this year. Earn the respect you deserve as a broker, owner, manager and leader of your company. Attract the right agents who fit in with the culture are you creating.
1. Earn Designations
When you earn a Real Estate designation or certification, you show that education and knowledge are important to you and your company. A specialized niche designation, such as luxury homes, international buyers, or military loans, could further set you apart from your competition. GRI is the premier designation, but it typically takes a year to complete. Meanwhile, get your e-Pro designation, which you can complete online, or the Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) certification, which does not have to be renewed in subsequent years. Of course, there’s always the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) that’s a natural fit and lends credibility to your management. Find designations here: www.nar.realtor/designations-and-certifications
2. Expert in Related Field
Don Mowery, broker of Re/Max New Horizons, is also a certified residential Real Estate appraiser. Because of his advanced knowledge, many agents seek him out for questions about the local market and property values. Rounding out his business model is an escrow company. Because of owning three related businesses, Don is regarded as an expert in the Real Estate field. Amazingly, all three companies are extremely successful and work well side-by-side, which has allowed his business to grow exponentially. Success breeds success.
3. Certified Coach or Leader
Suneet Agarwal, Real Estate coach at Michael Hellickson’s Club Wealth Real Estate Coaching, has been recognized as an industry trailblazer. Respected as a team leader at Best Sac Homes Group, Suneet has become a big fish in the little pond of Sacramento, California. Don’t get devoured by sharks — instead, get certified by a leadership organization such as Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, or John Maxwell. Build your reputation with a boost from respected coaches who license their success systems to you.
4. Be An Instructor or Speaker
Kevin Markarian, broker/owner of Marker Real Estate, is in demand nationwide as a keynote speaker at NAR, Lab Coat Agents LIVE, and other conferences. His popular topics range from lead gen, conversion, systems, expansion, recruiting, and culture to systems and mindset. Consider becoming a trainer, teacher, or speaker. Start speaking practice with your local ToastMasters club. Teach students about business with Junior Achievement while you build your skills. Genius!
5. Earn a College Degree
What better way to gain the respect of colleagues than to finish your bachelor’s degree? When contemplating my half-finished Business Administration degree from Cal Poly, after 25 years I made a bold decision to switch my major to Real Estate. Last year I finally finished my B.A. degree and continued on to earning my M.B.A. degree. My academic knowledge allows me to help others in our industry. Also as a Real Estate broker, a college degree adds to my competitive advantage. Since you already know the Real Estate business, a degree demonstrates your qualifications, and because a Real Estate degree is so rare, you gain instant credibility. If you started your degree but didn’t finish yet, consider switching to a Real Estate major and becoming a standout. Ashford University offers an excellent program: www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/business/bachelor-of-arts-real-estate-studies
6. Invent A Cool Product
As an innovator of technology or new ideas, gain the envy of every great Real Estate agent. Everyone wants to rub shoulders with the hottest disrupters. My favorite team of industry leaders, Saul Klein and John Reilly, developed the e-Pro designation and brought it to NAR. Added to their long list of accomplishments, inventing a cool product is icing on the cake for them. Bringing innovation to the Real Estate industry invariably results in being recognized as the cream of the crop in publications, too!
7. Realtor® Leadership
Don’t we all admire a president (or past president) of our local Realtor® Association? Even those who serve on committees at a local, state, or national level are hailed for their contributions. Any member can volunteer for a local committee, which begins the pathway to presidency. Leaders enhance their perspective by viewing the industry from a wider perspective. And who knows, you may even get quoted in your Realtor® Association newsletter!
8. Lead a Real Estate Organization
In addition to the Realtors®, many other organizations serve our industry in various capacities. NAREB reaches out to African-American families to help them invest in home ownership. AREAA is comprised of Asian Real Estate agents. NAHREP represents Hispanic Real Estate agents. Women’s Council of Realtors® (WCR) cultivates women for leadership positions. Stand above the competition and expand your reach by volunteering to a leadership role in these important organizations.
9. Moderate An Online Real Estate Group
Managing an online group can demand a 24/7/365 commitment, but it’s well worth the rewards. In addition to the popularity gained when everyone in the industry knows your name, think about the exposure to more opportunities. It takes a lot of effort to maintain an active group, but consider your time sacrificed as stealth market research. Keep your finger on the pulse of the today’s Real Estate community as it unfolds in real time. Give polls to find out preferences, review group activity stats, and stay close to your tribe of fans.
10. Partner With A Famous Person
Chris Heller of Keller Williams was the first in our area to feature Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank as his company’s business partner. That certainly brought the “wow” factor from consumers as well as agents. He was the envy of brokers in our local area, and this moment of fame allowed him to pivot into a corporate leadership role at his company.
11. Author A Book
These days, it seems like everyone’s writing a book — but there’s a huge chasm between those who dream about publishing their own book, and those who actually do. Set yourself apart from the crowd by authoring your own book. Yes, it takes commitment and effort, but it’s easier than you think. The content can be repurposed into an audio book, e–book, or online course that prospective agents can download from your site. Can’t you just envision your name on the cover of a book?
12. History Of Top Producing Sales
If you have a track record of high volume sales, highlight it! And you’re even more impressive if you’ve won awards. Who wouldn’t want to be mentored by a broker known for the highest production levels in town? Be aware, however, this tactic could be a turn-off too. If the broker has an active farm area, that’s a double-edged sword. Agents do not want their broker competing with them for current sales. So, highlight your previous sales record, but be cautious about advertising current sales records.
An effective method of promoting your track record of top sales is to promote your team, rather than yourself. Barry Jenkins, executive director and team leader at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Native American Group in Virginia, is a great example of excellent achievements through teamwork. Accolades include being ranked 5th in Virginia by Real Trends Top Agents, ranked 3rd in the Nation by BHG, named HRRA Circle of Excellence Platinum Award Winner, and Better Homes and Gardens Emerald Elite Award Winner. Everyone wants to join a successful team like his and learn from his talents!
And there you have it, the top 12 hacks that can help you as a broker be respected as an industry influencer and thought leader. While it’s not the only criteria that agents use to evaluate your brokerage, your credibility is part of the branding that attracts agents to your company. Remember, agents want good commission splits but they also consider the entire package your brokerage offers.
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