April 12, 2016
Back in late winter, Contactually spoke with 120 top-tier brokers to learn what their priorities were for 2016. No surprise, 96% of them told us that recruiting was one of their top two priorities.
Of that 96%, an overwhelming majority identified recruiting as an evergreen focus - in other words, a topic they were constantly dedicating time to, regardless of the age of the brokerage or time of year.
Why is this the case? Apart from the annual agent turnover rate, which necessitates near-constant recruiting in order to have a full roster, recruiting serves as a focal point because it's one of two principal levers for growing the business. (The other, in case you're curious, is to improve the productivity of existing agents.)
Simply put, the more agents a brokerage has on its roster, the more chances it has to bring in revenue. But it's important, too, to have the right mix of agents. Your recruiting efforts will have gone to waste if your roster doesn't stimulate the growth you want.
You know from your own inbox that most emails go ignored. Some brokers have been getting creative with their emails and embedding videos or other catchy marketing materials. But while these types of messages are more likely to grab someone's attention, they're probably less likely to generate a response.
Think about your own reactions to marketing-heavy emails. Do you often reply to them, or do you delete them? If you employ those same techniques, you run the risk of coming across as promotional and impersonal, of selling the brokerage and not appealing to the value of the agent. What are some best practices you can follow to get your recruiting communications read?
If you're recruiting a top agent, you'll want to state right off the bat what you bring to the partnership. Most high-production agents have a lot of brokers on their case about making a move. and it's important that you distinguish yourself. Another important factor is recognizing that top producers are often satisfied where they are (after all, they're already bringing in the big bucks, so why should they make a change?).
You have to offer something better than what they already have. What do you have that sets you apart? Get a good understanding of what the agents want -- keeping in mind that it's not always solely about commission. Some agents want more freedom, while others want training and support and/or some want greater work-life balance. Identify what each agent wants and tailor your message accordingly.
Although answering this question is perhaps most pressingly important when recruiting top performers, remember it also forms the basis of good recruiting more generally. You should be able to define your value proposition and communicate it clearly to anyone you're wanting to join your roster.
Everyone knows this one, but we can't emphasize it enough. Agents know when they receive canned or mass emails, just like you do when you skim through your inbox and selectively choose what to read. Writing a blanket email and blasting it out to a list of agents may be the easiest method of outreach, but we guarantee it's also the least effective.
Get to know the agents you're trying to recruit. Are they referrals of your current agents or people in your network? Write a few sentences about why the referrers thought they'd be good fits, or include a story that gives insight into your relationship with the people they know.
Have you met previously at a conference or industry event? Use that as a reference point and a shared experience. Are you part of the same associations? Use that for common ground.
If you're cold emailing, look online to see what you can learn from agents' social profiles and websites. Perhaps they recently won awards or sold impressive properties. Maybe you have mutual interests.
Lastly, don't forget to share some about yourself. What kind of managing broker or broker-owner are you? What is your background? The general rule of thumb is that one person opening up will inspire a similar effect in the other. Remember, switching brokerages can be a big decision. Take time to connect with the agents you're reaching out to. Make the relationship a genuine one.
Email only goes so far in igniting an opportunity. With email you have the advantage of being able to softly initiate a conversation, but you lack the interpersonal elements that really drive a discussion forward.
Email is great for initial outreach and even follow ups to other conversations, but it shouldn't be your only method of communication. Give agents the chance to speak with you on the phone, meet for coffee, and see the office. Talking on the phone or face-to-face will also give the chance to get a better read on them: Their interests, their personalities, their work ethic, and so forth.
As with everything from email to a phone conversation, try to be as specific as possible. Agents are much more likely to respond to a clear invitation ("Coffee on Wednesday?") than a general one ("Coffee sometime?"). Even if the suggested time doesn't work, they can respond with a time that does, and you'll have something on the calendar instead of waiting around in no man's land for the amorphous "sometime" to materialize into a meeting.
Contactually curated a batch of market-proven, best practice email templates from top-notch brokers, and we want to give five of them to you. You can download them below, or if you use Contactually for recruiting follow ups, you can access all of them directly and add them into your account from the email template library.
All of the emails are different, but they have a few things in common.
Click below to download the emails we have, and then use the following as a guide to crafting your own effective emails.
PS. If you'll share one of your emails back with us, we'll send you a bonus email in exchange!