Agent Recruitment & Technology

I've been looking for articles on how brokers are recruiting new agents in a market quite different from the frothy one of 2005. At the Inman blog today, I quickly mentioned that a missing component in the brokers' recruitment value proposition - few brokers seem to promote training and programs designed to get their new agents up to speed on technology and new internet based marketing methods including blogging.

I found a comprehensive set of articles related to agent recruitment and retention at, but none of these 48 articles addresses using technology or productivity training as a value proposition.

Kris Berg wrote a distinctive post on Bloodhound about broker recruiting and exposes this obvious point (she attributes to Redfin's Glenn Kelman) - Brokerages recruit more agents than a market needs because they want the split or they want the desk fee.

Conclusion - typical agent recruitment is still conducted the usual way - with splits, training, and culture as criteria - a handshake and a smile and finally the "float" test to see if the agent can swim.

John Harper wrote several fine posts revealing the decision making process his Harper Team went through in choosing a broker:
How the Harper Team chose Keller Williams
Keller Williams - It’s the Business Model that Brings in Agents ,
(btw, the
Harper Team Blog is a great example of a prolific local blog that is beginning to lock up Google search queries for San Ramon, Danville and Pleasanton, it should be blogrolled as a model for aggressive local blog marketing).

Conclusion - for the most part, broker owners recruit agents based on their Old Guard pedigree, not on being technologically innovative.

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  • 3/9/2007 12:10 PM john harper wrote:
    Pat - thanks for the mention. Coming from an Internet background spanning over 12 years now, I am amazed how far behind the curve most brokers are. Our team is involved with one of the biggest real estate marketers in North America. Last Nov. at a conference thye talked about how they were going to add blogging to their sites later in '07!!
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  • 3/9/2007 1:00 PM Jim Kimmons wrote:

    Last year I had an article in Realtor® Magazine's Tech@Work section on intranets for real estate brokerages. One of my points was that a broker could offer agents a centralized, yet online access-anywhere, solution that provides contact management, task/listing management, marketing material sharing, smartphone sync, etc. This at a cost of less than $10 per agent per month.

    I did the math, with 1 million+ readers, and decided I'd better set up a better phone system and a couple of people to help with the questions that were to come pouring in. There were a grand total of three phone calls, all from people trying to sell me on "better" intranets than those mentioned in the article.

    Go figure.
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    1. 3/9/2007 1:55 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      No surprise there Jim. Here's my prediction, the first major brokerage who gets technology and blogging as an integral part of the training they offer to their agents is going to expand their recruitment ranks quickly... this a no-brainer that most broker/owner/managers still can't see.

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  • 3/11/2007 1:23 PM Teresa Boardman wrote:
    Technology training of any kind is almost non-exsistant in the industry. Much of the training is still focused on scripts and dialogues. Much of the so called technology training that is availalbe is taught by people with products to sell (vendors) Agents don't get the basic training that they need, but rather are trainied by some of the most succesfull people in the industry who got where they are using 80's techniques.
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    1. 3/11/2007 3:38 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Thanks for confirming my point Teresa!

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  • 3/13/2007 5:57 AM RK Ruthman wrote:
    I am not sure if technology can replace "hands on, gentle touch" recruiting.

    The following was taken from one of my blog comments at Activerain and is geared toward recruitment.

    Building a relationship is key to recruiting.

    Recruiting should not be (or come off as) "a sell", but since most managers come from a selling background they can not get away from their roots. I don't know too many people that enjoy rejection, but that should be water off a duck's back if a manager is going to succeed. Never accept "no" as an answer is usually a good recruiters motto.

    There are many types of managers, and many different techniques to get agents to get "on-board" without having to "shanghai" them. Recruiting Managers go to co-operating Broker Opens and Public Open Houses to "meet and greet" competing office's agents.

    Recruiting can be a slow process. Building a relationship with an agent is the best way to build confidence. "Listening" is the best way to recruit. If the recruit is not interested in talking at that time, the manager should ask them when is a good time to chat and follow up. Eventually a manager may catch the agent at a "talkative" time, then the manager can LISTEN and disperse (free) advice, share experiences or commiserate. If there is a chance to drive a wedge, that is when a recruiter takes it. (That's sounds strong, but is true.)

    "Persistence" pays off for the recruiting manager. The fear of "rejection" will not make manager's sales office or production grow.

    Never be offended when you are being courted by another company. Extend professional courtesies and decline respectfully to recruiting efforts. Relationships are still important to you as an agent. Who knows, someday you may want to make a change!

    Agents should value themselves, recruiters do!
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  • 3/13/2007 6:04 AM RK Ruthman wrote:
    Sorry for being a "blog hog". I really think this information will help real estate agents.

    As most of us are familiar with, some company agents are actively recruiting. But, there is usually a hidden agenda behind those welcoming smiles and open arms. The agents are given incentives. For example, it is quite possible a percentage of the recruited sales agent's generated gross commission is given to the recruiter. That's a nice bonus, especially if your pal is a top-producer.
    So, if you not selling houses, heck, sell the company!

    But, a little warning for those agents who try to recruit the competition, you also have competition with your managers! The recruiting business was their additional income, and you are going to have to prove you were the rainmaker should the other agent join your company.

    Document...Write...Log....Note...and be prepared for fight for your incentive.
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  • 3/13/2007 10:12 AM John Schroeder wrote:
    Until this new breed of Realtors who utilize technology to a greater extent become the top agents in their respective offices change will occur slowly. Offices that become technology saavy will have a distinct advantage over those who are not.
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  • 3/13/2007 12:05 PM RK wrote:
    John, I agree with you!

    Older agents ("has been" agents) that are no longer producers are being asked to "retire" to make room for tech savvy recruits.

    Although possessing the newest technology is one of the main assets of an office. Maintaining administrative personnel that is tech savvy can be expensive. Offices that have too many "tech resistant" agents are definitely going to feel a budget pinch to pay for quality admin or agents will need to pay additional costs for company "assistants" or "assistance".
    Reply to this
    1. 3/13/2007 11:41 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Thank you very much for your insights RK, you're quite welcome to be a "blog hog" or even a guest contributor to Transparent any time!

      Reply to this

  • 3/21/2007 12:52 PM Lucy wrote:
    Good post. Yes, something needs to be done about that. Internet marketing has taken over, and agents need to be trained on anything that can help them excel in this day and age.
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  • 5/9/2007 4:53 PM David Toyama wrote:
    That is why I hired an on staff computer system analyst! He has been pushing my agents even those who are stubborn to make the tech change, to get with the NEW AGE program!
    Reply to this

  • 8/30/2007 11:19 AM Linda Hebert wrote:
    Need more input and advice as well as directions to find information for recruting
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  • 7/9/2008 10:51 AM Ana In San Antonio wrote:
    Is there any online training videos that brokers could purchase? We currently have about 15 agents so hiring a trainer would not make sense at this point, however we would like to offer some sort of training.
    Reply to this

  • 3/16/2010 4:01 PM Ranch Man wrote:
    We actually just started making some training videos. A client of mine has a son who is a marketing guy and he suggested doing this. We started using a simple program called Jing, but then started using Camtasia. So far it is working well and is a lot easier than I thought it would be. We are slowly but surely getting there.
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