Real Estate Recruiting – Conversations That Matter
Lee R. focuses on conversations.
Lee R. is a well-known Team Leader with tremendous experience in recruiting new agents. He takes a very realistic and pragmatic approach to the task of agent recruitment, and espouses always using a systematic but people-first approach. A big fan of speaking with a volume of prospects, Lee notably closed 4 new agents in one calendar month recently, and usually sits with over 40+ prospects each month.
We talked with Lee to uncover his views, tips, and secrets for great real estate recruiting conversations.
Shaun: Hey Lee! How are things going? It seems like you’re hitting it out of the park.
Lee: The recruiting! Yeah, I sit on over 40 appointments and bring in around 10 agents a month. That’s my minimum standard. And my goal with your service was to be able to line-up more volume of those high-quality call appointments. I appreciate the progress so far, and believe that we can still do better. I’m excited to continue this journey for sure.
Shaun: Awesome. Well, that’s great! Let me ask you some for some advice and insights here that we can share with other recruiters like yourself.
So first of all, what were you doing for recruiting before you were working with us?
Lee: Yeah. So I was cold calling, getting referrals from my agents, and leveraging events. I would say those three are still my main sources.
Shaun: Cool. And were you making a lot of cold calls before we got involved? Were you finding that easy or hard?
Lee: What’s a lot? (Laughs) I’m sitting on over 40 appointments per month. That’s our company standard. That’s a standard, not a goal. So am I making a lot? I’m making as much as I have to in order to meet the standards. Cold calling is a necessity.
Shaun: And how were you enjoying doing the cold calling?
Lee: I mean look… “enjoying it” as a relative word. (laughs) I have a vision of my future, and what my income and my passive income should be. When I sold real estate that’s what I did. I cold-called expired listings and built a highly successful business that is still successful today.
And to be clear, I’m still doing some cold calling. But in the last few months we’re averaging at least eight in-office appointments (per month) who are from CityBlast introductions.
Nobody enjoys cold calling but it’s part of the process. CityBlast helps with that.
Shaun: Right. OK. So let’s talk about your process for recruiting. What do you usually say when you’re talking to people on the phone for the first time after we set up the intro call for you?
Lee: Yeah. Good question. So CityBlast is simply setting up for me an agent who is open to an opportunity outside of the brokerage that they’re at. I would basically call that a lead. And then it’s my job to pique enough interest for them to meet in person.
But what I found to be very successful is, as soon as the appointment is set by CityBlast, I shoot a quick text over and say hey I’m looking forward to our conversation at blank time. I’ll talk with you then.
So then at that first conversation I usually start the dialogue with “what would make this a great call for you?” And most of the time they’re like “well I want you to tell me what you can do for me.” And then I go from there.
Shaun: OK. And so then the person agrees to come down and speak with you. I’m guessing by your numbers that about half of them are coming down to visit you after you do your intro call which is great. It’s a really good ratio.
So what’s your goal then and what are you doing on that first meeting when they come? Are you meeting them at the office?
Lee: Yes. I only meet people at the office, and I do a “needs analysis.” It’s not about our company, it never is. It’s always about the agent, where they are in their business and what they’re doing to build and grow their business.
There’s two reasons why someone would leave where they are to join us; it’s because where they are can’t help them get to where they want to go. And we can help them get to where they want to go faster. And the only way to resolve that is to know where they are and where they want to go so that’s resolved through a “needs analysis.”
No two appointments are ever the same.
Shaun: Can you describe some of the benefits or value that you’ve seen from CityBlast?
Lee: Yes. I believe that the value is there because I’m getting “lay-up” meetings. It (normally) takes me 30 to 45 minutes of cold calling (on my own) to find someone who wants to meet with me. But through CityBlast, I don’t have to go through hours of people to be able to engage with someone and set an appointment.
Shaun: Sweet. Yeah, we like to say we’re the “needle finder.” We’re finding the needles in the haystack.
Who do you feel would be the biggest beneficiaries of a service like CityBlast? In your personal opinion. Are there specific types of brokers where you think would benefit?
Lee: Most brokers. Most people want an easy lay-up, and (recruiting) definitely isn’t a lay-up. But CityBlast gives me an opportunity to have a conversation with somebody who might be interested. I would say any broker or anybody who’s looking to build their organization. All you guys are doing is finding, like you said, a needle in a haystack. Now we’ve a chance, because we’ve found someone who’s interested.
Shaun: OK. And if you could give us your best jewel of wisdom, what are the one or two top keys to success in recruiting?
Lee: Practice consistency and always try to have a message. Having a vision as to why you’re doing what you’re doing and truly caring about changing people’s lives and helping them achieve their goals. It’s about bringing tremendous value to them. The agent will always look at the value, and as long as you can provide that, then you can grow.
Shaun: Do you place a lot of value on following-up after your calls and meetings?
Lee: You have to. Most agents aren’t going to drop what that they’re doing to join your company, no matter how good your first appointment was, because agents fear change. So at the end of the day you have to follow up. Over 80 percent of my appointments and agents that join are from longer-term follow up.
Shaun: Awesome. Do you follow up forever until the person says “stop contacting me?”
Lee: That’s exactly it. If there’s an agent who I believe is a great match for my company and they have room in their business for more growth, then I’m doing them an injustice by not following up with them.
Shaun: And what do you do for follow-up? Do you do email drips, do you do a telephone sequence?
Lee: We touch them with e-mail but really it’s always phone. I’ll give you an example of an agent I was chasing for two and a half years. He joined our organization about five months ago and his last two months have been the best two months he’s ever had. He said to me the other day, “thank you so much for changing my life.” That’s what this is all about.
Shaun: That’s awesome. And how many phone conversations do you normally have to go through to get them on signed?
Lee: As many as it takes.
Shaun: OK cool. And the last question here. What do you think is the most difficult part for most people in the recruiting process? Where do most people fail?
Lee: Not speaking to enough people, not sitting on enough appointments.