What Should You Research Before a Recruiting Appointment?
Last week, I wrote about How to Conduct a Perfect Recruiting Appointment. One of the most common questions I received in response to that email was, “What type of research should I do ahead of my appointments?”
Pre-appointment research can make the difference between hiring an agent and getting trapped in a never-ending sequence of follow-up calls. The more you know about an agent in advance, the better you can tailor your questions and value presentation to that agent’s specific needs.
The next time you have a recruiting appointment, set aside 30 minutes ahead of time to research the following.
Production History & Trends
Start by checking the agent’s production history and trends. You can do this in the MLS or by using a program like BrokerMetrics. Go back at least three years and find answers to these questions:
Is production consistent/increasing/decreasing year-over-year, or is there no clear trend (up and down)?
Is production consistent month-to-month, is it boom and then bust, or is it seasonal?
Is average sales price consistent, increasing, decreasing, or all over the map?
Does the agent work more with buyers or sellers? Is it consistent year-to-year, or does it vary?
Does the agent appear to work in a defined geographic area, or does she sell all over town?
MLS Listings & Sales
Once you’ve looked at production history and trends, pull up the agent’s active, pending, sold, expired, and withdrawn listings from the last year. For listings, examine:
The quality of each listing (photos, comments, completed fields)
Average days on market, list price vs. sales price, and buyer’s agent commission offered
Number of sold vs. expired or withdrawn listings
Number of price reductions required to sell listings
Type of listings (REO, short sale, estate, investment, condo, etc.)
How often the agent double sides the deals (if legal in your area)
For buyer sales, you just need to examine sales price vs. list price and the types of listings sold.
You can learn a lot about an agent by looking at her marketing (or lack thereof). Googling the agent’s name first and primary email address second should give you everything you need.
Be sure to check out any websites, social media profiles, Zillow/Trulia/Realtor.com profiles, and other links that pop up in the first couple pages of results. As you review the agent’s marketing, make note of any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and red flags.
Using the Information
As a rule, you want to compliment the agent on areas of strength early in the recruiting appointment. This not only shows you care enough to have done your research, it also builds trust and rapport.
As the appointment progresses, ask questions about any opportunities, weaknesses, and red flags you noted during your research. It’s likely the agent will bring these up on her own if you use the Phase 2 questions I recommend. But, if she doesn’t, you’ll want to bring them up.
By doing pre-appointment research and using it in the needs analysis phase of the recruiting appointment, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to make the hire. But, even if you don’t make the hire, your research can be used to create a specific follow up sequence to keep the agent interested (more on this in a future article).
P.S. – If you want to improve your odds of getting an appointment while making recruiting calls, do some of the research recommended above before picking up the phone. Calling agents with specific recommendations for how you can help them is a powerful way to entice them to meet.