The 5 Recruiting Lessons I’ve Learned (Most The Hard Way)

The 5 Recruiting Lessons I’ve Learned (Most The Hard Way)

Last Monday, I committed to using the next few weeks to help you prepare for recruiting season. To kick off the series, I figured I’d share five major lessons I’ve learned from recruiting agents, being recruited as an agent, and teaching others how to recruit.

Lesson #1 - Recruiting Takes Hard Work

This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Many brokerages grow organically at first. Agents join because of knowledge of the brand, existing relationships with the brokers or managers, or a favorable office location.

Unfortunately, organic growth only lasts for so long. At some point, every brokerage hits a ceiling where the number of agents joining no longer exceeds the number of agents leaving. If you’ve hit that ceiling, the only way to break through it is to work hard at recruiting.

Lesson #2 - Overcoming Fear is Job #1

The single biggest reason agents don’t switch companies (even when it’s in their best interests to do so) is fear. They’re afraid of:

  • Leaving their friends and colleagues behind

  • Disappointing their current broker

  • Failure

  • Success

  • What their clients will think of the move

  • Whether they will like the people at the new company

  • Whether the new broker can keep the promises he or she made

And that’s just scratching the surface.

To recruit agents, you must help them overcome their fears.

Lesson #3 - There Are Plenty of Good Agents

Too many brokers use a lack of “good agents” as the reason for not recruiting. Yes, there are agents who are unethical, lazy, incompetent, selfish, and/or egotistical. But they aren’t the majority.

Most agents in your market have potential but need training, mentorship, or accountability. They only seem “bad” from the outside because they aren’t getting the support they need from their current brokers.

There is a fine line between wanting the right agents and setting impossibly high standards.

Lesson #4 - Commission Splits Matter…But Not as Much as You Think

Of all the lessons, this one was the hardest for me to learn. So many agents bring up commission splits it’s only natural to assume money will be the deciding factor in whether they join.

But, if you look around your market you’ll see agents who remain at companies with a wide array of splits. In fact, I’m not aware of a single major market where discount brokerages have the majority of licensees.

The existence of everything from traditional brokerages to 100%, flat-fee shops is evidence commission splits are not the only, or even the most important, factor in recruiting.

Lesson #5 – Having a Brand is Vital

No, this doesn’t mean you need to have a franchise name behind you. It simply means agents in your market must know who you are and how you’re different from your competitors.

In my experience, companies with a strong local brand tend to recruit much faster than those who are unknown.

What do you think of the lessons? Would you add any based on your experience?

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