Do your research.
Before ever scheduling a virtual conference call with an agent, do your homework. There are several ways you can verify production numbers, but just as important, you must know their impact in the community and their reputation. Read reviews and testimonials about the agent, speak to agents in your office who worked with them on sales, and check your local or statewide department of professional regulation to review any complaints about them.
Recruiting in a Virtual World
A REAL TRENDS brokerage guide
In April 2020, the Department of Homeland Security deemed real estate an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all states chose to do the same and even in those states that did, brokers had to revamp safety protocols to protect buyers, sellers and real estate professionals.
All the while, recruiting new agents, the lifeblood of any brokerage, has to continue. And the basics of recruiting haven’t changed a bit. You must build the relationship. And, whether meeting face-to-face or virtually, the goal of the meeting should be to get to know each other. It isn’t an interview; it’s a chance to find commonalities, cultural fit and a deeper understanding of the agent’s why—what motivates them. Remember, this is a partnership between you and the agent and should be recognized as such by both parties. The agent should be getting to know you and your brokerage as much as you are getting to know the agent.
When in-person meetings aren’t as easy to do as before, how do you make the most of virtual recruiting?
Here are some tips for making the most of virtual conference calls when recruiting new agents.
by larry kendall
Author, Ninja Selling
Establish the relationship.
Ninja Selling strategies highlight the concept of F.O.R.D. to use in every conversation. It stands for Family/Friends, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams. “You can’t recruit someone until you connect with them,” says Larry Kendall, founder of Ninja Selling. So, ask about family and look for common friends, ask how business is going, and ask what they do for fun. Finally, ask questions about the future, whether it’s about their thoughts on moving forward amid a pandemic or what they’re doing to build business in the next week.
The key in any conversation is mindfulness. Be present and listen carefully. You’ll learn just as much by what isn’t being said as by what is being said. What are the candidate’s concerns, and how can you solve their problems?
Virtual recruiting calls will suffer if you don’t have the right equipment or have a spotty internet connection. Make sure the room you’re in is well-lit, your computer’s camera is working properly, and your sound is clear. There are many virtual conference platforms available that allow your video calls to be clear and effective.
Check out our list of virtual tools +
Keep it simple.
We’re talking about your video background, of course. Avoid distractions by having a video background that is simple. Another idea: Superimpose your company logo as your background. Also, with many brokers and managers working from home, find a room where you are free from distractions, such as pets, ringing phones and children.
Dress for success.
Most managers and brokers dress professionally for an in-person recruiting meeting; however, video conferencing just feels more casual than an in-person meeting. Don’t be lulled into that thinking. If your office culture requires a suit or dress clothing, then wear that. If it’s casual polos and shorts, wear that. The important thing is that you look professional, clean and put together.
Use in-meeting tools effectively.
Experiment with the video conference platform you’re using to learn how to share documents, use the chat function, record calls and more. The only thing worse than the dreaded frozen Zoom screen is someone who spends 10 minutes trying to figure out how to share their screen while the prospect waits.
Tools of the Trade
Video Conference Program. Zoom is a favorite, but there are others, such as GoToMeeting, BlueJeans and Google Meet.
Video Background. Many conference apps and programs allow you to change your background. One featuring your company logo is best. Or, consider sitting against a plain wall to reduce visual clutter.
Bluetooth Microphone. If your computer sound is below par, invest in a quality Bluetooth microphone for excellent sound quality.
Internet Connection. A frozen screen because of slow internet is frustrating. Research the options in your area to ensure you have the highest speed and most reliable connection from the company you choose.
Hire to vision.
Whether virtual or in-person, your conversation needs to explore cultural fit, personality and drive. Here are some tips from Larry Kendall, author of Ninja Selling and one of the founding partners of The Group, Inc.
by Tracey C. Velt
Editor in Chief of Content, REAL Trends
Top 9 Recruiting Tips
Hire for the vision you want your organization to become. Also, hire to the interviewee’s vision. What are they trying to accomplish, and how is your company positioned to help them achieve their goals?
Don’t be so focused on selling your brand, technology, marketing, etc., that you fail to interview them. Instead, provide interviewees with a package of information on your company in advance that will answer many of their questions. For the top producers you’re recruiting, ask them what their greatest challenges are in their business and then offer solutions. Stop selling and start solving. The interview should be about them.
Look for losers.
In my 45 years leading a sales organization, I’ve learned that spotting the winners is difficult. Salespeople come in all shapes and sizes. Many surprise me. I’ve found it’s easier to spot the losers, and make sure I don’t hire them. The next few tips will help you eliminate the losers and give the rest a chance. Put those who meet the following criteria into your sales system and see how they do.
Check out character.
Did they show up on time? This is a sign of their ability to keep their promises. Are they dressed for the interview? Are they likable? Would I be proud to introduce them to a key client? Would I trust them with the keys to my car and my house? (Note: Our sellers will be trusting them with the keys to their houses.)
Do they have a commitment to a work ethic? “What was your first job for pay?” is a key question. Research shows that young people who had a job for pay by the time they were 14 have a much stronger work ethic. Explore their various jobs and hours worked to determine their commitment to a work ethic.
Are they coachable?
Our industry attracts people who don’t respect the hard work and commitment it takes to be successful. They think what we do is easy, and they won’t have to do the work. One way to test their coachability is to give them an assignment to bring to the interview. Our favorite is to ask them to bring their database. If they show up without it, we learn two things. First, they have a character issue. They don’t keep their commitments. Second, they have a coachability issue. They won’t follow instructions. If they have character, commitment, capacity and are eager to let us show them the way, they’ll usually make it.
Know the three accelerators.
New people get a faster start in our business if they have one or more of the following accelerators: They have previous sales experience; they have previous real estate–related experience (mortgage, title, builder); and, they have a large network of people who know, like and trust them—and the interviewee is willing to access this network. Look for these three accelerators.
Are they a cultural fit?
Will they fit into our team? Is their focus on we or me? In his book, “The Ideal Team Player,” Patrick Lencioni says his research shows the best team players are humble, hungry and smart. We’ve found these three characteristics to be important in building a high-performance culture.
For more info on leading in a challenging market and recruiting, listen to our podcasts.
Go beyond the broker or manager.
Interviewees can sometimes fool you in the one-hour interview. Have them meet with your marketing or technology people to “see the resources available to you.” Tip-off your marketing and tech people to watch for the signs listed above, especially coachability. Does it look like the interviewee will embrace your marketing and tech solutions, or do they think they don’t need it? Are they humble, hungry and smart? This informal interview can be very revealing.
Recruiting in a virtual world really isn’t that much different from every day. In-person meetings may be on hold, but video calls can be effective. The key is to focus on building the relationship with the prospect; and that can be done through a video call without the distractions of a restaurant, coffee shop or office. Be prepared, and your conversation will flow naturally.
To get more guidance on important brokerage decisions, call us at 303-741-1000 and ask for Scott Wright or Steve Murray.
Give them something of value.
For lunch Zoom calls, creative brokers are ordering lunch via Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Grubhub and having it delivered to the prospect right before the call begins. Another idea: Send or courier over with a care package of brokerage-branded hand sanitizer, snacks and other small items that speak to your company culture. Or, invite prospects to an education class you’ll be offering to show the value you offer your agents.
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