There’s no denying that this market will last for longer than a year. It’s time to take control of your business and plan for your future. We caught up with Emily Kettenburg, a seasoned coach with Tom Ferry, at the Tom Ferry Success Summit in Dallas where she shared her insights on the current trends and challenges in the real estate brokerage world.
One of the most pressing issues is the shrinking property market. “This year, 20% fewer properties will trade,” Emily notes. This means that the competition is fiercer than ever. To counteract this, brokers need to focus on two main strategies: increasing per-person productivity (PPP) and recruiting more agents. Both good business practices in any market.
However, the challenge lies in finding agents who can and will produce. “Unfortunately, we’ve got that 80-20 rule. So many agents are out of business in the first five years,” Emily laments.
The solution? A robust onboarding process. “Their 30-day, 60-day, 90-day new agent training super important,” she says. This is especially crucial for agents who entered the industry during the Covid era, as they might not have had the same rigorous training as their predecessors.
Building a recruiting roadmap
But recruiting isn’t just about onboarding. It’s about understanding the needs and desires of potential recruits. Emily suggests a “recruiting roadmap,” that starts with understanding the company’s mission, vision, and core values. “What are you hiring to?” she asks. This roadmap also involves a gap analysis, identifying lead sources for recruiting, and refining the interview process.
Data and the recruiting process
Emily also touches on the importance of data in the recruitment process. “Create that avatar of who your perfect agents are… and then lean into that,” she advises. By understanding the specific attributes and needs of potential recruits, brokers can tailor their approach to be more effective. Emily recommends creating five different personas or avatars based on production numbers, years in the business, personality traits, geographic area and even community involvement.
“When I first started recruiting, I looked at the agents that I had and what markets they served. Then, I asked, what market would we like to serve or grow market share?,” she says. But, in some cases, she notes, “in my small town in New Jersey, it was someone who volunteered for an organization that we didn’t have anyone that volunteered with. As an example, in Trenton hire, I had no agents who volunteered at Homefront. Homefront was an organization near and dear to my heart,” she said. So, she found an agent who was very active volunteering for the organization. And that agent brought with him an entire database of others who volunteer.”
Relationships are at the heart
While data is important, nothing replaces the human touch remains crucial. “Real estate’s a relationship business built on trust,” Emily reminds us. This means that brokers need to be proactive in building and maintaining relationships with potential recruits. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee or hosting seminars, the key is to provide value and build trust. And, she notes that brokers must know who they are recruiting. She remembers a time when she was getting a weekly call from a broker who wanted to recruit her, but when she met that broker in person, he didn’t know who she was. “The broker didn’t do his homework, which should, as the very least, mean you’ve looked at a picture of the agent,” she says.
On the topic of technology, Emily believes that artificial intelligence (AI) is a tool that brokers should be embracing. “If they’re not embracing AI, they’re missing the boat,” she states. AI can help brokers refine their marketing strategies, improve their communication with agents, and even aid in the recruitment process.
The world of real estate brokerage is undergoing significant changes. However, with the right strategies and tools, brokers can navigate these challenges and come out on top. As Emily aptly puts it, “We need to make sure that we’re building a culture where people want to come, and that people want to stay, and we want them to be successful.”