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Creating FOMO in your recruitment interview

Hint: FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. And, you definitely want to create that feeling in a recruitment interview. Here’s how to create a burning desire for a recruit to join your brokerage.

According to the Q2 2021 RealTrends Broker Sentiment Poll, one of the biggest challenges facing real estate brokerages is in the area of recruiting. From the competitive nature of the business to a lack of contract knowledge and consumer-facing soft skills, recruiting sales professionals from within or outside the industry is a difficult endeavor. While recruiting can be challenging, we can learn from each other’s experiences. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way on how we can help brokers during the recruitment interview.

The most important lesson learned, and the one that overrides them all, is the age-old, and spot-on adage: First impressions are everything. The first point of contact, whether that by email, phone call or an in-person recruitment interview, will be what the recruit will remember well beyond that initial contact.

Bring your best self

Early on as a broker, I made the mistake of not bringing my personal best into the interview room with a top prospect. I wasn’t in the right mindset. I was not my typical passionate self; one who always exudes positivity on behalf of the organization. As a result, I failed miserably to communicate with clarity the culture, expectations, and organizational ‘why.’ Ultimately, while the recruit would have been a good fit, she decided to affiliate with another company.

This leads me to my next point, there is more to the recruitment interview than the recruit interviewing you; you must interview the recruit. We’re clear upfront, whether we’re hiring an experienced or a new agent, there’s a process that you must participate in at our company. We are very selective in who we hire, and when we do, the recruit must feel welcomed (by name), comfortable and excited to know that the decision to affiliate with your company is in their best interests as well as yours. In other words, for the relationship to work, it must be a good fit for both parties.

Theory of liking

In psychology, this is referred to as the theory of liking; a tendency of people to like others who express a liking for them. Recruits are looking for a company that shares their core values and expectations for the future. It’s a partnership, and both parties must understand who the other partner is. Treating professionals as partners rather than independent contractors helps to create that desired relationship. The idea is to create FOMO; that the partners both feel the fear of missing out if they’re not moving forward together.

There’s a quote from Richard Branson, “Great things can be achieved by leading through wisdom, empathy, and integrity, with no other agenda than humanity.” We focus on every recruit knowing that we are held accountable to caring about them, their careers, and their families. Again, that’s the relationship aspect of it.

Presenting a personalized business plan

Now that a relationship is forming, the next step is to present a personalized business plan based on the recruit’s MLS activity data, if any. If the person is new to business, then share stories of how you helped others like them to earn a living in real estate sales. In fact, make arrangements to introduce them to one or two agents who share similar backgrounds. Showing the excitement and helping them to visualize business success is a win-win.

I share with recruits the vision board I have in my office and the principles behind visualizing your goals and how that positively changes not only your life but those of the others in the office and in the community.

The key is consistency. You must be persistent and passionate with your ‘why.’ We explain to recruits that we have individual partnerships and every person in the company. Those considering affiliation must have an individual business plan. And, more importantly, we hold each sales professional accountable to that plan and to be the best version of themselves. Our company is like a big sandbox and our family of agents each bring different experiences and have diverse goals.

Finally, for brokers to be the best recruiters possible they need to have extraordinary assistants and office managers. Brokers should spend their time working on the business; not in it. I need people I can trust to manage tasks that I delegate. I’m responsible for the big picture; the planning, strategizing and growing market share, which includes, of course, recruiting agents that fit.

I believe in my heart and soul that our ‘why’ as an organization helps people. That belief is just the start. Then, you must provide the tools, knowledge, and advice on how to be a successful business owners. It’s integral to building relationships and partnerships, to creating FOMO and to recruits wanting to be a part of our family.

Shrirley Morrison is the broker-owner of CENTURY 21 Sweyer & Associates in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

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