Find out how this California broker is using Zoom video for recruiting and coaching.
As the co-owner of a successful real estate brokerage, my partner Matt Cord and I weren’t looking to make any substantial changes to the business. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but then COVID-19 shook the world. Here’s the story of how we revitalized our brokerage recruiting program.
With 10 offices spanning nearly 100 miles between San Francisco and Sacramento, our company relied heavily on Zoom during the initial shelter-in-place orders. It helped ensure business continuity for agents and clients, while keeping our geographically distanced leadership team virtually connected.
After putting recruiting on pause for one month, we asked our managers to resume their recruiting outreach. We scheduled appointments over Zoom, to be in line with social distancing guidelines and safety precautions, and took full advantage of the platform’s functionality by recording those meetings to look back on.
This concept brought me back to my college football days at University of the Pacific, when we would spend hours each week reviewing game footage and identifying areas of improvement ahead of the next game. I loved “watching film,” and found it incredibly helpful to master the sport and much more enjoyable than my coaches yelling at me during practice. Now in this COVID era of doing business, I was able to bring back the notion of “watching film” to improve my sport knowledge yet again—only this time it was real estate.
All of a sudden, we had hours of video to review and we began to watch recruiting sessions and take notes. We were able to witness our management team in action, regardless of their location, and had more insight than ever before as we identified areas of opportunity along with “coaching” plans for each manager.
For some managers, the coaching paid off. With others, it became apparent that recruiting just wasn’t one of their strengths. This was our “light bulb” moment, when we realized how challenging it is to FIND a “Swiss Army knife” real estate manager—someone who is exceptional at all of the nuances when it comes to managing a real estate office. We also realized how challenging it was to BE a Swiss Army knife manager. Recruit, train, retain. Develop talent. Be a deal doctor. Motivate and inspire. The list is long and can be exhausting for one person.
I decided to take my “game day” video coaching concept one step further. After reviewing the recruiting meetings, Matt and I then started to observe each manager’s sales meetings. We noticed unique strengths in each manager that were untapped by the majority of the company in the current one office, one manager business model.
New Business Structure
Leveraging the trend of increased video meetings, we created a new business structure that played to the team’s strengths. We reorganized the leadership team so that each manager had a specific focus and area of expertise that the entire company could tap into, all done virtually using Zoom.
Now the deal doctor in San Francisco could help agents in Sacramento. Rock star recruiters weren’t limited by distance when courting top talent. The experts at sales meetings and training could connect with the entire agent base regardless of location.
The response was exceedingly positive. In fact, we felt an almost collective sigh of relief among the managers as they realized they no longer had to do it all and could focus on the areas of the business where they brought the most value to the company.
What started with Matt and I being “flies on the wall” during one recruiting meeting resulted in a new approach to leadership at our firm. Inspired by a growing trend in video communication, we revitalized brokerage recruiting. we have completely enabled a new way of thinking about how to connect. I am confident this Zoom-inspired “light bulb” moment will lead to a bright future for the brokerage as well as our industry.
Daryl Rogers is co-founder and broker-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners. He and his business partner Matt Cord were named 2020 RealTrends Gamechangers.