Nakia Evans with eXp Realty in Baltimore experienced her AHA moment at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I had a chance to sit down and think about what I was doing as a recruiter for a traditional model,” she says. Tired of being “personally responsible for the activity of all the agents [in her office],” she decided to explore some other options. In Maryland, she says, “Every agent that was in my office was under my broker’s license. That decreases your sleep at night and you become really unhealthy without knowing it.”
She was also disappointed that advancement opportunities were limited. “I was No. 3 in the country for recruiting for this firm. I was in the top 100 managers across the country, but I was getting passed over for advancement,” she says.
Finally, she decided to leave the firm in July 2020 and found a home with eXp Realty. Now, out from under her non-compete agreement, Evans is able to “build a community, sell real estate and help agents start a business,” she says. Technically, she says, “I am referring agents to eXp, not recruiting them,” she says. “That’s something that people don’t understand. It’s more about agent attraction.”
Evans now has a “rev share group” of 80+ agents. However, in “eXp speak,” that means she mentors those agents and earns a revenue share from each person she brings in to the brokerage. “New agents are attracted to me, and I love to train them,” she says. However, she’s not a team leader. Evans sells real estate on her own and earns fees from each agent she brings in. “It’s a big misconception that agents who refer a lot of agents aren’t producing. My first year at eXp, I sold about $3.39 million in real estate and I didn’t buy any leads. I spend about 50% of my time referring and training other agents and 50% of my time selling real estate.”
Whether you’re with eXp, where agents recruiting agents is all part of the business model, or you want to bring on better agents to your real estate team, spotting talent takes a plan. Here are her tips for building a community of real estate agents:
- Identify pain points. “I want to help people, so if I see an agent on the other side of the transaction fill out a contract wrong, I use that as an opportunity to connect. I may say, “Hi, I noticed you wrote that contract wrong, who’s helping you?” I then introduce myself as a coach. It’s about identifying pain points and helping people overcome them,” says Evans.
- Promote a partnership. “Recruiting is inviting people to join your team or firm. I promote a partnership. I let them know that I’ll help them navigate the onboarding process, help them access the brokerage’s resources and coach them to success,” she says.
- Be authentic. “Social media allows me to tell my story,” she says. Evans says the key to attracting talent is to be authentic in your love of the business and talk about it whenever you have the chance. “When other agents see how happy you are, or that you’re learning new tools, they want to find out more,” she says.
- Don’t cast a wide net. Evans says that her ideal candidate is a team leader selling $20 million a year. “It’s not just about bringing in agents. It’s about bringing in agents who are productive,” she says.
Overall, Evans says, “I left employment to be independent, to lesson responsibilities, to get out of being a broker-manager but still do the things I love, which is help other agents succeed.”