As summer heats up, you may be planning a vacation, doing more business or (hopefully!) both. To get the leverage you need to succeed through the summer and beyond, you need to develop a bench full of talent you can rely on.
Drawing from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, leverage is an all-encompassing term that can be broken down into systems, tools and people. Whether you are trying to implement models and systems for the first time in your business, or simply need a refresher into the strategies provided within the MREA, the Back to Business Basics series is a great starting point to ensure you’ve got the right systems and tools in place. Once your strategy is in place, it’s time to buckle down and find the right people to add to your talent roster.
Sourcing strong hires can be difficult, and even top agents have struggled when looking to grow their bench. To help you plump your talent pipeline for the summer months and beyond, the Outfront team sat down with Gene Rivers, owner of multiple Keller Williams market centers and a top instructor of the Leverage series, a curriculum designed to help identify, develop and lead a strong talent bench. This course, and additional leverage resources, are available to Keller Williams agents through KW Connect. Here, Rivers shares five best practices for sourcing talent so you can get the leverage you need this summer.
Five Best Practices for Sourcing Talent
1) Spread the word to your sphere. Rivers estimates that, for many top teams, 20% to 40% of new hires come courtesy of an agent’s database. After creating a job description, he recommends blasting it out to everyone in your database with a very specific subject line: ‘Thank you.’ “They’re going to look at that and go, ‘What’s Gene thanking me for?’” he explains.
“So they open it up and it says, ‘Thank you for your support of our business. I’m growing and I’m looking for the person described below. If you know this person, please contact me immediately with their information. Don’t just tell them to call me. I want you to contact me and tell me who they are.” When you’ve got thousands of people in your database, that email helps you cast a very wide net. Because, while it’s unlikely any of those past clients will apply for the job themselves, it’s very likely they might know people who could be a good fit.
2) Go wider via the web. What if your database is on the smaller side? For newer or solo agents, it makes sense to hit the web running. Options for posting job openings abound, from syndicators that do the work for you to direct posts on online job boards like Indeed and Yahoo Jobs. Keep in mind that many of these services and job boards are geared toward getting you the highest possible number of applications, which means you’ll have to do some wading through the flood of résumés. “The premier way to make sure you’ve got a great hire candidate is to simply get a boatload of applicants, because there are really great candidates buried in those hundreds of bad applicants,” Rivers says.
3) Visit with your vendors. As an agent, you have contacts within the industry you regularly refer clients to – think home inspectors, mortgage brokers, title companies, etc. Many of these people are in and out of real estate offices all the time and have wide networks within the industry. Whether with a phone call, face-to-face conversation, email or text, let those vendors know that you’re hiring and, most importantly, that a growth in your business likely translates to a growth in their business as well because you’ll be able to send more clients their way.
Then, Rivers recommends turning up the heat. “Tell them, ‘Here’s the job description, and I’m going to call you every seven days looking for a name until I make the hire,’” he says. “The only way you get people to focus on it is if you put pressure on it. They’re not trying to ignore you, but they’re just not going to remember.”
4) Link your search to LinkedIn. “LinkedIn has been growing very steadily as a good resource for finding hires,” Rivers says. “It appears right now, there is a tremendously higher percentage of professionals going to LinkedIn to find jobs than before the pandemic.” While posting a job on LinkedIn is easy, Rivers recommends spending the money for an ad to boost the visibility of your posting. “The most common number I hear people putting into is between $100 to $200,” he says.
5) Finesse the final interview. Once you’ve winnowed down your candidates to the final few, schedule a last meeting as a motivational interview. “That’s where you talk to them about if you went into business together, what it would look like in the next three years for them to say, looking backward after three years, that taking the job and going into business with you was a phenomenal, powerful, wonderful decision.” Rivers explains. “A talented person isn’t looking for a job; they’re looking for opportunity,” he adds. “At that interview, the whole point is we’re now identifying the opportunity. What’s the carrot this person will continually work hard to achieve? Once you know what that is, that turns into a career path.”
Tap Into Leverage Resources
Through Connect, Keller Williams agents can gain access to additional leverage resources, like the Keller Personality Assessment, which helps establish whether a potential talent’s behavior and thinking is a strong fit for the role, and additional goal-setting materials to set new talent up for success.