At some point, whatever size the team, most brokerages will need to hire new brokers. Even in a small shop, bringing on an associate or a partner is often needed to take the next step. But what can you do to find the most promising candidates and set them up for success?
Since it isn’t easy to point out successful future brokers in a crowd, Jon said you need to focus on finding people with drive and a strong work ethic. After pinpointing the most motivated candidates, it’s the company’s job to give their team the right technology to help them reach their full potential.
Here are Jon’s three tips for finding your next dealmaker:
1. Hire experienced producers (if you can)
If hiring a proven producer is an option, by all means take it, Jon says. Adding an experienced broker to the team is an effective, low risk way to grow the business. Experienced brokers will already have a network of contacts and won’t require anywhere near as much training as new brokers will, making this an easy move to justify.
But Jon says you can’t rely solely on this strategy, simply because there aren’t enough opportunities to hire proven producers. It’s a great option when possible, but it’s not enough to build an entire business.
2. Examine their track record, wherever they’ve been
When hiring someone without brokerage experience, look for persistent people with a strong work ethic.
We all know being a broker isn’t easy, and while there are many qualities that can help brokers succeed, Jon says the most important is a relentless drive to win. “If you don’t have the drive to push through the initial difficulties, you won’t get to the other side.”
Examine every applicant’s track record to see if they have enough grit to be successful. Have they done something in their life that illustrates their ambition to succeed? Look for anything from academic to athletic achievements. Perhaps they are a star seller at their current company. Whatever it is, always focus on hiring people who are competitive enough to succeed in this industry.
3. Test and interview them (several times)
Once you’ve honed in on a few candidates, put them through a test or two to try and gauge how effective they’d be as a broker.
Jon says his company uses a sales aptitude test to filter out people who are unlikely to succeed, but cautions against reading too much into positive results. “We’ve had people who did very well on the test but did not succeed, so it’s not a guarantee. But it’s a good filter for us.”
After the test, it’s time for a few more interviews. By this point you’ll already have had at least an initial interview, but don’t stop there. Jon suggests having candidates meet people from all levels of the business and getting them out in a social setting to get to know them better.
And especially in a business where shaking hands is as important as crunching numbers, it doesn’t hurt to see how they handle themselves at happy hour.
Where does technology fit in?
On top of having the right team, Jon says effective use of technology is a critical ingredient for success.
“I’ve always been a CRM guy…You can’t possibly effectively manage a big enough base of prospects without an organized system…You have to put the data in, but then you come in every day and have your list of calls you know you have to make.”
Jon says properly using technology is essential for all brokers, including the newest team members. That’s because it helps you stay organized and on top of prospecting efforts, all while ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. A strong CRM can also help you remember opportunities that you simply forgot about and is so important that it’s often a key determiner of long term success.
As Jon puts it, “If you’re one of our younger brokers and you’re not using Apto effectively, particularly if you’re one of our 20 younger brokers, you won’t be here very long.”
That would have been a surprising statement just a few years ago, but not today. Tech adoption is skyrocketing and brokerages are realizing that using the latest technology is no longer an option — it’s necessary for survival. So next time you’re looking to grow your team, use Jon’s tips to find a star performer and integrate them into a robust tech platform from day one.