For more than 20 years, I have built and operated multi-million dollar brokerages. I’ve personally recruited more than 600 agents in my career. You might be surprised to learn that I am not a fantastic recruiter—far from it. However, I’ve learned and developed real estate recruiting strategies that worked, and today I’ll share 10 of them to help you build your team or brokerage.
1. Pitch Prelicensing Students at Real Estate Schools
Real estate schools can be an outstanding resource if you’re looking for brand-new agents for your team or brokerage. The best way to recruit real estate agents at schools is to call them and offer to give a presentation in exchange for lunch.
Some online schools will even provide student lists—for a fee, of course! Use the scripts in the advertising section in this article to craft an email to elicit the best response.
If you’re able to secure a presentation, don’t be a cheapskate and bring $5 pizzas. The lunch you provide will represent the standards for your brokerage or team. Who wants to work for a company that isn’t willing to spring for a decent meal?
One hurdle you’ll face is that many students attending real estate school are not planning on becoming full-time realtors. That means you will need a way to target only the students who want to become full-time agents.
The key to sifting through the wanna-be’s and not-gonna-be’s to find the future superstars is to communicate clear guidelines about who you’re trying to recruit. You can use keywords and phrases in your presentation or pitch email to only target full-time agents. Here are a few I like to use to weed out the part-timers:
- Wants to earn over $100k a year
2. Get Referrals From Your Current Agents
Who better to find the right agents for your team or brokerage than the agents you are already working with? It is easy to think that your agents will refer their friends already, but that simply isn’t the case. Your agents are (hopefully) busy, right?
Referring other agents to your team or brokerage probably won’t be top-of-mind for them. Of course, like getting referrals from your buyers and sellers, you just need to ask to receive. Begin by reminding your team how it benefits their career for the team or brokerage to grow. I usually say something like this:
“More agents mean more signs … and more signs mean more customer recognition. You want your customers to recognize our brand, right? Then we need to hire more agents!”
“I appreciate [insert a value they possess] about you. Can you think of another agent who is [repeat the value] like yourself that would be a good fit for [brokerage or team name]?”
“May I use your name when I call them today?”
It is also beneficial to incentivize your agents for their referrals. It doesn’t have to be a large incentive. A month’s free office bill or $200 after the referred agent closes their first transaction with the company should be enough.
Contests are also a great way to keep recruiting top-of-mind for your agents. Give away a $100 gift card to the agent who refers the most agents by the end of the month and $500 at the end of the year.
[Related article: 7 Savvy Ways to Generate More Real Estate Referrals]
3. Ask for Referrals From Vendors
An agent referral from a trusted vendor can be a powerful recruiting lead. Trusted vendors may include mortgage lenders, title representatives, home inspectors, home warranty providers, and property insurance agents that you know and trust.
These vendors want access to your agents to promote their services to your brokerage or team, so it won’t seem out of place to ask them to support your recruiting goals. Additionally, some agents will share their dissatisfaction with their current brokerage with their vendor friends.
The next time a vendor approaches you to sponsor a team meeting or ask you to lunch, flip the script! Tell them you are happy to discuss a mutual referral relationship. Set a meeting with them to share your brokerage or team’s vision, values, and recruiting goals. Ask them if they are willing to discuss the opportunities to work on your team or brokerage with other agents who may be unhappy where they’re at and looking for a change.
[Related article: How to Create an Inspiring Mission, Vision & Values for Your Brokerage]
4. In-person Networking Events
Instead of attending REALTOR events to learn about the latest software, use these as an opportunity to network with agents. In-person networking is a great way to find the right agents for your team or brokerage.
Your local Association of REALTORS hosts educational, social, and marketing events. While directly recruiting from the events is not permitted, it is an excellent opportunity to network with your fellow REALTORS.
You can invite the agent to a more formal discussion outside the REALTOR event when you meet an agent who wants to join your team or brokerage. Here is a four-step script of recruiting questions I use to get agents to meet with me:
The Four-step Real Estate Recruiting Questions Script
“What was your sales goal this year?”
They will typically say a number between 24 and 36 homes.
“Are you on track to reach your goal?”
The average REALTOR sells 10 to 12 homes a year, so they are most likely behind on their goal.
“What do you believe is preventing you from reaching your goal?”
Most agents will say that lackluster marketing or lack of lead generation prevents them from reaching their goals.
“Would you like to meet to discuss how you can get back on track?”
Set a meeting at your office to discuss how your team or brokerage can help them achieve their goals.
[Related article: 10 Unexpected Takeaways From Inman Connect Las Vegas 2021]
5. Host a Top-producer Mastermind Group
Top producers love high-level conversations with other top producers. This is why joining or running your mastermind group is a great way to recruit new real estate agents.
Begin by selecting an interesting topic like the challenges of low inventory or social media best practices. Invite one top producer from each real estate brokerage brand. Your goal is to keep it small at just six to eight people, including yourself. When you call, tell them that you are hosting an exclusive Top Producer Mastermind group and you would like it if they could attend to represent their brokerage.
Host the Mastermind at a local, high-end restaurant. Ask for a private room if they have one available. Plan the event for late morning or after lunch, so you are not expected to pay for meals or alcohol.
At the meeting, you MUST take the lead and guide meaningful conversations about the topic. Have someone take notes that you will share with attendees after the event.
Listen for opportunities to follow up with each agent. If they are having challenges with social media, then let them know that you are happy to sit down with them one-on-one to help them to create a social media marketing plan.
Before you are finished, don’t forget to schedule the next Mastermind and topic for the following month!
[Related article: 9 Real Estate Mastermind Groups Every Agent Should Join Today]
6. Pitch Cooperating Agents
Cooperating, or co-op, agents have a unique perspective since they recently transacted with your team or brokerage. Assuming the deal went smoothly, they are sure to have a positive response to you inquiring about the transaction. If things went poorly, they will be impressed that you are calling for their honest feedback.
Either way, co-op agents are another excellent source of recruiting leads. Here is a quick script I use to schedule meetings with co-op agents:
Co-op Agent Script
“Hello, this is [your name]. You recently had a transaction with [your agent] on [address]. I am calling today to ask how the transaction went. We strive to be the most professional agents in the industry.”
“May I ask, is there anything that we could have improved upon to make this transaction better?”
The key here is to listen to their honest feedback. No matter what they say, don’t get defensive. Once you feel you have received the feedback from the transaction, pivot the conversation to their business by asking them The Four-step Recruiting Questions we discussed previously.
[Related article: Real Estate License Reciprocity & Portability: A State-by-State Guide]
7. Slide Into Their DMs on Social Media
Some agents are very active on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. This gives you an excellent opportunity to start a friendship online and invite them to meet in person later.
Start by selecting 10 to 20 agents you are interested in getting to know better. Friend and follow each agent. On Facebook, you can create a Custom Friends List to keep them organized.
The secret is to be observant of their activities. Like and comment on their posts, so they begin to familiarize themselves with you. Once you feel comfortable that they know who you are, you can connect with them via Instant Messenger (IM) or Direct Message (DM).
Here is a script I use for recruiting on social media:
DM After They Post Something Creative
DM After They Post a Listing Ad
“Hey [name], I saw your ad for your listing on FB. It’s a great listing! Do you sell most of your homes in [area]?”
“Are you interested in getting more listings in [area]?
“We are looking to invest in a few agents to help them grow their business in [area]. Would you be interested in meeting to discuss?”
[Related article: 21 Real Estate Social Media Marketing Tips From Top Agents & Coaches]
8. Run Classes, Events & Seminars
A tried-and-true way to recruit agents to your team or brokerage is to hold classes, events, and seminars. These allow agents to learn about your knowledge, culture, and values while also providing essential training to your team or brokerage.
If you’ve never run a training before, here’s a quick rundown of the process: First, reserve a space in your building or a vendor’s off-site location. It doesn’t need to be huge, just big enough to hold 20 to 30 people. This will be large enough to have 10 to 15 agents from your team or brokerage and 10 to 15 guests. Ask a vendor to provide snacks and water for the training.
Next, select a topic that will interest the agents you wish to attract to your team or brokerage. While continuing education classes are essential, I have found that the dry topics don’t draw the type of agents I want for my team or brokerage. Here is a shortlist of “Hot Topics” that will attract motivated agents who want to grow their real estate businesses:
Hot Topics for Classes, Events & Seminars
- Social Media Marketing Plan
- Facebook Ad Strategies
- Real Estate Investment Strategies
- Real Estate Business Planning
- Top Producer Panelist Discussions
Prepare to speak about one of the Hot Topics for 45 to 90 minutes. It is best practice for you to present the information. This will position you as the expert and guests will be more likely to meet and speak with you afterward. The best way to organize the information is the What-Why Presentation Format.
What-Why Presentation Format:
- What is the challenge or problem?
- Why is it important to them?
- What will happen if they don’t address it?
- Why is it a complex problem to solve?
- What results have you got to solve the problem?
Notice in the What-Why Presentation Format that we don’t share “HOW” to solve the problem with them. This is because the solution isn’t that easy, or they would have resolved it already, and they are not likely to fix the problem on their own. They need your help.
Instead of giving them the solution, provide them with a reason to meet with you!
Here is what you say:
“We don’t have time to cover the entire solution today, so if you are interested in solving [challenge or problem], I’m happy to meet with you one-on-one. I have my calendar here, and I will schedule a time with you today.”
9. Open Houses
As a recruiter for your team or brokerage, you probably wish there were a place to go every week to meet productive agents. Well, there is—open houses! Attending open houses and broker opens each weekend is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to build relationships with active and producing agents.
You can follow my simple plan and script to meet agents at open houses.
Open House Recruiting Procedure & Script
- Each week, do a quick search for upcoming open houses or broker opens in your area.
- Send the agent an email letting them know you will be stopping by to preview the listing. This will make your introduction easier when you’re at the open house. Additionally, if the open house is busy, it gives you a reason to follow up later to provide them with feedback.
- Map the open houses to save drive time.
- Spending 10 to 15 minutes in each open house, just long enough to preview the property and have a quick conversation with the agent.
- After a short, friendly conversation with an agent, ask them the following questions:
“Do you sell most of your homes in [area]?”
“Are you interested in getting more listings in [area]? We are looking to invest in a few agents to help them grow their business in [area]. Would you be interested in meeting to discuss?”
10. Help Wanted Ads
A simple and efficient method of finding real estate agents for your team or brokerage is placing help wanted ads. Websites like ZipRecruiter, Career Builder, and Indeed are excellent resources for finding talented people looking to make a career change. What I like about websites like this is that you can promote your ad to keep it at the top of the prospects’ search.
Craigslist, on the other hand, costs less than other job search websites, but your ad will quickly fall to the bottom of the help wanted ads. Therefore, you will need to post your ad more frequently to keep it top of mind. I have found that posting twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, generates the best results.
Here is a copy of my top-performing help wanted recruiting ad:
Help Wanted Agent Recruiting Ad
We Are Hiring Real Estate Agents! We Offer Real Estate License School and Sales Training! [Company] is a gathering place for [area’s] best talent. This first-rate market center features a state-of-the-art training room and a friendly atmosphere you’ll recognize the moment you walk through the door. As one of the fastest-growing real estate offices in one of the fastest-growing marketplaces, [Company] is a hot spot for agents looking to rapidly and organically grow their career.
We are hiring because our sales are up a BLISTERING 200% over last year! We need help! Hardworking, motivated agents who want a great opportunity!
- Earn a six-figure income
- Work your own hours
- Fun work atmosphere
- Free training and support
- No previous experience necessary
- In-class and online real estate school
- Low cost to start!
Already in real estate school? Please interview with us!
We’re looking for people who are:
- Positive and friendly
- Want to increase their business
- Willing to work hard
When you’re ready to begin the journey, fill out the contact form found on our website.
If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read my Ultimate Guide to Recruiting before trying any of these strategies or scripts. I review how to align your recruiting goals with your Mission, Vision, and Values, how to decide which agents to recruit at every growth stage, how to attract those agents to your team or brokerage, and more.
Real estate recruiting is an essential practice for any real estate team or brokerage and having a clear plan for how you’re going to attract the right people is the first step. The 10 recruiting strategies I’ve shared here are proven ways for you to grow your team or brokerage. It’s just up to you now!