In 2003, I left RE/MAX to start a boutique real estate brokerage. I was a top-producing agent, so I assumed building a real estate brokerage would be easy. Yet four years later, we had the same number of agents as the day we opened. I recognized that recruiting real estate agents would be essential to our success, and we needed to be the best at it.

While I’ve since moved on to a management role at Keller Williams, that brokerage is still one of the fastest-growing real estate brokerages in Colorado, and adds an average of 40 new agents every year. The biggest lesson learned: You must have a strategic plan and know how to recruit real estate agents. This article covers my strategy for poaching producing agents from other brokerages, as well as some retention strategies to help build on your recruitment success.

Why You Need a Plan for Recruiting Real Estate Agents

Over time, all teams and brokerages will lose agents. Attrition in this industry is inevitable. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the median tenure of Realtors at a brokerage is just six years. But fewer agents in your brokerage means lower potential revenue, and reduced revenue means fewer services available to your remaining agents. Even if you only want to add two or three agents a year, you need a viable recruitment plan.

Recruiting the right way means building relationships. Creating trust and showing your recruiting prospects that you care ensures that you attract the right agents. It also increases your chances of retaining agents after you have invested a lot of time and money in onboarding and training them.

How to Identify the Ideal Agents to Recruit 

Before you make a recruiting call or send an email, identify what type of agents you need in your organization and make a plan for how you will support them. Agents in different phases of their careers have different needs. Let’s look at strategies for both new agents and top producers separately.

Finding & Recruiting New (or Newer) Real Estate Agents

You can get in front of prospects who aren’t licensed yet early by placing ads on employment websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Career Builder, and Craigslist. You can direct high-funnel candidates to your favorite real estate licensing school when they reach out. Keep in touch so they are sure to interview with you once they earn their license.

Find lower-funnel leads by contacting local real estate schools and asking them if you can introduce your team or brokerage to their classes. They will usually ask you to bring lunch or snacks for the students in exchange for a 15-minute presentation.

If you want to recruit brand-new agents, ZipRecruiter is the way to go. It’s the number one rated job search app on both Apple and Android devices, which means you’ll cast the widest net possible for new talent.

Visit ZipRecruiter

How to Support New Agents

If you plan to recruit brand-new agents or ones who have only sold a few homes in the past year, be prepared to spend a lot of time training them in marketing, buyer and seller presentations, managing a database, and writing and negotiating contracts.

If you choose to hire more than a few new agents at a time, you’ll need a designated mentor or trainer and a detailed educational program at your brokerage. Otherwise, their needs will impact your personal real estate production. In short, if you don’t have the resources to train new agents, don’t recruit them.

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Finding & Recruiting Producing Real Estate Agents

If you’re recruiting top producing agents (typically, those who sell more than 30 homes a year), you need their contact information and an idea of their production levels. Assuming they’re active in your area, you can see what they’ve been up to by manually searching your multiple listing service (MLS). Most MLSs offer the ability to search closed transactions.

Begin with a search of recently sold homes in your target territory. Download the list and sort by the listing agent’s name, which shows how many closings each agent has had in your area. For example, in a sample search of 1,500 closed transactions, I identified more than 100 producing agents in my territory—great potential leads who sold two or more properties in the past six months. 

You can also find producing agents in just a few clicks with recruiting software like BrokerMetrics. BrokerMetrics starts at $200 a month for the basic tools. In addition to agent production and contact information, BrokerMetrics can also provide market share and trend reports.

💡 Creating a strong sense of community in your team or brokerage is key. Conduct regular team meetings and group lead generation activities. Mobilize around a common vision or cause to ensure everyone feels seen, appreciated, and supported.

How to Support Producing Agents

Producing agents are the easiest agents to manage but also the easiest to overlook—which makes them susceptible to getting poached by other brokerages. You’ll need to provide them with a good website, an excellent customer relationship management (CRM) tool, lead generation support, and a sense of community.

Attracting, Recruiting & Retaining Top-producing Real Estate Agents

🤫 The secret to recruiting top-producing real estate agents is just knowing what they’re looking for: opportunities, recognition for their efforts, and a better compensation plan.


This one varies depending on the person. For top producers, opportunity could mean a leadership role, impressive title, learning something new, or accessing better training or mentors.


Some top producers (like me!) thrive on the approval of others. And believe it or not, many companies aren’t good at giving credit or recognition. But, because top producers typically invest more time and money into their businesses than other agents, helping to grow your brokerage brand, I believe they deserve special treatment.

You don’t need to kiss their butts; they just need to feel appreciated. Create unique, exclusive experiences like inviting them to sporting events or on vacations. I once took my top agents to see Tony Robbins in Palm Springs. They still talk about this trip 17 years later.


Many top producers negotiated their compensation plan long before becoming top producers. Think Steph Curry and his rookie NBA contract. Now they’re MVPs who are paying a large share of their commissions to their brokerage and are looking for a better deal. 

So great! Poach top producers by creating an advantageous split just for them, right? 🛑 Wrong. Changing your compensation model to accommodate a top producer could lead to resentment among other agents on your team and divide your brokerage.

Instead, build your team or brokerage compensation plan to attract financially conscious top producers. If you already have an established compensation model, consider offering an upfront signing bonus.

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Marketing Tools

If you want to keep your producing agents from jumping ship, investing in a top-shelf website can have an outstanding ROI. Trusted by Real Trends award-winning teams like the Oppenheim Group, Agent Image websites offer stunning design and state-of-the-art digital marketing services that can give boutique brokerage sites a run for their money. Click the button below to get 20% off.

Visit Agent Image

The Best Scripts for Recruiting Real Estate Agents

If you only learn one thing about recruiting scripts from this article, it should be this: The best script is the true script. So get very clear about who you are and are not. 

If you are a top-producing team that wants to build your brokerage brand, make that clear in your script. You might not appeal to a top producer who wants to grow their own personal brand, but you will attract mid-level agents who want to be part of something exciting and who aren’t concerned about being the top dog.

The key to recruiting success is not to get appointments with everyone with a real estate license. You want to find the right candidates to join your organization. Think of your scripts as a means of weeding out the agents who don’t fit your goals and culture. With this in mind, here are the most effective scripts I have used to recruit producing agents to my brokerages.

The Best ‘New Office in the Area’ Recruiting Script

Once you’ve gathered a list of recruiting leads using the MLS or BrokerMetrics, use this script when you reach out to them. The secret to success with this script is to start with curiosity in your voice.

Many recruiters would say that this script is too direct. But that’s just because companies often reward recruiters for the number of appointments they set and not the quality of the lead or conversation. 

Another concern I hear with this script is with the word invest. Recruiters say things like, “I don’t have money to give them” or “We don’t buy agents.” But there’s no need to be so literal. You can devote your time to mentoring them, provide extra leads, or pay out financially. However you choose to invest is up to you.

After all, if you don’t plan on investing in agents in some way, you are going to have a hard time recruiting talented agents and retaining the ones you have.

The Most Effective Area Specialist Recruiting Script

Use this script with agents working in a specific community, neighborhood, or town. Begin by paying attention to their advertising on Facebook, newspapers, and listing signs. When you see an agent who is marketing a unique message or new listing, contact them with the following script.

This is one of my favorite recruiting scripts because it works on Facebook Messenger, text, and even on Slydial, as long as you are honest and transparent. 

Best Script for Social Media Intros

Sometimes the best way to connect with an agent is through Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. I recommend spending some time following the agent you’ve targeted for recruitment and like and comment on their posts. After you’ve become a familiar presence, send a direct message (DM).

DM After They Post Something Creative

DM After They Post a Listing Ad

The Best Networking & Seminar Recruiting Scripts

Holding events and seminars is an outstanding way to attract learning-focused real estate pros. These agents are likely either newer to the business or mid-level agents looking for new ideas.

  • Keep it small, and don’t hold it in your office. Agents will be intimidated to come into the lion’s den.
  • It’s best practice if you present the information or host the panel, which positions you as the expert … everyone wants to know the expert.
  • Trendy topics work best, like social media strategies (especially TikTok), paid Facebook Ads, business planning, and cryptocurrency.

Here is the script I use to get real estate agents to my events:

The secret to successfully recruiting at events is conversion. Think of your event like a lead magnet on your website. You need to offer something attendees want, but your end goal should be to convert them into recruitment leads.

The event is mainly for you to build trust through familiarity. The agent sees you at an event, then later sees you at an association meeting, and when you later call them to have coffee, they are more likely to listen to your recruitment pitch.

Try the Columbo Script

Man Meeting Gesture

You may remember the TV detective series “Columbo,” where the main character would say, “Just one more thing…” before revealing the secret that solves the mystery. Add this to the script above to build anticipation.

The Best Script for Recruiting Top-producing Agents

A recruiter’s greatest challenge is signing top-producing agents because their usual techniques often don’t resonate. That’s because successful agents usually have their own processes and systems, a great personal brand, and tons of business.

Top producers are attracted to three things: opportunities, recognition, and compensation. As such, the secret to recruiting them is providing the special treatment they’ve earned. Be direct, clear, and concise. Either pick up the phone or walk into their office. An email or text doesn’t work for this script.

I am sure you are wondering what the opportunity is, right? That’s completely up to you to decide. Offer the opportunity to meet someone influential in the industry, get in on a new development, or join your organization on the ground floor before it reaches the next level. Whatever you decide, this script will help get them in the door.

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Sean’s 10 Best Real Estate Recruiting Strategies for Teams & Brokerages (+ Scripts)

Recruiting Real Estate Agents: How to Handle Common Objections

No ultimate guide to recruiting agents would be complete without addressing the common objections real estate agents present and how to counter them. Remember, you’re playing the long game. It’s important not to burn relationships by being too pushy. If you overuse objection handlers, you can come across as insensitive. The secret to responding to objections is to listen and be empathetic.

I’m too busy to move at this time. 

Honestly, as a successful, busy agent, there is never a good time to make a move. The good news is we can help make the transition easier. The sooner you can make the move, the sooner we can implement your new plan.

I am loyal to my broker or office. I’m happy where I am.

I respect the fact that you are loyal. In fact, that is exactly why I am interested in working with you. But let’s be honest, if you were getting the support you needed, would you even be talking with me right now?

I don’t want to leave my colleagues.

If I could demonstrate that we are not only a good fit for you, but it would also be good for them, how would you feel about bringing them by to meet me?

I don’t want to deal with the hassle of changing companies.

I understand completely. Many busy agents who have already joined us had the same concern. That is why we help you with the process. Let’s go over our brokerage’s transition plan together.

I don’t know how I can support myself without the leads my broker gives me.

What percentage of your leads are coming from your company? What is your split on those leads? If I can show you how to generate more income without having to be handed leads, would you look at joining my team?

Your company costs more than I pay now. 

To make more money, you must increase revenue, not simply cut your expenses. It doesn’t matter if your expenses are $0 if you’re not generating enough income. I will show you how to make enough money that the additional expense won’t matter.

I think I can sell more homes if I stick with a better-known company.

NAR statistics show that consumers choose an agent because of the company only 5% of the time. So if we can show you how to increase your business by 20%, would you be OK with a lesser-known company?

Recruitment Lead Nurturing

Effective recruitment (done the right way) is about building trust through open and honest communication. This takes time. Recruitment leads need nurturing just like prospective clients. Make an effort to recognize your prospects and their hard work so that when you’re ready to make your pitch, you already have a warm relationship.

Here are some examples of professional ways to reach out. You can send these notes through social media, email, text, phone calls, or voicemail. 

Congratulations on an Award

After Meeting at an Open House

Congratulations on a New Listing

Thanks After Cooperating Sale

Key Takeaways: Recruiting Real Estate Agents to Your Team or Brokerage

All teams and brokerages face attrition. Losing agents over time means you’ll need a plan for recruiting real estate agents to maintain market share. Ultimately, your success lies in your ability to clearly communicate the services your team or brokerage provides to the right type of agents.

Your script is the first step in narrowing the field of agents in your territory. A good script is direct and to the point. It attracts or repels, allowing you to quickly sort the real estate pros who are a good fit from the agents who are not.

Bringing It All Together 

I hope this guide helps you become successful in recruiting agents to your team or brokerage. What are your secrets to recruiting real estate agents? Let us know in the comment section.