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.

We’re now one of the fastest-growing real estate brokerages in Colorado and add 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. NAR reports that the median tenure of Realtors at a brokerage is just five years. But fewer agents 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.

There are only two ways to recruit. The right way and every other way. 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 recruiting and training them.

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How to Identify the Ideal Agents to Recruit 

Before you make a recruiting call or send an email, identify what type of agents you are prepared to support in your organization. Agents in different phases of their careers have different needs. If you can’t support them, you can’t recruit them, and you certainly can’t retain them.

Finding & Recruiting New (or Newer) Real Estate Agents

There are two types of new agents: prelicensed candidates interested in getting their real estate license and current students or recent graduates of real estate school who are interviewing brokerages.

You can collect prelicensed and in-school leads by placing ads on employment websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Career Builder, and Craigslist. You can direct high-funnel candidates to a real estate licensing school like Colibri Real Estate or Kaplan when they reach out. Keep in touch, so they are sure to interview with you once they receive their license.

You can find lower-funnel leads by contacting local real estate schools and asking them if you can present 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 #1 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.

Fortunately, we provide plenty of training resources for new agents at The Close and on The Close Pro.

Visit The Close Pro

Finding & Recruiting Producing Real Estate Agents

If you’re recruiting producing agents, you need an idea of their production and contact information. You can find it manually through your Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Most MLS 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. 

In a sample search of 1,500 closed transactions, I identified more than 100 producing agents—great potential leads who sold two or more properties in my territory in the past six months. 

You can also find producing agents in just 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.

How to Support Producing Agents

Producing agents have basic needs that include a good website, an excellent customer relationship management (CRM) tool, lead generation support, and a sense of community. They are the easiest agents to manage but also the easiest to overlook—which makes them susceptible to getting poached by other brokerages. 

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

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The Secret to Attracting, Recruiting & Retaining Top-producing Real Estate Agents

Recruiting top-producing real estate agents (typically, those who sell more than 30 homes a year) is all about knowing what they’re looking for: opportunities, recognition for their efforts, and/or a better compensation plan.


For top producers, opportunity could mean a leadership role, impressive title, learning something new, or accessing better training or mentors.


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

For this reason, I believe they deserve special treatment. You don’t need to kiss their butt; they just need to feel appreciated. Create unique, exclusive experiences like inviting them to sporting events. I once took my top agents to see Tony Robbins in Palm Springs. They still talk about this trip 16 years later.


Many top producers negotiated their compensation plan long before becoming top producers. They’re now paying an unfair share of their commissions to their brokerage and are looking for a better compensation plan. Nonetheless, 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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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 to find the right candidates to join your organization, and not to get appointments with everyone with a real estate license. Think of your scripts as a means of weeding out the agents who don’t fit with your goals and culture. With this in mind, here are the four most effective scripts I have used to recruit producing agents to my brokerages.

Related Article
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The Best ‘New to the Area’ Recruiting Script

This is a great script if you or your brokerage are new to the area. Once you’ve gathered a list of recruiting leads using the MLS or BrokerMetrics, use the following script to contact them. The secret to success with this script is to start with curiosity in your voice.

Many recruiters would scoff and say that this script is too direct because many companies reward recruiters for the number of appointments they set and not the quality of the lead or appointment. 

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.” However, you can devote your time to mentoring them, provide extra leads, or invest financially. However you choose to invest is up to you.

But remember, 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 Mid-level Agent 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. 

The Best Events & Seminar Agent Recruiting Scripts

Holding events and seminars is an outstanding way to attract learning-based agents. These agents are likely newer to the business or mid-level seasoned agents looking for new ideas.

Keep it a small event, 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 (especially TikTok) strategies, paid Facebook Ads, business planning, and cryptocurrency. 

Here is the exact 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. They see you at an event, then later see 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. At some point during an event, make the big reveal:

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 with successful agents who 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 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

Bull Fighting

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 Most Common Objections You’ll Hear & How to Respond

I don’t want to move at this time. (Too busy.)

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/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. 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 friends.

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 transition. Let’s go over a transition plan.

I don’t know how I can support myself without leads. (My broker gives me leads.)

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. (I don’t want to pay ______.)

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 could sell more homes if I were with a better-known company.

NAR statistics show that consumers choose an agent by 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?

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 agents who are a good fit from the agents who are not.

Over to You

I hope this guide proves successful in recruiting agents to your team or brokerage. What did you think of our Ultimate Guide to Recruiting? What are your secrets to recruiting real estate agents? Let us know in the comments.