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Recruitment & Retention: Finding the Best Agents

by Chicago Agent

McShea learned of the importance of ethics the hard way. After she extended an offer to an agent and the agent announced a planned departure, the brokerage the agent was supposed to leave offered more money, and the agent chose to stay. “If the agent’s move is motivated solely on money or a better package, that’s not for us,” she says. “We look to understand the motivation and reason an experienced agent is looking for a change and understand what they’re looking for, but we don’t attract new agents based on money or if they’ve had issues or are angry with their firm.”

Instead, McShea says, she looks for agents inspired by those around them, those who have the same leadership and ethics of the company’s existing agents and managing broker.

“I always look for people who are goal-oriented and want to be held accountable. I want someone with a CEO mentality, someone that runs their business like a business and wants to be a rainmaker,” she says. “We’re a hugely sharing and collaborating agency. We can be like that because our agents are extremely successful and want to share that success.”

In addition, McShea prefers quality rather than quantity of agents. “We offer a boutique experience. There are only 50 agents here, so we need people who can individually elevate the real estate experience for the client.”

And she doesn’t use the term “poaching,” because any agent looking to grow their business can talk to any managing broker.

“It’s really a conscious decision on the part of whoever is open to being recruited. Those agents might be looking for something different or something special.”

Even so, Mike Popowcer, managing broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate in Palatine, says that recruiting efforts must be highly choreographed. “You cannot have a one-size-fits-all plan. You have to do your homework on each targeted agent and decide what’s going to attract them. They’re leaving for a reason: they’re unhappy with fees or compensation or leadership’s marketing tools. You have to know the agent, as well as the brokerage, to determine what your recruitment campaign will look like. A lot of times, agents go from brokerage to brokerage just looking for a higher percentage.”

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